Blacks at Harvard Taking a Renewed Interest in Student Government

Blacks are about 8 percent of the student body at Harvard University. But during the 2003-04 academic year, blacks made up only 4 percent of the Undergraduate Council, the main body of the student government at the university. That year, the “Vote or Die” campaign was established to increase minority representation on the Undergraduate Council.

Vote or Die was very successful in encouraging more black students to seek seats on the council and helping them manage their election campaigns. In the 2004-05 academic year, the black presence on the Undergraduate Council jumped to 10 percent.

This year the newly elected Undergraduate Council is nearly 25 percent black. Four of the eight freshman representatives are African Americans.