Coop Conflict Raises Doubt On Both Ends
Brown Wants a Study Of Election Processes
Following the Coop opposition slate's defeat Wednesday, both the opposition and Coop officials are raising questions about election procedure.
Stephen P. Roose '70 and David L. Kirp, instructor in Economics and an opposition candidate, have launched an investigation into the membership figures the Coop used to define the quorum. Roose plans to obtain today the membership list used from John G. Morrill, Coop General Manager.
Kirp and James Roosevelt Jr.'68 charged at the meeting that declared Coop membership in the College and the Law School is larger than actual enrollment.
The challengers will first compare official enrollment and membership figures and then will re-compare the required quorum attendance (five per cent of voting members).
"If we feel we have sufficient evidence, we will go through the proper channels" to obtain a new election, Roose said last night.
He added that they have found four or five cases of "disenfranchisement"--a member's status being incorrectly recorded--and are looking for more.
The Coop will also check the figures, Coop President Milton P. Brown, Lincoln Filene Professor of Retailing, said last night, but he added that he had not had time yesterday to arrange for a recount. "We'll check them when we get around to them," he said.
Brown said that an error of at least 10,000 would be necessary to raise a question about the absence of a quorum. The income from membership is large enough to indicate that such an error has probably not been made, he added.
"I'm in favor of taking a look at the whole election process," Brown said. Last spring several student directors suggested that students vote for their representatives on the Board but the discussion had been postponed during the summer, he added.
Brown declined last night to specify how and when the study would be conducted.
Kenneth H. Miller 3L, may propose an amendment to the Coop by-laws to allow proxy votes at annual membership meetings such as Wednesday's.
"But a proxy fight doesn't insure democracy," Miller said last night, and added that in proxy elections, stockholders who do not vote are counted as supporting the regular slate. He said that he might instead draft amendments reducing the required percentage attendance for a quorum or requiring a proxy vote if there is not a quorum at the annual membership meeting.
"Traditionally a proxy is favored by management as an easy way to entrench itself," Louis Loss, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law and Coop General Counsel, said last night