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After 'joke' campaign leads to victory, Harvard student government's vice president-elect won't resign after all

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  December 3, 2013 02:07 PM

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(Clark-Mayopoulos campaign / Facebook)

The vice president-elect of Harvard University's student government, who recently won the job after running a "joke" campaign, told the Harvard Crimson student newspaper this week he has changed his mind and will not resign.

Running on a “You Could Do Worse” campaign slogan and promises of more tomato basil ravioli soup and thicker toilet paper, Harvard juniors and roommates Sam Clark and Gus Mayopoulos – the so-called "joke ticket" for the positions of undergraduate council president and vice president – received about 43 percent of the 3,181 votes cast, beating out two other tickets with more serious agendas in an election two weeks ago, the Crimson reported.

Soon after their victory, the Clark- Mayopoulos campaign posted a statement on its well-‘Liked’ Facebook page, saying they would resign as soon as allowed under student government bylaws.

But this week, Mayopoulos told the Crimson he changed his mind. With Clark still planning to resign at an inauguration ceremony scheduled for Dec. 8, Mayopoulos will assume the presidency, the Crimson reported. The position of vice president will be filled through an internal vote by the undergraduate council.

“We started a conversation by participating in the election and winning the election, but to ensure that change would happen both in terms of how the UC is seen by students and how the UC deals with administrators would actually be to respect the wishes of the voters and serve,” Mayopoulos told the Crimson. “My goal is to connect with students in a way that the UC hasn’t done before and try to continue using the same kind of energy Sam and I brought to the campaign, into the UC.”

“I am hoping to dispel people’s fears that, ‘Oh, this is just going to be more of a joke,’” Mayopoulos added in his remarks to the Crimson. “It may be funny, but it won’t be a joke.”

During their short-lived political push, Clark and Mayopoulos, self-described “visionaries” and best friends, promised students they would “ask the tough questions, like: what happened to Dean Evelynn Hammonds? She’s coming back, right?” and “When do normal shuttles stop and party shuttles start? Like. Existentially,” the Facebook page says.

“We’re also here to tackle the tough issues, like divesting from gender-neutral weekend shuttles and investing in immigration reform and not having water bottles anymore. We want to tackle fossil fuels and cheating scandals and hook-up culture,” the campaign wrote on its Facebook page. “We want to expand the endowment, shrink our carbon footprint, and probably do something about final clubs.”

“But most importantly, we’re here to represent you, the Harvard students, and your cross-registered voices, the MIT students. We want to hear what you want.”

Still, the comedic duo expressed that their effort aimed to highlight at least one serious issue: “Let’s face it: the UC needs fresh ideas.”

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at mjrochele@gmail.com. Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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