Candidates Debate Self-Segregation

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Meghan T. Purdy

After a discussion tackling the issues of perceived racial self-segregation by student groups and opportunities for low-income students, the Black Men’s Forum (BMF) endorsed John S. Haddock ’07 and Annie R. Riley ’07 for president and vice president of the Undergraduate Council (UC) yesterday.

“We are confident in his leadership abilities,” said Tracy “Ty” Moore II ’06, president of BMF and a former UC presidential candidate. “We like how they emphasized the critical role of cultural groups on campus and we like the idea of increased funding for student groups and streamlining the funding process.”

Moore added that BMF chose the Haddock-Riley ticket because of their emphasis on making student life affordable by eliminating fees for social events and laundry, as well as reducing the cost of sourcebooks.

“We believe that he has the experience necessary to get the issues they put forward in their platform accomplished,” Moore said.

At yesterday’s forum, UC presidential candidate John F. Voith ’07 opened by noting his steadfast belief in the UC and his plans for its reform.

“We don’t want to waste money on events that you don’t care about,” said Tara Gadgil ’07, Voith’s running mate.

But it was the issue of racial self-segregation that dominated the discussion.

Riley said that her vision of a multicultural week that would involve all students, including those who do not generally participate in cultural groups, is a way to promote “community life at Harvard.”

Haddock added that BMF “really brings students together” and said that self-segregation was a non-issue for him.

Gadgil spoke of her own experience with the stigma of perceived self-segregation within the South Asian Association.

She added that the UC should fund events which bring people from various backgrounds together.

Candidates Magnus Grimeland ’07 and Thomas D. Hadfield ’08 elicited laughter from the crowd after riddling their two-minute opening statement with curse words and attacks on their competitors’ UC track record.

“I think you should expect more from candidates than what you have heard from the previous two tickets,” Hadfield said. He ended by saying, “No bullshit tonight.”

Grimeland said that although Haddock and Voith have been on the UC for years, they accomplished very little during their tenures.

“Let’s cut the crap,” he said. “We are the ticket that is going to get stuff done.”

After the hour-long debate, members of BMF secluded themselves in the Adams Upper Common Room to reach a consensus on their endorsement.

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