The saying "the more the merrier" is one of the oldest cliches in the English language.
The Undergraduate Council is looking to disprove it.
In a year in which the number of candidates approached a record low, the council has seen its usual share of jockeying and politicking during this week's general election.
Early this week, the council's inaugural election commission announced that only 99 candidates would be competing for the council's 88 spots.
Several houses witnessed non-competitive elections in which the number of seats was greater than or equal to the number of candidates.
Dunster, Mather, North and Winthrop Houses each had four candidates competing for five seats. Quincy House had five students jockeying for six seats; there were two candidates for Dudley Houses's three slots on the council.
The decline from last year was significant. In the fall of 1993, Kirkland and Eliot Houses each had more than twice as many candidates as seats. But this year, the voters in those houses had no choices--there were five candidates competing for five slots in each house. Elections were similarly non-competitive in Currier House and the Southwest district of the Yard.
Results from the election will be available Sunday afternoon, according to commission member and former president Carey W. Gabay '94. Balloting began Tuesday and concluded yesterday.
The modest number of candidates has resulted despite the publicity efforts of the commission, which is comprised of three former council members who have promised not to seek seats this year.
This year's turnout was especially unimpressive because the election commission extended the usual application filing deadline by one day. That move allowed eight more students to run for the council.
Election commission member John A. Mann '92-'94 attributed the low application numbers to the fact that last year's delegates felt underappreciated.
"A lot of representatives were disaffected last spring," said Mann, who served as an executive of the council that semester. "Most of us were working hard on well-attended, quality events and not getting any credit for it because of [scandals]."
Despite the dearth of candidates, the names of some old council power brokers appeared on house ballots.
In particular, former executives David L. Hanselman '94-'95 and Randall A. Fine '96 have decided to return to the council after one-year respites.