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73 Students Declare Candidacy for Undergraduate Council

Harvard Yard houses most of the freshmen dorms. Thirty-four freshmen are running for 12 seats.
Harvard Yard houses most of the freshmen dorms. Thirty-four freshmen are running for 12 seats. By Kathryn S. Kuhar
By Kevin R. Chen and Laura C. Espinoza, Crimson Staff Writers

Seventy-three students declared their candidacy for 47 available seats on Harvard’s Undergraduate Council last week, according to the UC Election Committee Chair Perry M. Arrasmith ’20.

This marks a slight decrease from last year’s 75 candidates, a much smaller decline in interest compared to the 28-person decrease seen from 2017 to 2018.

Consistent with past election cycles, significantly more freshmen are running for seats on the council than students in any other class year. Roughly half of the candidates are freshmen, with 34 students running for 12 seats, on the council.

Historically, elections for freshman seats on the council have been more competitive than upperclassman races. Freshmen also have the highest voter turnout at UC elections.

This year, however, Elm Yard elections are non-competitive, with only three students running for three available seats.

Elections will not be competitive in six of the 13 upperclassman houses: Cabot House, Dunster House, Eliot House, Kirkland House, Mather House, Winthrop House, and Dudley Community.

After elections take place, there will still be vacancies in Cabot House, Dudley Community, Eliot House, Kirkland House, Mather House, and Winthrop House because they have fewer candidates than available seats.

The most competitive election for upperclassmen will be Currier House, with six representatives running for three seats.

Twenty upperclassman representatives, a majority of the 37 upperclassman representatives eligible for re-election, chose not to declare candidacies for an additional term on the council.

Lowell House Representative Samyra C. Miller ’21, like many of her fellow representatives, chose not to run for re-election despite only joining the council in January after an unsuccessful bid for UC vice president last fall.

“I've decided that that is not a space that I want to contribute my energy to right now,” she said.

Eliot House Representative Maxwell A. Gillmer ’21, the council’s first director for belonging and inclusion, also decided not to run for re-election.

In some houses, fewer than the 3 allotted seats per house are open during this year’s election. Junior or senior returning members of the council who serve as a committee chair, secretary, or treasurer do not have to run for re-election. This year, this rule applies to four UC representatives: Ajay V. Singh ’21, Sanika S. Mahajan ’21, Cade S. Palmer ’20, and Phiroze K. Parasnis ’21.

The campaign period for fall elections began Sunday at noon and will conclude at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday. Elections will be held from 12 p.m. on Tuesday to 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

— Staff writer Kevin R. Chen can be reached at

— Staff writer Laura C. Espinoza can be reached at

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