Harvard-Radcliffe Rock for Shelter members yesterday expressed anger that Undergraduate Council Chair Michael P. Beys '94 was pressured to allot Phillips Brooks House $3,000 earmarked for Rock for Shelter use.
Tracey H. Stokes '95, Theresa F. Loong '94 and John R. Holena '94, who were involved with the Rock for Shelter concert, all said independently yesterday that Beys told them that he had been "blackmailed" last October by Phillips Brooks House (PBH) Homeless Chair Christopher J. Davidson '95.
At stake is $3,000 in Rock for Shelter corporate sponsorships, placed in the council's bank account, which coordinators say should have been distributed through Rock for Shelter to defray startup costs and to sponsor a larger concert this year.
Last October, Beys, then council treasurer, wrote PBH a $3,000 check for use in their homeless program. As required by the council's by-laws, the check was signed by either the chair or vice-chair, neither of whom could confirm the signature yesterday.
Stokes said Beys told her he was blackmailed by Davidson before the October election, in which Beys won the post of vice-chair. Stokes said Beys said he gave the $3,000 "under the table."
Beys acknowledge that he was "pressured" to allocate the $3,000 to PBH soon before the election.
"[Davidson] made it clear to me that he had the backing of a lot of people on the council who said it should go to him," Beys said. "They're not lying. But I wouldn't call it blackmail. The term was used casually. It was nothing more than pressuring me to act."
And Davidson also denied he blackmailed Beys, saying he has no influence over council members. "I don't know more than three people on the council," Davidson said.
Davidson said he sent a funding proposal to Beys which "explained the merits of the program and why [The Homeless Program] needed the money."
But Loong called Beys "weak and scared," saying both Beys and Davidson were at fault.
"I'm upset and disappointed because a person made an arbitrary decision claiming blackmail," Loong said.
Loong said Davidson's opinion of Beys "could have made a difference" in the election. "Chris is persuasive and very persistent," Loong said.
"That $3,000 was Rock for Shelter's money to go to shelters," said Tracy H. Stokes, Co-Chair of Rock for Shelter.
A proposal by the council's social committee to grant Rock for Shelter $1,950 in new funding for this year's concert will be discussed at Sunday's council meeting.
Beys said yesterday there "were no rules" in the legislation dictating where the money should go. In addition, Beys said he tried to contact Holena and other Rock for Shelter representatives concerning the distribution of the money, but they "were nowhere to be found."