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Students Launch Petition for Vote to Recall HUA Co-President John Cooke

Students launched a petition campaign for a vote to remove HUA Co-President John Cooke from office.
Students launched a petition campaign for a vote to remove HUA Co-President John Cooke from office. By Frank S. Zhou
By Joyce E. Kim, Azusa M. Lippit, and Cam N. Srivastava, Crimson Staff Writers

Harvard Undergraduate Association Co-President John S. Cooke ’25 is facing a petition campaign for a vote to remove him from office, just three days after the Fox Club expelled him as a member.

The effort to recall Cooke was announced in an Instagram post Saturday evening by the Harvard Feminist Coalition and comes just four days before this year’s regularly-scheduled vote to elect the next HUA leadership.

The petition comes after The Crimson reported the Fox Club — a single-gender Harvard final club — expelled Cooke on Wednesday over allegations of misconduct, although the details of the allegations were not clear. Cooke denied the misconduct allegations to Fox Club leadership.

Following Cooke’s expulsion from the Fox, members of the HUA executive team met Wednesday and Thursday with the Dean of Students Office during which the possibility of Cooke’s resignation was discussed. Cooke told the members present that he did not intend on stepping down during the Wednesday meeting.

But the launch of the petition raises the possibility that he could be pushed out by the student body just weeks before his term as co-president ends on April 20.

Cooke did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

The request for a recall petition was submitted Friday afternoon. The DSO reviewed the petition before it was approved by the HUA Election Commission, according to College spokesperson Jonathan Palumbo.

The petition — which requires students to input their name, College email address, and undergraduate ID number via Google form — needs 391 signatures to pass. The HUA election commission has access to the form to monitor signatures.

If the petition successfully garners the required number of signatures, the election commission will have up to two weeks to hold a student-wide vote on Cooke’s removal. According to the HUA constitution and bylaws, the officer’s removal requires at least two-thirds of votes in favor of the recall.

The voting period for this year’s HUA elections will begin at 12:00 a.m. on April 3 and run until 11:59 p.m. on April 5, according to an email sent by the HUA Elections Commission on Thursday.

—Staff writer Joyce E. Kim can be reached at joyce.kim@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X at @joycekim324.

—Staff writer Azusa M. Lippit can be reached at azusa.lippit@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X @azusalippit or on Threads @azusalippit.

—Staff writer Cam N. Srivastava can be reached at cam.srivastava@thecrimson.com. Follow him on X @camsrivastava.

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