UPDATE: Congratulations to Johnny Bowman and Eric Hysen, the UC President and Vice President-elect!
The election this year features three tickets, and the Indy will concede that it does like all three, in one way or another. The Long Johnson campaign is funny, charismatic, and subtly charming with its long johns and desire to “touch” all students. We certainly were touched, and amused, by their enthusiasm to be indifferent to the UC. While most Harvard students could care less about the UC (including many of the Indy exec board, we will admit), we feel that it is important for the UC to care about the UC. We appreciate and applaud Long Johnson’s dark horse entry into the race, and wish them the best, but will two thesis-writing seniors who have never cared about the UC before make the best leadership pair for the UC when next fall comes? We’re not so sure.
The Hayward Zhang campaign highlights experience, and, in the campaign’s own words, “results you see” or “results UC.” George Hayward has worked very hard for the oft-neglected Quad, such as when he pushed with other UC representatives for the introduction of a temporary cell phone service improvement, which now makes it easier for Quadlings to make calls. We are impressed by Hayward’s achievements and dedication, and we believe that he is an asset to the UC in whatever position he may hold.
But the Indy is similarly impressed with the Bowman Hysen campaign. Hysen has been with the UC since freshman year, and he has had his hands on half the legislation that has gone through that body. Bowman, though a recent addition to the UC scene, has proven himself to be a charismatic, caring leader. We are heartened by Bowman’s desire to help protect student services by protecting the jobs of workers responsible for everything from driving shuttles to making hot breakfast. The “Real Solutions” they advocate for in their platform truly are real.
The Indy saw the Bowman Hysen and Hayward Zhang campaigns in a similar light. Both tickets have experience and enthusiasm, along with the desire to serve Harvard students and the Harvard community. The Crimson saw this too, and decided to go with Hayward-Zhang. So how did we finally make the choice to endorse Bowman Hysen?
Simple. The Indy sent all three camps questionnaires and requests for platform statements and pictures. The Bowman Hysen campaign was the first to respond, by a long shot. Every question was filled out, both candidates answered, and the platform, in an acceptable length, was included. When we needed a higher resolution picture, their staff members and Hysen himself all replied, CC-ing the entire staff, including Bowman, and we got everything we needed from them on time.
We cannot say the same of the other campaigns, though everything did eventually trickle in by the time we finished production. We feel that being receptive to students and responsive to feedback is an important part of leading the UC. Harvard students may not care about the UC in general, but we feel that it is important for their leaders to be approachable and responsive, even with little things like the Indy asking for a response, and even if they are busy with school work and campaigning rabidly. In a race where both tickets have emphasized the importance of the communicating with and representing the student body, the Bowman Hysen campaign has best demonstrated that their words are not just rhetoric.
The Bowman Hysen campaign has also shown a clear understanding and desire to make Harvard more “green” and to make students’ lives easier. With their idea for internet expansion, we hope that the University will use less paper, and that students will find a suitable marketplace on the UC’s “craiglist.”
Finally, we also looked at the “On Harvard Time” videos and used them as a way of getting to know candidates, and we found ourselves most at home with Bowman and Hysen. They handled themselves with equal parts grace and entertainment. We are confident in their ability to unite the 49 other members of the UC in working to protect and improve student life, and we believe that by one year from now, they will have given us many reasons to care about the work of the UC.
The Harvard Independent