While the Undergraduate Council finance committee conducted its grants appropriation meeting--an event that many consider to be the most important meeting of the year--more than half of the council's members were attending to a variety of other obligations and interests.
The meeting was adjourned prematurely Sunday night because the council lacked the quorum of 44 members needed to proceed with voting, and will be reconvened on Friday night in order to complete appropriations, according to executive board members.
The council's semi-annual grants meeting is notorious for low attendance because it is excessively long and "boring," council members said.
"I left early to go to the Lampoon event with John Cleese," said representative E. Adam Webb '93, who said hewas dismissed without warning from the councillast semester for bad attendance. "It seemed muchmore important. No one gives a crap about thegrants package."
Seth D. Tapper '91, who exited the meetingearly to see a friend perform in a play, said thathe didn't think he needed to stick around becausehe "had nothing to say."
"I left an absentee ballot for the one issue Icared about," Tapper said, adding that he believesproblems with attendance arise largely because"the council doesn't do much interesting stuff."
AD Club member Rodney J. Taylor '91 said thathe skipped part of the grants session to attend ameeting of his club, which he said would havefined him if he had been absent.
Many of those council members contacted saidthat they missed all or part of the meeting inorder to fulfill academic obligations.
Janie Rangel '90 said that she believes thatthe upcoming onslaught of thesis deadlinesaccounts for "part of the problem, at least forseniors."
Council members present at Sunday's meetingsaid they were angered by their colleagues' poorattendance.
"I think members who don't show up are doing adisservice to their constituents," said financecommittee member John M. De Angelis '91. "It wasrude of other members to blow off the grantsmeeting. It was a slap in the face to the financecommittee."
But although they acknowledged the importanceof the meeting, some council members said that thenew policy of requiring written excuses forabsences was "a bad idea."
"Negligence should be punished, but peopleshouldn't feel that they have to answer" to theexecutive board for each absence, said ElizabethE. Hughes '91
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