The saga of President Gus A. Mayopoulos ’15 and resigned Undergraduate Council President-Elect Sam B. Clark ’15 has been anything but straightforward—rather, it has been marked with twists and turns befitting any successful political mini-series. The rollercoaster ride that began with Clark and Mayopoulos declaring their candidacy as a mere “joke” ticket ended this Sunday evening, when Clark declined the position of President, leaving Mayopoulos to ascend to the seat in his place. Sietse Goffard ’15, our pre-election choice for vice-president, will accede to Mayopoulos’ planned post of Vice President.
Mayopoulos changed his mind—after declaring along with Clark that he planned to abandon his post immediately after assuming it—and decided to take on a leadership position on the UC. He has stated a determination to respect the voice of the Harvard student body that propelled his ticket to victory. He also thinks that he can connect with those students more effectively than the UC has in the past, much as he and Clark did throughout their campaign. We agree.
Clark and Mayopoulos succeeded where other joke tickets in recent history have failed for a reason. Their policy planks, designed as comically minute considerations, actually affect the student experience more than the ambitious but sometimes vague platforms of their opponents. What’s more, Clark and Mayopoulos established a valuable connection with students on the campaign trail, employing a humorous attitude in lieu of the well-polished, pseudo-political façade typical of UC candidates. Clark and Mayopoulos would not have won the election had students not seen something promising in them, and we look forward to seeing Mayopoulos turn that promise into practice.
As we opined after Clark and Mayopoulos’ election, the winning ticket did well to concoct a straightforward, relatable platform. Soup-and-butter issues like those on which they focused are concrete and easily achievable. While grander endeavors like reforming Harvard’s mental health system are surely important, the UC has for years not been able to deliver such large-scale change. The UC has also yet to achieve significantly improved communication between the Council and the students, while Mayopoulos has already proven himself capable of just that.
Students did not feel drawn to UC outsiders like Clark and Mayopoulos simply because they were funny. Students felt drawn to them because they also felt alienated from the insider tickets and the UC as a whole. If Mayopoulos is seriously committed to mending a hole that has long gone unpatched, we stand behind him.
We also look forward to the soup.
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