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Donald Trump Is Elected UC President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment

Donald J. Trump addressed supporters in New York early Friday morning after he was elected UC president in a stunning upset against Hillary Clinton.

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Donald J. Trump was elected president of the Undergraduate Council on Friday in a stunning culmination of an explosive, populist and polarizing campaign that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of Harvard College student government.

The surprise outcome, defying late polls that showed rival Hillary Clinton with a modest but persistent edge, threatened convulsions throughout campus and indeed the nation, where skeptics had watched with alarm as Mr. Trump’s unvarnished overtures to disillusioned students took hold.

The triumph for Mr. Trump, 70, a real estate developer-turned-reality television star with no student or real-person government experience, was a powerful rejection of the establishment forces that had assembled against him, from the world of business to the occupants of Massachusetts Hall, and the consensus they had forged on everything from common spaces to opening Harvard (whatever that means).

The results amounted to a decisive demonstration of power by a largely overlooked coalition of mostly Quad and Union Dorm-dwelling voters, and who felt that the promise of Harvard had slipped their grasp amid decades of subpar Brain Breaks, bleak New England weather, and general anxiety about midterms. 

In Mr. Trump, a thrice-married Manhattanite who lives in a marble-wrapped three-story penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue and doesn’t even go to Harvard, they found an improbable champion.

“The forgotten men and women of this college will be forgotten no longer,” Mr. Trump told supporters around 3 a.m. at a rally in the Science Center plaza, just after Mrs. Clinton called to concede. “Now it’s time for Harvard to bind the wounds of division,” he said. “It is time for us to come together as one united school. It’s time. It is time. I’ll say it again: it’s time.” That, he added, “is so important to me. So important. Once more: so important.”

He offered unusually warm words for Mrs. Clinton, who he has repeatedly suggested should be locked up in Winthrop House, saying she was owed “a major debt of gratitude for her service to the College.”

Mr. Trump’s win — stretching across the battleground houses of Quincy, Leverett, Mather, and Düdléy— seemed likely to set off financial jitters in the Harvard-Yale ticket exchanges and immediate unease among Ivy League allies, many of which were startled when Mr. Trump in his campaign cast doubt on the necessity of Harvard’s Securitas commitments and its allegiance to international economic partnerships.

From the moment he entered the campaign, with a shocking set of claims that HUDS chicken is actually good and Dean Khurana is a poopyface, Mr. Trump was widely underestimated as a candidate. He suggested remedies that raised questions of constitutionality, like a ban on Yale students from entering Harvard Square. He threatened opponents, promising lawsuits against satirical news organizations that covered him critically (Editorial Note: Please stop suing us) and final club bros who accused him of keeping sexual assault in the news. At times—in fact, pretty much all the time—he simply lied. Don’t laugh; it’s true.

Uncertainty abounds as Mr. Trump prepares to take office. His campaign featured a shape-shifting list of policy proposals centered on Making Harvard Great Again. His staff was in constant turmoil, with Mr. Trump’s children serving critical campaign roles and a rotating cast of advisers alternately seeking access to Mr. Trump’s ear, losing it and, often, regaining it, depending on the day, and also losing it again, re-regaining it, taking it for a walk, and ultimately getting lost with it. 

Mr. Trump’s dozens of financial entanglements — many of them involving rival universities — will follow him into the UC presidency, raising questions about potential conflicts of interest. His refusal to release his FAFSA application, and his acknowledgment that he did not pay the Student Activities Fee for years, has left the Harvard community with considerable gaps in their understanding his dealings.

But this they do know: Mr. Trump will thoroughly reimagine the tone, standards and expectations of the UC presidency, molding it in his own self-aggrandizing image. 

But hey, at least he’ll do something.

© 2016