Meet the Presidents

SA Presidents 2012-2013
Kunal Modi and Laura Merritt

The Harbus recently sat down with the newly elected HBS Student Association leaders, Laura Merritt and Kunal Modi.  Laura and Kunal gave us the scoop on their friendship, the decision to campaign replica breitling bentley 6.75, and plans for next year.

The Proposal

Harbus: It seems like you two are BFF’s.  Tell me about your friendship before things got political.

Laura Merritt: Kunal is one of my best friends replica breitling Aeromarine .  We met last year, worked together this summer, and he is the greatest neighbor I have.

Harbus: And who asked who to run?

LM: I got this scary text from Kunal one Saturday morning.  It said, ” I need to talk to you.” I thought that some of my lady guidance had gone wrong, and that I was in trouble  It was 9am on a Saturday morning.

Kunal Modi: Laura is my wingwoman and routinely gives me dating advice.  When she didn’t answer, I went down to her apartment and…

Harbus: got down on one knee?

KM: …and found her cooking eggs in her pajamas.  I knew that we would be a great team based on previous discussions we had about how much we have loved our HBS experience, and what we would change about the school.  We have the exact same perspective on a lot of campus issues.

LM:  I was a little surprised.  It came out of the blue, but made sense.  I thought it through for 24 hours, said yes, and we hit the ground running.

The Issues

KM:  In working as Co-Presidents, the partnership is very important.  I think that Laura and I complement each other well in experience, skills, and strengths.  We decided to focus our campaign on the HBS community experience.  After all, HBS is all about the people.

LM:  The students we talked to had a variety of things to say about their social life here.  While some told us they had made the best friends they’d ever had during RC year, others said they had met a lot of people without forming many close relationships. As Co-Presidents, we want there to be fewer conversations about cover letters and resumes and more discussions about relationships and a positive campus culture.

Harbus:  You two seem very similar in personality, demeanor, and social lifestyle.  How are you going to understand and cater to the wide variety of people here at HBS?

LM: We did RC year completely differently.  I joined a bunch of clubs while Kunal dedicated a lot of time as his section’s president.  But, we’re also both totally open and always up for a conversation – so stop us and let’s chat!

KM: Both of us would rather have one 50-minute conversation than ten five-minute conversations.  We are here to listen.  Another one of our objectives is to push club activity to the center of campus, and connect the club experience with the section experience.

Harbus: You both are joint degree candidates with HKS.  How will you commit to HBS when ostensibly half your EC year will be at another school?

KM: We’re totally committed to HBS and you’ll find us around SFP and Spangler all year.  We both front-loaded our credits across the river so we’ll be regular ECs who cross-register a class or two.


Harbus: What’s the best advice you’ve gotten on working together?

KM: Laura’s family told me to always carry a chocolate bar around with me.

LM:  What can I say, I’m a girl that gets grumpy when I’m hungry. At least I know myself!

KM: But really, the best advice we’ve gotten has been to keep things in perspective and have fun.

Innauguration Day

Harbus:  You officially take office on April 9th.  If there were a ceremony, what kind of pomp and circumstance would you imagine?

KM: Food trucks and lawn furniture. I mean, didn’t you listen to anything we said in the campaign?

LM: Cookies in every classroom!  I tried to convince Kunal that we should run on that as our campaign slogan, but he shot me down.

Harbus:  What do you want your legacy to be?

LM: I want people to feel that their year here was a happy one where they were connected to a Cambridge family of sorts.

KM: We are going to forget a lot of things about our HBS experience, but we won’t forget what it felt like to be here.  This place is fundamentally about the people.  The best thing that HBS does as an institution is to bring us together.

Political Perks

Harbus: Any special upside you two get for being public servants?

LM: We certainly don’t get anything for free, nor do we have an office.  But I’ll be handing out ambassadorships to my friends.  For example, I’m looking for one lucky guy to be appointed ambassador to the RC girls.

KM: Perhaps just a little porkbarrel politics to pad Section J’s budget.

LM:  One thing is for sure.  This is not going to be good for my dating life.

KM:  Don’t worry Laur, there’s always Supper Club.