HUA Co-President John Cooke Faces Recall Vote Following Successful Petition Campaign

HUA Co-President John Cooke Faces Recall Vote Following Successful Petition Campaign

There will be a student-wide recall election to try to get rid of Harvard Undergraduate Association Co-President John S. Cooke ’25. This is because a petition drive that started Saturday evening got enough signatures to call for a vote.

The results of the petition drive will lead to the first recall election for a HUA co-president in the group’s two-year history. The results are still pending approval from the HUA Election Commission and the Dean of Students Office.

To be successful, the proposal needed more than 391 signatures, which is equal to 20% of the votes cast in the last election. In an Instagram post on Sunday night, the Harvard Feminist Coalition said that 527 people had signed the petition in just 24 hours.

“Students made it very clear: we do not want a HUA President who has been accused of misconduct,” the Harvard Feminist Coalition wrote in the post.

The move to recall Cooke ends a rough week for the co-president of the College’s student government. The Fox Club, a Harvard final club for only one gender, kicked Cooke out as a member on Wednesday because of claims of misbehavior, though the details of the claims are still not clear. (Cooke rejected the claims in a meeting with the undergraduate leaders of the Fox Club.)

Officers of the HUA talked about Cooke’s suspension from the Fox Club and his possible departure as co-president of the HUA on Wednesday and Thursday. Andy Donahue, who works for the Dean of Students Office and is the College’s representative with the HUA, told the HUA officers that Cooke could not be forced to quit.

Cooke didn’t answer right away when asked for a response on Sunday evening.

The HUA constitution and rules say that there will be a recall election in the next two weeks. There must be at least two-thirds of votes in favor of removing Cooke in order to get rid of him.

As of Sunday night, Behruz Mahmudov ’26, who is the head of the HUA Election Commission, told The Crimson that the commission knows about the petition and will start checking signatures tomorrow night.

“The constitution says that we have two weeks to make sure that the recall votes are valid,” Mahmudov said. “But I don’t think it will take that long.”

“They will be checked as soon as possible, and the recall will go ahead,” he said.

The vote to recall Cooke is happening just three weeks before his time as co-president ends on April 20. This means that the vote is more of a show than a real attempt to change the direction of the student government.

All first-year college students will be able to vote in the recall poll. It’s possible that the recall election will happen at the same time as this year’s HUA polls, which start at midnight on April 3 and end at 11:59 p.m. on April 5.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *