At this point in the year, our Board usually endorses an Undergraduate Council presidential ticket. This year, however, some of the UC tickets have joined student groups led by Act on a Dream in boycotting The Crimson in response to its coverage of a Sept. 12 Abolish ICE rally, during which The Crimson requested comment from United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In light of these recent events, we have chosen to forgo an endorsement this year.
As an Editorial Board, we believe first and foremost in the free exchange of ideas among the student voices that make up the College. It disappoints us to know that some of our peers do not wish to work with us or represent themselves through our pages and endorsement processes. In place of our endorsement this year, we would like to offer a few thoughts that we hope the UC candidates will keep in mind as they campaign.
First, we encourage all candidates to recognize the limits of the institution they seek to lead. Consciousness of the failures of past UC leaderships should be a powerful benchmark for the current campaigns. Grandiose promises minimize the important work Council leaders can often do on a smaller scale. A year is shorter than it seems, and the next leaders should consider what they will reasonably have the time to accomplish.
Moreover, establishing institutional transparency and supporting student advocacy and activism are two programmatic goals we believe all candidates should forefront.
Another issue a number of tickets have highlighted is the wastefulness of the UC. The Council has failed to account for more than $100,000 in disbursements since 2017. These financial transactions should be more transparent. Leaders should seek to rein in superfluous spending. And we believe, alongside some candidates, that the UC should prioritize funding inclusive social events and activities led by a broad range of groups and individuals on campus.
This year, we hope that UC candidates move forward with achievable goals to aid the student body and leave behind any political theater that has taken up the Council’s time in the past. Leading the UC should be about more than photo shoots, weekly emails, and flag waving — it’s an opportunity for students to have a say in the disbursement of a sizeable budget that has the potential to have a positive impact on campus. As such, leadership is a serious responsibility — ideally more about thoughtful and inclusive management and policy than flashy politics.
Much as we see our own institutional role, we see the role of UC leaders as a uniting force — one that encourages dialogue and supports student activism and advocacy, even if we’ve disagreed with them on certain issues. As leaders, the candidates should seek to amplify students’ interests and perspectives and promote discourse across divides. Unity isn’t about agreement, but about recognizing the necessity of all the diverse perspectives and challenges that make up a social whole.
This staff editorial solely represents the majority view of The Crimson Editorial Board. It is the product of discussions at regular Editorial Board meetings. In order to ensure the impartiality of our journalism, Crimson editors who choose to opine and vote at these meetings are not involved in the reporting of articles on similar topics.