Yardlings in Power


Freshmen elected to the UC get to work!



Last Friday at noon, the elections for the Undergraduate Council closed, and the freshmen representatives – new to both the UC and to Harvard – were announced. Three students from each of the Freshman Yards were elected. The results are as follows:

Crimson Yard:

  1. Rushi Patel
  2. Sonya Kalara
  3. Ifeoma White-Thorpe

Elm Yard:

  1. Emma Robertson
  2. Jackson Walker
  3. Jordan Silva

Ivy Yard:

  1. Seth Billiau
  2. Swathi Srinivasan
  3. Wilfried Zibell

Oak Yard:

  1. Abby Scholer
  2. Ivan Vazquez
  3. Luke Kenworthy

It is generally expected that those who have left the dwelling of the Yard for good no longer notice the groups of Yardlings’ distinctions. However, given the gerrymandering of Freshmen dorms into smaller “yards”, perhaps a brief explanation is required to ensure the execution of our flawless student democracy: There are four yards within Harvard Yard: Crimson Yard, which is comprised of Greenough, Hurlbut, Pennypacker, and Wigglesworth; Elm Yard with DeWolfe, Grays, Matthews, and Weld; Ivy Yard with Apley Court, Hollis, Holworthy, Lionel, Mass Hall, Mower, Stoughton, and Straus; and Oak Yard, with Canaday and Thayer.

Though each of the freshman representatives is eager to make a difference at Harvard and has his or her own goals for the coming term, there are a few common themes threaded through all of their platforms. One of these themes is that of increased inclusivity and Yard spirit through more inner-Yard gatherings and events. “Inclusivity” is, after all, the magic word of the day!

Luke Kenworthy, from Oak Yard, is one of the many representatives who is passionate about social inclusion and wants to kick-start projects that foster such inclusion in the freshmen yards. “We (the representatives of Oak Yard) plan on supporting each other’s initiatives and soliciting feedback from students to ensure success in our projects.” He feels that although there are so many wonderful and interesting things going on at Harvard on any given day, it can sometimes be hard for freshmen to know when these events are occurring. “One idea I have in mind is creating a calendar of social events on campus that are open to everyone so that freshmen can always find things to do, especially on the weekends.” He plans to reach students with surveys, social media, and in-person meetings while on campus to ensure that he is hearing feedback and keeping up to date on new ideas. This would create a more in-depth calendar than the weekly “You’re Invited!” emails sent out college-wide.

Swathi Srinivasan, elected to Ivy Yard, wants to work with her fellow representatives to bring more benefits to freshmen at Harvard. She would like to provide Harvard students with more free hygiene products (presumably) to promote better health and cleanliness among students. Srinivasan also feels that students should receive credit each semester for printing, similarly to Board Plus.

The representatives are also looking forward to working together to achieve their common goals. Swathi Srinivasan informed us that the new representatives “already have communications going, and are on the road to being good friends. We want nothing more than to bring the UC closer to students, and enact change that seems fit, not only in our eyes, but in the eyes of our yard.”  She and her fellow representatives want to better connect with the student body through an expansion of their social media presence to provide the freshman class with a deeper understanding of the freshmen representatives’ capabilities and limits because she believes that communication is key to their success.

The freshmen representatives will work with the rest of the Undergraduate Council and the Harvard administration to ensure that the students’ ideas and concerns are addressed in a timely manner.

Jilly Cronin (croninj@college.harvard.edu) just might have her delicate faith in governing bodies partially restored by the success of these enumerated goals.