HCUA Votes Down Proposal to Conduct Elections in Secret
The Harvard Council for Undergraduate Affairs voted last night to retain its practice of holding elections of HCUA officers at open meetings. Council members ended two hours of heated discussion by a 14-6 vote on the measure, which required a two thirds majority to pass.
The Constitutional Revision Committee first proposed amending the constitution last week. Reed Ellis '65, chairman of the committee, presented a plan at that time to change the phrase in article 3, in section b, of the Constitution, "...members of the Council shall hold an open meeting during the preceding reading period for the election of officers." He proposed that the word "open" be struck out, and that "the last week in February" be substituted for "the preceding reading period."
At that meeting, however, the HCUA was unable to reach a decision on the question, and tabled further discussion to yesterday's meeting.
Ellis had argued that the proceedings of past open meetings had been distorted by news media, and the presence of non-HCUA members restricted discussion of the candidates. Last night, however, he stated that he had changed his mind and personally favored an open meeting because he feared "the intentions of the HCUA" might be misunderstood if the elections meetings were closed.
In last night's final vote the Council approved the original amendment as it stood, with the exception that the word "open" was not struck from the sentence.