The Harvard-Radcliffe Young Democrats climaxed a dreary election campaign last night by choosing Harlon L. Dalton '69 president at a tedious and unruly session.
Dalton defeated his opponent, Richard A. Licht '68 by eight votes, 77-69, after eight nominating speeches which one club member categorized as a "set of funeral orations."
In the nominating speeches and in the candidates' addresses, a lack of initiative, leadership, and forward-looking thinking in the present Executive Council were characterized as the central problem facing the Young Democrats.
But the paper airplane-throwing electorate responded more eagerly to mention of "controversial issues" which Licht raised in a campaign handout.
Opposes Mrs. Hicks
Licht, had proposed active opposition to Mrs. Louise Day Hicks, advocate of de facto segregation in the Boston schools, in School Committee elections this fall. In addition he had described an Executive Council disagreement over the question of inviting Georgia's segregationist governor Lester Maddox to speak to the club.
In his speech last night, Licht complained that the Executive Committee had "turned a deaf ear" to the wishes of the general membership when it refused to invite Maddox. He wanted to invite Maddox; Dalton refused to discuss the merits of individual speakers.
Dalton said before the vote that he thought Licht had tried to "over-glamorize the Maddox affair into a controversy. It isn't even an issue," he said.