Small Crowd at Coop Annual Meeting Gives Management Victory by Default
Once again, control of the Harvard Cooperative Society has been passed down the line intact. The insurgent slate of directors proposed by Sheldon Dietz '41 was rejected without a vote when only 135 participating members, far fewer than the 1691 needed for a quorum, showed up at the Coop's annual meeting last night.
After announcing that the new directors would be selected by the stock-holders next week, Coop president Stanley F. Teele read letters from all six of "Mr. Dietz's purported nominees" asking that their names be withdrawn from nomination. He also noted that the nominating papers for the men had been examined by counsel and judged invalid because non-participating members had signed the petition. The crowd gathered in Harvard Hall hissed violently.
The meeting was then thrown open to questions from the floor. John G. Morrill, general manager, confirmed the possibility of a "slight reduction in patronage refunds if costs rise." The crowd hissed again.
Warming up to the spirit of the meeting, students began asking specific questions about the Coop's pricing policy. Morrill announced that "the Coop will not be undersold..." After the laughter died down, he continued, "...to its knowledge." He supported this statement by commenting that although the Coop does not employ a force of comparison shoppers, any substantial complaint would result in an immediate reduction in prices.
After plodding through merchandising policies and answering a long series of questions about textbook supply, Teele recognized Dietz. People sat up in their chairs.
"Since I am representing your relatively faithful opposition," Dietz began, "I would respectfully wish to know if there are any limitations on my speaking." Informed that there were none, Dietz turned to his audience and thundered, "In that case this will be a filibuster!" Students cheered; officers and directors of the Coop blanched noticeably.
"Actually all I want is five minutes," Dietz said. The chairman seemed relieved as he granted Dietz's request.
Dietz climbed behind a podium at the rear of the hall and continued. "My program began last March. I am a citizen of Cambridge. I live in Cambridge. I am intensely interested in the environ. 'Environ' is a French word which means 'the surroundings.'" At this point Dietz looked at his watch and commented, "I believe my watch has stopped." "Mine hasn't," Teele retorted quickly. "One for you, Sir," Dietz said.
Poetry and Histrionics
"The proposed bridge." Dietz said, "will connect the Men's clothing department with the cashiers department in the new building. To get to the textbook annex a student will have to go up three stories on the elevator in the front of the department store, across the bridge, and down three stories." Illustrating his remarks, Dietz bobbed behind the podium. He closed with an original poem and retired with the applause of the crowd ringing in his ears.