The next UC President and VP will face enormous challenges, as the Faculty of Arts and Sciences faces a deficit of $110 million over the next two years. To put that in perspective, the hot breakfast cuts saved about $1 million. That means we need to cut 110 years of hot breakfast in two years. To counter this threat to student life, we need a ticket with an extensive track record of accomplishments that will fight to make future budget decisions more transparent while continuing to improve the Harvard experience.
Johnny, the head of the UC’s Budget Cuts Task Force, worked last year to organize a response to the budget situation by coming up with the Idea Bank and advocating to more administrators than any UC presidential candidate in recent memory, from President Drew Faust to Dean Evelyn Hammonds. Eric leads the UC’s advocacy efforts on J-term, which led to 93% of applicants for January housing this year receiving it. He also rewrote the UC constitution to make communicating with the student body and providing services part of the UC’s job. If you’ve lotteried for UC TKTS, seen the UC Weekly newsletter, or applied for a DAPA grant, then you’ve already seen the benefits of this work.
As UC President and VP, we will work to make sure that students have the opportunities they dreamed of when they first got into Harvard. We will create innovative J-Term options by allowing student organizations to run their own programming next year and by negotiating for J-Term cross-registration with MIT and creating a program to let students teach courses in the future. To help improve social life, we will have the UC secure large, tough-to-get spaces on campus like Annenberg and subsidize student group events in those locations.
By bringing Harvard online we can deliver low-cost, concrete solutions that will immediately help student life. We are working to improve the online events calendar and make it something that all student groups and students use. We will also work to establish an online study guide library, create a UC Craigslist, and to make party forms and study cards completely digital.
We are already working to ensure that budget cuts work for students. Johnny has met twice with HUDS Director Ted Mayer to discuss bringing back hot breakfast, which we believe we can accomplish this year, and we are working to ensure that there is a real student voice in the next $110 Million in cuts.
The budget situation also affects the UC’s grants to student groups, as more groups are applying to the UC for more events than ever before. As the only ticket with UC finance experience, we are best equipped to work with student groups to ensure the UC can meet their needs. We will have the Finance Committee work with student groups to reevaluate their policies, such as those for publications, in light of the economy and discuss what can be improved and prioritized.
Questions to get to know the candidates
1. If you could be any Disney character, who would you be? Why would that character make a good UC President/Vice-President?
Eric: Not a Disney character, but I’d be Donkey from Shrek, because I’m making waffles and bringing back hot breakfast.
Johnny: Robin Hood, for his acute sense of justice. Also, archery skills are key for protecting students against budget cuts.
2. How much do you think students care about the UC? How does this election affect the life of the person reading this article?
In terms of what students care about here—world peace and reducing poverty definitely blow the UC out of the water. But we can still improve all students’ lives by working to create an online study guide database for all students and all classes or a centralized online room reservation system for student groups.
3. What do you think about more often, sex or the UC?
Eric: The UC
4. Which of the two of you has a bigger ego? Prove this with concrete examples.
Johnny definitely has the biggest ego, that’s why he’s running for president. That being said, Eric has the biggest Eggo, and that’s why we’re a great ticket.
5. If you could introduce anything from your hometown to Cambridge, what would it be and why?
Eric: Wider sidewalks
Johnny: I’m from LA, so wider burritos.
6. What do you think about inexperienced people running for the UC? Please make a reference to Barack Obama somewhere in your answer.
Both Eric and I have won Nobel Peace Prizes due to our long list of humanitarian deeds, so we were really offended when Obama got the Prize. I mean, experience is important! The same goes for running for the UC. Unless you’ve already brokered peace in the Middle East, you shouldn’t be running for UC president.
But seriously, we believe we’re the most experienced in how budget cuts work, how the UC’s finances work, and in advocating for students on the major issues such as J-Term, the Ad Board, and room reservations.
7. You have been told to make and name a drink after your running mate. What is it, and why?
There already is a drink named after Eric—the White Russian. And yes, it’s because he tastes delicious. For Johnny, anything involving Rubinoff vodka will suffice. Cheap and effective.
8. What is your favorite HUDS meal?
Johnny: Bagelwich! When your first meal of the day is at 1pm, you have to have breakfast and lunch at the same time. Basically you put the entire sandwich bar between two bagel slices and call it a day.
9. Let’s talk music. What would be the theme song to your ticket? What is the best song with which to end a party?
We’re hoping “Don’t Be a Carbon Sasquatch” by Schoolhouse Rock will bring us to victory. Coincidentally, it’s also a great way to end a party when you need everyone out of there.
10. If you could make everybody at Harvard read one book or watch one movie, what would it be and why? (You may include “words to live by” if you’d like)
First we’d make everybody watch Twilight the movie, because it’s hilarious. Then we’d make everybody buy Nightlight, the Lampoon’s new parody of Twilight, because Johnny’s twin sister Courtney helped write it and she wants your money.
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