Undergraduate Council Holds General Meeting over Video Conferencing Platform Zoom Due to Coronavirus Concerns


Harvard’s Undergraduate Council held its weekly general meeting Sunday over the video conferencing platform Zoom due to coronavirus concerns.

Council meetings usually take place Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Isaacson Room in Smith Campus Center. But this Sunday, representatives joined the general meeting virtually from the comfort of their dorms, house dining halls, and, in the case of UC president James A. Mathew ’21, even a Panera Bread.

“On account of recent developments regarding COVID-19 in the Boston area, this week's UC General Meeting will be conducted via the telecommunications platform Zoom,” UC secretary Nicholas J. Brennan ’23 wrote in an email to Council representatives Saturday night.

At Sunday’s online meeting, representatives discussed the week’s Grants Pack, which allocates funding for student organizations. They also discussed a proposal to integrate College X Change, an online shopping platform for students, with my.harvard, an online portal that houses students’ academic and personal information as well as Harvard’s course registration system.


UC Finance Committee chair Rukmini “Mini” Ganesh ’22 and UC treasurer Noah Harris ’22 sponsored the legislation about the Grants Pack, which the Council unanimously adopted. In the Grants Pack, the Council allocated $16,000.15 to various student organizations.

While the Council discussed the Grants Pack legislation, Lowell House representative Rachel L. Reynolds ’22 raised questions about funding in light of student organizations’ event cancellations due to coronavirus. Ganesh said some student organizations have already cancelled their grant requests due to coronavirus.

“If they’re no longer holding the event, I just zero out their application,” Ganesh said.

UC Social and Residential Life Committee Vice Chair David Y. Zhang ’23, UC Parliamentarian and Historian Soyoun “Soy” Choi ’23, and Harris sponsored the legislation on the College X Change program, which the Council also unanimously adopted.

The Council will work with Harvard University Information Technology to integrate College X Change with my.harvard so students can easily access the site. As an online shopping platform, students can use College X Change to find more affordable goods. The site, which is already sponsored by the UC, includes course materials, test preparation books, event tickets, dorm supplies, technology, and clothing among its offerings.

The Council will not have its weekly meeting next Sunday due to spring break.

—Staff writer Sharon Xu can be reached at