Council Elections Begin; Turnout Appears High
Undergraduate Council elections got off to a running start yesterday, with a near record number of candidates competing for 88 seats.
While the number of voters is still difficult to gauge, council candidates and others said turnout was favorable in the first of three voting days. "It's just the first day, but I think [voter turnout] was good," Lori L. Outzs '91 said.
About 50 percent of all undergraduates generally vote in council elections.
"It seems like there are a lot of ballots," said Quincy House Committee member Debra N. Bodenheimer '90. "But I don't know if people know the candidates well."
And Leverett House Committee Co-Chair Amanda L. Slick '90 said voter turnout there was "really strong."
Variety of Reasons
House committee members and council affiliates said a variety of factors affect voting, including house life and dining policies.
"Interhouse dining and House character affect the number of voters," said Lucy H. Koh '90, a former council member not seeking re-election. "For example, Adams House is not as interested in politics," she said. Adams House Committee Co-Chair Chris P. Kaneb '90 described voter turnout there as "lame."
Council candidate Dave A. Aronberg '93 said he believed that name recognition was important to getting elected. "That's why your campaign signs are so important."
This semester, 168 students are running for council. The record is 175 candidates, according to council member Michael E. Johnson '92.
Election issues this term range from the council's fiscal management to the housing lottery for first-year students.
Rebecca F. Goldin '93, a voter from Pennypacker, said the questions on which she based her vote included the question of Harvard's divestment from South Africa and women's issues. But Dunster resident Jill E. Thomley '90 identified campus security as the College's most pressing need.