A Chamber, But No Council

Brass Tacks

IT'S 10 O'CLOCK on a Sunday night, and do you know where your Undergraduate Council representatives are?

Not at the council meetings, God forbid. Sunday night, at the council's most important meeting of the term, the council was forced to conduct not one, but two quorum calls. The first time, less than half of the council was present, so the council called a recess, and a handful of council members scurried frantically to the freshman dorms and to the telephones to try to round up enough of your exhausted representatives so that the council might conduct official business.

And this wasn't just any old council meeting over raft races, big fingers, chocolate milk, and the like. In this session the 88 overworked council members were supposed to dole out $24,000 in grants to various student organizations, a process which is the council's most important responsibility. If the grants budget were not implemented at that meeting, more than 60 organizations would have been left hanging in limbo, until the next council meeting three weeks from now.

While some of the council rounded up stray reps, a half dozen ventured into Harvard Square, searching for something far more important than parliamentary legitimacy: an ice cream parlor with a short line. To no avail. Emack and Bolio's, Herrell's, Baskin Robbin's, and Brigham's all had mile-long queues. And by the time the bunch arrived at Store 24, there were only four minutes remaining in the recess, so the group returned to Emerson 105 empty-handed and out of breath.

But not out of hot air.

While council delegates hunted down fellow representatives and haunted the Square's ice cream hangouts, students waiting for verification of their grants waited, and waited, and waited.

Hurrah! A quorum was now present. The council continued debate on the budget. For another hour and a half. Though three stalwart men guarded the exits, council members somehow managed to slip away during the debates. The council was on the verge of voting on the complete budget when someone moved for another quorum call.

This time 45 council members were present, just one more than necessary to conduct official business. So the budget was passed. And Harvard's student government, at least the half that wasn't in bed already, went back to their rooms, another job well done.