HUA Problem Solving Team Has Yet to Convene After 2 Weeks


Two weeks after the Harvard Undergraduate Association began the process of forming a problem solving team and indefinitely postponed all student referenda — including the College-wide referendum on divestment from Israel — the team still has not set a time for its first meeting.

On April 12, two HUA officers filed a motion to create a problem solving team to “solve a dispute” over referenda guidelines, after the HUA approved a petition from the Palestine Solidarity Committee for a referendum on whether Harvard should divest from institutions with ties to Israel’s settlements and its war on Gaza. The creation of the team led to a delay in all HUA-held referenda.

The HUA’s announcement of the postponement of all referenda came under intense fire from the PSC, who protested the decision in a rally on April 13 and chanted outside the Smith Center: “Hey hey, ho ho, the HUA should let us vote.”

The process to start forming a problem-solving team began after the HUA received a petition appearing to parody the PSC petition from a group calling themselves “Are Harvard Students, Students Against Hate?”


Seven students were selected to serve on the problem solving team last Friday, according to a communication to the team obtained by The Crimson. A day before the team was finalized, the HUA had sent out an email to the undergraduate student body inviting students to apply to be randomly selected for the team.

Now, with Harvard’s recent suspension of the PSC and pro-Palestine organizers currently encamped in Harvard Yard to protest the suspension, the problem solving team may face additional complications in deciding the fate of a referendum initiated by a suspended student organization.

More than 500 Harvard affiliates gathered in Harvard Yard for an emergency protest of the PSC’s suspension at noon on Wednesday, as a smaller group of protesters began putting up the encampment.

On Tuesday, former HUA co-treasurer and Crimson Editorial editor Josh A. Kaplan ’26 circulated a “charge sheet” document to the problem solving team.

It is unclear why the communication came from Kaplan, whose term as HUA co-treasurer ended on April 20 and who did not respond to a request for comment.

According to the document, the team's recommendations should be sent to HUA’s executive officers, headed by newly elected co-presidents Ashley C. Adirika ’26 and Jonathan Haileselassie ’26.

According to the document, HUA executive officers believed a potential interpretation of the HUA’s constitution indicates “a referendum cannot be held if the referendum asks for student feedback on Harvard issues that are outside the Harvard Undergraduate Association’s scope of governance.”

The document also states that “the HUA has received multiple questions addressing a variety of campus and global issues,” including “the usage of Harvard facilities, the names of Harvard College buildings, the Harvard University endowment, and other Harvard University schools.”

Under a heading titled “Your Charge,” the problem solving team is asked to provide recommendations to the HUA’s executive team on how to solve the constitutional dispute and “clearly define” the HUA’s constitutional process for all future referenda.

“The intent of this investigation is to clearly define the Constitutional process for the HUA Referendum process for future referendum,” the document says. “This Problem-Solving Team is directed to focus on the referendum process, not the content of the proposed referendum.”

—Staff writer Cam N. Srivastava can be reached at Follow him on X @camsrivastava.