Graduate Council Holds Elections, Revises Constitution

Kevin Tian, a graduate student in applied physics, and Aric Flemming, a graduate student at the Divinity School, were elected President and Vice-President of the Harvard Graduate Council at the body’s Monday meeting.

Members of the Council elected Tian and Flemming along with five other students to the body’s executive board. They will begin their roles on April 17, and replace outgoing Council President Peter J. Dyrud and Vice-President Simeon Bochev.


Tian has served on the Council since 2014. During his candidacy speech, he emphasized the importance of outreach and student unity and his previous experience on the council.

“I vow to constantly listen for new opportunities to improve the student body, to improve upon engagement and getting everyone to know what HGC is,” said Tian, who gained 7 out of 11 votes cast by representatives to the Council. “I really believe in this vision, because being stuck in the engineering school, being stuck in lab, you don’t really see a lot of people with different viewpoints.”


Flemming, meanwhile, spoke of his background as a seminarian at Memorial Church and leading congregations as valuable experience for his position.

“My primary vocation before entering graduate school was serving as a pastor in one of the largest churches in Atlanta of a congregation of about 10,000 people,” Flemming said. He added that his profession gave him experience in “working with a lot of different issues, and people from all over."

Tracie Gordon, Samuel Pun, Payum Noshiravan, Natalie Wang, and Akinwande Lalude were also elected to the executive board.

The Council’s representatives are chosen by each of the twelve graduate schools’ student bodies. Each graduate school is permitted one vote on issues before the Council.

During the first half of the meeting, HGC also unanimously voted to approve changes to its bylaws and constitution that clarified its election procedures.

In particular, the Council adopted language to reflect that only students in a “degree program” could hold positions on the body, to distinguish from students participating in a certificate or non-degree program at the Extension School.

The body also adopted an amendment stating that candidates for an executive board position must win a majority of votes to be elected, even if they are running uncontested.

—Staff writer Caroline S. Engelmayer can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @cengelmayer13.

—Staff writer Phelan Yu can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @phelanyu.


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