A Harvard man once wrote that "Harvard Hates America." Well I come before you to challenge that false and limited presumption. For the truth about Harvard is for more absolute-Harvard in America. --T. Logan Evuns '84, candidate for the championship of the Undergraduate Council, in a campaign speech Wednesday night.
A FRIEND probably came closest to getting handle on this flamboyant fellow when he recalled the character of Fenwick In Barry Levinson's recent film Diner. Fenwick in the handsome and defiant preppy with a mysterious flair, the one who pushes himself to dangerous extreme for a laugh. He tips the car and dances himself with ketchup and trick his friendships, clever as ever in the flamingo-laden living room of a friend, Fenwick quietly answers every College Bowl questions emanating from a grainy TV screen-all-for a lick."
It's not just his call for massive weekly trivia quizzes in Harvard Yard" that make T. Logan Evans 14 remind us of this film character, Handsome, preppy, unmistakable, Evans also similarly entertains and captivates. He has taken an otherwise unremarkable election and turned it into a personal daredevil show.
Evans, a transfer student from Columbia, ha plainly goiter plenty of kicks en route to establishing himself as the most unusual student government participant in recent years. Who else could say "I'd like to be a rating orator in the mold of a Martin Luther King or an Adolph Hitler?" And it is equally clear that his antics have caused a good deal of consternation among student government traditionalists, more accustomed to debating Robert's Rule of order than the merits of "King Trivia".
Although only 62 people participated in the Dudley House vote that elected him a large segment of the campus is familiar with Evans his positions are unmistakable and his campaign integrator is everywhere. "Grandiose are the conceptions Ruthless is their execution!" one poster boldly declares. "Vote Evans, As inevitable as the forces of history urges another. "One world, one constitution, one leader" reads a third.
Evans has called for town meetings in Sanders Theater and an alumni fund drive to till the council's coffers with million of dollars, and he ultimately wants to have the council guarantee the future success of Harvard students. He has also called his seven opponents for the chairmanship "maggots" and "the base excrement of mediogrity." "Predictably he's been called a few names himself, including "fascist," "beffecn" and "the nest P.T. Barnum." When a fellow candidate threw out the latter epithet. Evans responded: "If I get the chairmanship, you shall be ruthlessly purged."
No matter what you think of Evans's pomposity and historical inevitability, you've got to appreciate the special perspective he has given the first session of the new student government. At a time when student government is seeking to veer from its ineffectual, do-nothing past. Evans is one of a very few talking in fresh terms. His grund designs for the Undergraduate Council are only a part of his larger conceptual model--for the planet. "I believe in a unification of the planet within in the U.S. system," he says, with all seriousness. "I see it as the only way to save mankind from its own destruction."
He emphasizes the importance of entertainment, saying. "If you're dull, uninspired and conventional, then you're going to be walk." But he adamantly asserts that his histrionics do not subvert his seriousness, particularly when Harvard surfaces as the topic of discussion. For conventional student government is "not befitting of Harvard, Harvard requires a creativity, a higher sensibility, a greater awareness of the moment, a sense of destiny. "Evans says, his voice heightening in intensity and volume.
All this--the high falutin schemes, the dramatic oratories, the vaunted vision of Harvard--comes from a student who has been on-campus, full-time for a month, and who, he painfully recalls, was rejected by Harvard the first time around. He was spurned by the Big H In spite of--or perhaps because of--a welcoming address he gave several years ago as Phillips Exeter student council president that concluded with what he now calls the "classic, moronic statement of the decade": "I don't have to take this shit, I'm into Harvard."
Logan Evans probably won't become chairman, more because his newcomer's status prevents him from knowing very much about campus issues than because of his statements, moronic or otherwise. But he deserves a salute for she campus endeavors he intends to pursue whether he's chairman or not. To appreciate the University's latest celebrity, you have to ask yourself a trivial question. Before Logan Evans, what aspiring student politics ever managed to amuse, captivate or anger you?