UC Struggles to Win Friends, Influence Policy

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A few doors down, Dean of the College Harry R.Lewis '68 says he considers individual councilproposals, but own their own merits. Essentially,he treats the council much like an undergraduatesuggestion box.

"I don't take the [council's] vote as arepresentative vote," Lewis says. "The people whoare casting [council] votes do not have torepresent those who elect them."

Stewart says she's resigned to this attitude:no matter how hard the council pushes in the nameof students, Epps and Lewis will not approve anylegislation which they do not already personallysupport.

"Your success just completely depends onwhether they agree with you," Stewart says.

And this message is apparent to rank-and-filecouncil members as well. Nicola A. McKinney '99says she left the council after two years infrustration at its on-campus impotence.

"I just got frustrated," McKinney says. "I justfelt like people put in a lot of effort and do alot of really remarkable work, and they're reallynot making anything happen."

An Individual Effort

But it can't be said that the council has beencompletely unproductive in recent years.

In addition to the aforementioned improvementsin library hours, shuttle service and Lokerlunches. Lobbying by council members has had animpact on the Core reform process.

But these efforts, as well as other recentcouncil achievements, has been more the product ofdetermined individuals than a powerful whole.

Noah Z. Seton '00 and John Paul Rollert '00 wonover Harvard Dining Services (HDS) for bag lunchesin Loker through purely personal lobbying. Thecouncil's only involvement was to pass a bill in the fall giving the pair a mandate to work with HDS.

The same is true for Jobe G. Danganan '99, whoeffectively worked on a task force for shuttle busreform.

"The success of the task force all depended onthe task force chair," Danganan says. "There weresome task forces that were really effective andinvolved every member of the [council]. Othersweren't as effective."

Even the council president often has to pushreforms alone. Recently, Stewart has made thecreation of a $2 million endowment for studentgroup funding a mission, personally writing out adetailed proposal which she presented at lastMonday's Committee on College Life meeting.

Last fall, in a culmination of this trendtoward individual lobbying, the council voted toopen up positions on student-faculty committees tothe entire student body.