Take Off the Wraps

What began as a completely informal Student Council decision to suppress the names of the Council's Nominating Committee has now developed into what resembles an attempt to establish a new precedent. Nominees have been submitted to the Classes of 1945 and 1946, but still the Council resolutely refuses to make public the identity of those who drew up the list of candidates. This Star Chamber proceeding has no parallel in the Council's history, and is a violation of the theory upon which a body representative of the undergraduates is founded.

When a group of men are appointed to prepare the list of candidates for election to the Council, that group must be an accurate cross-section of the class from which the candidates come. If it is not closely representative, if it perchance contains members of political cliques and little else, none except members of the Student Council can be aware of the fact. It would be impossible even to ascertain whether the Nominating Committee is fairly apportioned among the Houses or is representative of those students who live at home. No electorate can function effectively in darkness; no purchaser can look a horse in the mouth when its lips are sealed.

Nominations by petition are neither a solution to the problem nor an excuse for its existence. Petitions are designed to correct occasional omissions, not to salvage an inherently unfair mode of nomination.

In all probability, the current Nominating Committee was fully representative of its class. That particular problem of fact is not, however, the crux of the matter. If such a precedent of secrecy were established, it could be a tailor-made method of "fixing" elections in the future, whenever a group in power decided to make the attempt. Only complete publicity of the names of those who choose the slate can assure that they will be responsible and answerable to their constituents, and can protect the undergraduates from the possibilities of gross misrepresentation.