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2 students at Harvard went viral with an incredible campaign rap. Then they won the school's election.

Published by Business Insider on Sat, 16 Nov 2019


Harvard juniors James Mathew and Ifeoma "Ify" White-Thorpe were named Harvard University's Undergraduate Council's next president and vice president, respectively, on Thursday night.The pair campaigned on a platform that focused on inclusion and belonging, sexual assault prevention and response, and health, safety and wellness.But before Election Day, the pair shared a campaign video on YouTube that later went viral when it was shared to Twitter by White-Thorpe's sister, Uche White-Thorpe.Soon the video was all over Twitter, with Dwyane Wade voicing his support, and senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker reaching out to the students directly, according to MTV News.Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.Harvard University's new student government president and vice president won their election following an incredible campaign video featuring a rap, saxophone solo, and lots of dancing.Harvard juniors James Mathew and Ifeoma "Ify" White-Thorpe were named the winners of the Undergraduate Council's presidential campaign Thursday night on a campaign platform of inclusion and representation. When they take office in December, Mathew will be president and White-Thorpe will be vice president, the Harvard Crimson reported.But the pair made headlines before Election Day, when they shared a campaign video on YouTube that was later shared to Twitter by White-Thorpe's sister, Uche White-Thorpe.The video kicks off with a rap, before the singer takes the hook, saying: "You wanna feel at home / Like you belong / They got you / You want your voice to be heard / Every word / They got you."Soon the video was all over Twitter, with Dwyane Wade voicing his support, and Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker reaching out to the students directly, according to MTV News.My sister and her friend are running for pres and vp of Harvard's student government and they never had to go this hard pic.twitter.com/4xsHtEbWkv' Uche White-Thorpe (@chukwu_21) November 12, 2019"I thought it was a great video, and it was something that our campus would love, especially since people would be able to empathize with their friends having a good time," White-Thorpe told MTV News. "I did not think the reach would be that far."Mathew also said he was surprised at the video's reach."What we did with this was make politics fun, and showed how young people are getting engaged in a nuanced way," he told MTV News. We are so honored to serve as the next President and Vice President of the Harvard Undergraduate Council. The faith of our student body means the absolute world to us. Our win would not have been possible without the help and dedication of so many friends. To Sarah, Olivia, Gabriel and Kazi - our inner circle of campaign managers and coordinators. To Ela, Te, and Tania - our amazingly talented photographer, graphic designer, and website designer. To BJ, Jenny, Eric, Mario, Kelechi, and E-Jayy - the artists who we've created with since freshman year. One viral video later, we can't thank you enough. To Ezechukwu, Fianko, Pierson, Brian, Rahul, Sahaj, Divya, Katherine, Amy, Joshua, Marissa, Brianna, Roula, Rebecca, Julianna, Allison, Olivia, Shannon, Chia, Edvin, Rohan and Mo - the people who stayed up late door-dropping in the Yard, missed meals to pass out stickers at Berg, and walked all the way to the Quad to poster. To all our loyal supporters who pulled up for photos on a chilly morning, helped with e-outreach, publicized support, and provided us with love throughout this process, this is truly your win. To Diego, Emily, Leo, and the rest of Act on a Dream - the student leaders who invited us to stand in solidarity. We did something unprecedented in the campaign process together, and we can't wait to see the change we make this coming year. To Matthew - the amazing friend and leader who didn't hesitate to utilize his resources and coordinate our alternative debate. Your support made it all possible. Congratulations to Aditya, Andrew, Sanika, Rushi, PK, Michael, Thor, and Case for an exciting and hard-fought campaign. Your commitment to improving campus and your ideas to do so will continue to inspire all that we do. We look forward to future collaboration. Sruthi and Julia, thank you for the example that you've set and the leaders that you both are. We are humbled to follow in your footsteps. To the Harvard student body, we are so excited to prove you right. We believe that Harvard Can't Wait for change, and we're so glad that you agree. And to our new following far beyond Cambridge, we can't thank you enough for the overwhelming love. Stay tuned! A post shared by James & Ify for UC (@jamesandify) on Nov 15, 2019 at 3:47pm PSTon Nov 15, 2019 at 3:47pm PST Some of our key platform initiatives! Read our full platform at jamesandify.org and make sure to vote by noon today!! A post shared by James & Ify for UC (@jamesandify) on Nov 14, 2019 at 6:18am PSTon Nov 14, 2019 at 6:18am PST The pair enlisted fellow Undergraduate Council juniors for help with the campaign video, after thinking up the concept in a dorm room."At our core, we're all artists and we felt that was something that we definitely had to bring into our campaign," White-Thorpe told MTV News. "We wanted to highlight that campaigning and politics could be fun, and it shouldn't be draining. This is something that should benefit our entire student body and we wanted it to showcase the energy we would also bring to our administration."The pair campaigned on a platform that focused on inclusion and belonging, pushing for programs for first-generation and low-income students as well as sexual assault prevention and response, and health, safety, and wellness.Insider contacted Mathew and White-Thorpe for comment.Read more:An expert in fraternity hazing deaths says coddling parents are part of the problemMillennials know what they'd do if they didn't have to pay their student loans: Pay off everything elseSenior citizens in Minnesota now share their living space with a surprising band of roommates: College studentsThis Pomona College senior is living out of a converted school bus and saving $10,000 a year on student housingJoin the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: Here's how to escape a flooding vehicle
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