Four of the seven new officers in the freshman class council hail from Bexley this year, the UA announced on Saturday.
Daesun Yim and Candace E. Chen, both Bexleyites, are the new president and vice president, respectively. Also from Bexley are Anika Gupta, the secretary, and Oliver R. Song, a publicity co-chair. Other elected officers were Jonathan Chien ’14 as publicity co-chair, Angela W. Zhu ’14 as treasurer, and Jean Xin ’14 as publicity co-chair.
Despite the majority of Bexley residents on the class council, the newly elected officers believe they can adequately represent the entire campus.
“It doesn’t necessarily define us. We’re all different and make up different cross-sections at MIT,” Gupta said. Yim said he felt he could “empathize and identify with priorities of people all over campus.”
Yim said that the class council is typically dominated by West Campus. He hopes that the current council can bring a more East Campus perspective.
Zhu, who lives at Baker, believes the council can “evenly and fairly represent all the dorms.”
The new class officers already have ideas for serving the Class of 2014.
Yim, who worked with a start-up company while in high school, hopes to use his business skills in the greater Boston area to subsidize council events and stretch council resources. Chen said that she would like to have more MIT 2014 apparel. Gupta, on the other hand, introduced the idea of having a “hop-on, hop-off” one-day bus tour of Boston for all freshmen. “It’s all about what the Class of 2014 wants as a whole,” Yim said.
Chen and Zhu, who describe themselves as “leadership newbies,” said they were excited to learn from the other members.
Friends campaigned together
Many of the class council members knew each other prior to the election. Yim and Song are roommates, while Gupta lives down the hall. Chen lives a floor down.
It was “pretty magical” that all four won their respective races, Gupta said.
Four of the class council members, Yim, Song, Gupta and Xin met in the Freshman Leadership Program, a pre-orientation program. Yim said that having a strong community at FLP gave him a huge advantage.
Chen, who ran on the platform, “No freshmen left behind,” said that the process of meeting people through campaigning was a valuable experience, regardless of the results. “We helped each other campaign because we were all friends and supported each other,” Chen said.
During their campaigns, Yim, Chen and Gupta relied on name recognition and word of mouth, often linking their names to each other. Yim concentrated on visiting various dorms in-person, while Gupta and Chen passed out miniature flyers with candy and cereal, respectively, during freshmen GIR classes. They also campaigned on social networking sites like Facebook.
Running the election
The UA Senate elections also took place last week. Voting ran from 9 a.m. on Wednesday to midnight on Thursday. The elections went smoothly according to Harrison L. Bralower ’11, UA Election Commission Chair.
Voter turnout was roughly the same as last year. About a quarter of the undergraduate class voted. East Campus and Burton-Conner had the highest dorm turnouts at 49 percent and 42 percent, respectively.
Vrajesh Y. Modi ’11, UA president said, “I look forward to working with the new class council.”
This year, the UA revised its publicity efforts to involve as many freshmen in the Senate and Council elections as possible. Instead of holding a single information session in the student center as in years past, the UA held sessions at individual dorms including East Campus, Simmons, Burton Conner and Next House the week of September 6. Jonté D. Craighead ’13, speaker of the UA Senate, said that the UA tried to bring “more outreach” to the dorms. In the past the UA “expected students to come to us,” he said.