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Harvard Undergraduate Association Discusses Search for Next University President

Harvard's governing boards, which are tasked with selecting the University's next president, meet in Loeb House.
Harvard's governing boards, which are tasked with selecting the University's next president, meet in Loeb House. By Ryan N. Gajarawala
By Mert Geyiktepe, Crimson Staff Writer

The Harvard Undergraduate Association discussed the search for the University’s next president and campus initiatives at its general meeting Sunday.

Caleb K. King ’23, who serves on the 18-member student advisory group counseling the presidential search committee, joined the meeting to provide insight on the process and solicit student input. King is one of three undergraduates in the advisory group, which also has members from all of Harvard’s graduate schools.

During the meeting, HUA Co-President Travis Allen Johnson ’24 suggested distributing a survey seeking undergraduate input and preparing a summarized report for the advisory group, but King replied that the advisory group has already sent out an official survey, noting the committee will likely “lean towards” that one over an undergraduate-led one.

HUA members enumerated qualities they would like to see in the next Harvard president. Academics Officer Shikoh M. Hirabayashi ’24 said he hopes the next University president will prioritize mental health initiatives and support Harvard employees.

Johnson added that he hopes the next president will be accessible and visible to students.

“That would be pretty cool if we saw our presidents walking around the Yard and you could go have coffee with them for five minutes,” he said.

Johnson, HUA Co-President Lylena D. Estabine ’24, and Well-Being Officer Hana Rehman ’25 presented takeaways from their meeting with Harvard University Police Department Chief Victor A. Clay on student concerns. At a town hall earlier this month, students shared concerns about campus safety, including about the lighting levels in Harvard Yard and Cambridge Commons.

“We will likely be speaking to the City of Cambridge about the regulations in terms of lumen levels in both the Yard and Cambridge Commons to allow for more safety,” Estabine said.

During Sunday’s meeting, the Association also voted on a new project to organize an open mic night at the Queen’s Head Pub. The Queen’s Head Pub, located in the basement of Annenberg Hall, reopened this month for the first time since 2019.

Social Life Officer John S. Cook ’25 said the open mic night proposal aims to publicize the Pub and support student performers. The proposal, which will appropriate $2,000 from the HUA Social Life budget, passed with a majority vote.

The open mic night is set to take place on Nov. 12.

—Staff writer Mert Geyiktepe can be reached at mert.geyiktepe@thecrimson.com.

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Student GroupsFront Middle FeaturePresidential SearchHarvard Undergraduate Association