Our advocacy philosophy is simple and effective: many voices united to enact change. When we work on a project we go directly to students themselves through referendums, surveys, person-to-person outreach, student group collaboration, and bringing students directly into interfaces with college Deans. We have seen this philosophy achieve concrete results for students time and time again, like when we convinced the administration to install critically needed cell phone receptors in the Quad last spring.
Student Voice on Budget Cuts
The Harvard University Budgetary program is the single most important issue currently affecting the campus community. Our first objective as President and Vice President will be to ensure that all minutes of the Budgetary Working Groups be released to the student body for feedback and questions. After securing the necessary transparency for student advocates on the budgetary working groups, we will lobby the administration to institute monthly action-plan meetings – public forums coordinated with student organizations and open to the entire student body. We believe that for students to have a true voice in university financial decisions, these substantive changes must be made to the budget-cut process. Our first project priority will be bringing back hot breakfast. We’ve fought hard on similar issues in the past, such as when we solicited feedback from students about shuttle cuts last spring, which proved instrumental in reversing the decision. We’ve already connected with administrators and gathered meaningful feedback from hundreds of students about hot breakfast. We are currently building a coalition of students, faculty, coaches, and health professionals who understand the need for hot breakfast as an issue of student health. To balance the cost we will develop a proposal of alternative budget cuts, including but not limited to increasing visitor prices at the Greenhouse and other campus eateries, discouraging campus offices from using their budgets on “free giveaways”, and administrator pay-cuts.
Creating a secondary field in ethnic studies by the Spring of 2010. Additionally, the UC must continue to advance these efforts by supporting diversity in faculty hiring, especially for tenure-track positions.
Improved Social Life
It is increasingly difficult for student groups to find a location for their events due to restrictive House policies, and limited space outside the Houses. The current decentralization of the entire process takes a toll on student group leaders and limits the number of events they can organize. We have begun working with members of the administration on this issue, and plan to launch a new, centralized, online system in conjunction with the Office of Student Life by Spring of 2010.
There has been no greater advocate of campus safety on the Undergraduate Council than George Hayward. We are in the process of working together with the Office of Student Life to further extend cell phone coverage in the quad to other carriers. We are also committed to providing accessible ATMs in the Quad and the Mather/Leverett/Dunster area.
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? Marlin, from Finding Nemo. We need a President that is passionate, responsible, and committed—someone who never, ever gives up. No character represents that better than Nemo’s dad.
2. How much do you think students care about the UC? How does this election affect the life of the person reading this article? Not enough. With the budget crisis, this election will have a very significant impact on all of us. As representatives for students, the UC is the most effective means of bringing student concerns to the attention of the administration.
3. What do you think about more often, sex or the UC? Are those mutually exclusive?
4. Which of the two of you has a bigger ego? Prove this with concrete examples. George: Felix. Have you seen the way he dresses?
5. If you could introduce anything from your hometown to Cambridge, what would it be and why? Felix: Wawa. If you’re from Philly, you already know. It’s a one-stop shop for everything that you could ever possibly need – like a souped up version of 7-11. People in Philly depend on Wawa for their morning coffee, their lunch breaks, and their late night snacks. Cambridge would be an even better place with a Wawa around.
6. What do you think about inexperienced people running for the UC? Please make a reference to Barack Obama somewhere in your answer. Felix: It doesn’t matter how many rules or deans you can name. It’s about what you can get done. And this ticket has a track record of results. When George ran for Currier Rep, they said he couldn’t get better cell phone reception or an ATM in the Quad. But he did. It also helps that his haircut makes him look like Barack Obama. And in his words, “Yes, we can.”
7. You have been told to make and name a drink after your running mate. What is it, and why? (Not answered)
8. What is your favorite HUDS meal? George: Chicken parmesan. Felix: New England clam chowder.
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? Theme song: “Be,” by Common. The best song with which to end a party: “Party in the USA.”
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) As Michael Jordan says, “Let your game speak.” As important as it is to talk about what you’re going to do, it is far more important to show that you’re capable of getting things done and our ticket is the only one that has made a substantial impact on student life and budget cuts: improving cell phone reception in the Quad and working to roll back the shuttle cuts last year to name a few.
For more information visit www.resultsuc.com