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Posted under: Politics

Harvard Students Win Student Body Election After Their 'Ify And James' Campaign Video Got More Than 5 Million Views

Candidates pushing for increased diversity create the ad of the year, complete with music, dancing and a jazzy saxophone solo.

**Updated November 22, 2019 

Talk about winning, the duo that went viral for the Harvard University student body presidential race won their election. Ushering some diversity to the ivy league university James A. Mathew and Ifeoma (Ify) E. White-Thorp will be president and vice president for their school.


Originally published November 13, 2019

A viral video is calling attention to the Undergraduate Council election at Harvard University, with presidential and vice-presidential candidates James A. Mathew and Ifeoma (Ify) E. White-Thorpe putting together an ad for the ages.

The video is 96 seconds long and is filled with joy, dancing and the spirit that they hope to transfer onto the Harvard campus.


According to the Harvard student newspaper The Crimson, the pair is campaigning to further discussions surrounding issues of inclusion among the student body and to empower students of different genders, races and socioeconomic backgrounds.


“As an Indian-American man, alongside Ify, an African-American woman, we are the only ticket on this stage that identifies differently in our cultural background as well as our gender,” Mathew said to The Crimson. “Now, provided that we are the most diverse ticket, we can begin to reimagine what inclusion, belonging, and diversity might look like on this campus.”

The report by The Crimson highlighted the pair's proposal for creating a Community Conversation series, which will allow groups on campus to discuss issues their members face.

“This caucus would be composed of students from various affinity groups, various communities,” White-Thorpe said at Saturday’s debate. “We would have a Black Caucus, Latinx Caucus, Asian American Caucus, et cetera — expand on what the UC already has, but bring everyone into the fold, really bring the student body into the UC.”

The pair is not the first to look for diverse spaces on Harvard's campus, but the university has repeatedly denied these proposals. A report by The Crimson last February touched on the issues that students are hoping will be solved by creating these spaces.

“If you say that you care about diversity when you're admitting students, but not when they actually attend the University, that shows an inherent conflict in their values, and I think we need to change that going forward," Undergraduate Council representative Sonya Kalara said at a town hall, according to The Crimson report.

Election voting started Monday and will continue until Thursday at 12 p.m.

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