The Undergraduate Council serves to promote belonging and wellbeing for all members of the Harvard Community. Since it’s conception in (1936), the Undergraduate Council has been listening to students’ voices and working to improve student life in many various ways. Here's a deeper look into some of these projects:
Calendar Reform The UC proposed a calendar that would move fall exams before break and end the academic year in May. The UC released a 10,000 word position paper documenting that the then current calendar was harmful to students’ mental health, and sponsored a referendum, where 84 percent of students favored the proposal. Thanks to UC efforts, in (2009), the calendar was reviewed and changed under President Bok, and luckily, we do not have to study for exams during our winter break. The full report of the Harvard University Committee on Calendar Reform can be found here.
Ad-Board Reform The UC helped reform a one-size fits all policy, giving more outcomes in the educational process. The Ad Board added two, less severe ways to punish students, which was approved by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in May 2010.
Q Guide for Comps The UC launched a website that would allow students to rate the comp processes of different clubs, called the Q Guide for comps. This allows students to give feedback on comps they have experienced, similar to the current centralized Q-Guide for classes.
Day of Service With the help of the UC and PBHA, Harvard had its first day of service in 2007.
Laundry in Matthews Hall The First Year Class Council on the UC in 2015 fought to have them installed, and successfully did so in Summer 2016.
Game Tables in First-Year Dorms Added game tables in many of the first-year common rooms.
Water bottle Filling Stations Added water bottle filling stations across facilities across campus, such as the Science Center.
Annenberg Table Numbers Added the now-familiar table numbers in Annenberg dining hall.
Integrated Charlie Cards If you are in the Class of 2021 or beyond, your Harvard University ID will also double as an MBTA CharlieCard. This had been worked since the fall of 2012 with UC administrations over time, and this has been a partnership with the Harvard Office for Sustainability and Harvard Transportation and Parking. It has been praised by the first-years that have benefitted!
Email Address Selection Students are now able to choose our own email addresses upon entering Harvard, rather than having to choose from a small number of alternatives.
HUPD Close work with HUPD
GOHC Created a $30,000 grant, funded jointly by the UC and the Office of Student Life, that funds innovative events involving the Council’s “compelling interests” for the year. The GOHC fund has funded many different initiatives including a Mental Health Event bringing “Pretty Little Liars” actress to talk about struggles with mental illness.
Increasing Student Input
Student Advisory Boards Each of the three FAS divisions -- arts and humanities, the sciences, and the social sciences -- have a student advisory board comprised of 8-12 students. These were created in 2008 to create more direct student input.
Opinion Articles Written by Undergraduate Council Members
“Why the UC Is Not a Joke” - Phebe Hong