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Voting Opens for Harvard College Students on HUA Fall Referendum Items

Campaign posters spread across a table at an HUA candidate meet-and-greet last semester.
Campaign posters spread across a table at an HUA candidate meet-and-greet last semester. By J. Sellers Hill
By J. Sellers Hill, Crimson Staff Writer

College students will weigh in on a number of questions put forth by the Harvard Undergraduate Association this week — ranging from the expansion of hot breakfast options to a College-wide holiday for Election Day.

The HUA solicited student input on seven questions in an email Tuesday morning. Three of the seven questions deal with changes to the newly formed Association’s bylaws and constitution.

The proposed changes include a clause that would allow the Association’s executive board to update the list of Harvard offices with which each officer’s team works — a power it currently lacks. Another change would see the Association’s governing documents updated to reflect their current financial guidelines.

In an optional question, the Association also solicited student feedback on changes it has already made to its governing documents in order to comply with the school’s Title IX regulations.

According to the Association’s current constitution, constitutional changes can only be ratified via a two-thirds majority vote in a school-wide referendum. Bylaw changes only require a simple majority.

The referendum also asks students whether they would support the expansion of hot breakfast options to each of Harvard’s upperclassman housing neighborhoods. Currently, hot breakfast is only served in Annenberg Hall and Quincy House.

The ballot also gauges student support for a College-recognized “Democracy Day” to be held on the federal Election Day.

The HUA’s predecessor, the Undergraduate Council, was set to release a similar referendum question last semester, but the initiative was removed in the eleventh hour after a lengthy debate between representatives from the UC and the Harvard Votes Challenge. Some HVC leaders argued that the results of the vote would be influenced by a controversial question appearing alongside it — whether to dissolve the UC entirely.

Though the HUA referendum question does not explicitly include the word “holiday,” HUA Co-President LyLena D. Estabine ’24 wrote in a message to The Crimson that the HUA is working with the Harvard Votes Challenge to advocate for a suspension of classes on Election Day.

Voting will close Wednesday evening at 9 p.m.

—Staff writer J. Sellers Hill can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SellersHill.

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