Several members of the Harvard Council for Undergraduate Affairs expressed keen disappointment yesterday at student apathy that allowed four HCUA seats to go uncontested in House elections Wednesday.
The Eliot, Kirkland, and Winthrop House elections for House at-large seats in the HCUA all saw nominees voted to the Council by acclamation, as only one student in each House bothered to file a nomination petition. Quincy House did not elect a representative, because no student in the House filed a petition for the Council seat.
Some HCUA members blamed the student indifference on a lack of communication between the HCUA and undergraduates; others mentioned the inherent unsensational nature of the Council; and still others said the lack of interest was due to Harvard's traditional blase attitude toward student politics.
All were united, however, in expressing disappointment in the student response, especially since the elections had been advertised considerably in advance, and notice of the elections had been posted in all the Houses.
Evan A. Davis '66 said he was "disappointed and shocked with the apathy shown by Harvard students. They just must not be aware of the possibilities in HCUA," Davis said. "This indicates to me that too many Council members became so wrapped up in their respective committees that they failed to communicate with others in their House."
Davis said he thought that most students are not aware that any undergraduate can attend HCUA meetings and participate on Council committees.
"This is the way students first get interested in the Council, and it is those who participate at this level who want to be come members later," Davis said. He bided that he would propose in the near future that the HCUA publicize the opportunities open to non-members for participation in Council activities.
Mare A. Biotnick '64 called Davis's suggestions "a fine idea" but added "I don't think it would draw many additional people. Not many students have time to go dasking off to HCUA meetings all the time, much loss to work on committees. Membership in the Council requires a great deal of hard, unpublished, and often thankless work. The Council does as efficient job, but there's nothing spectacular about the work that would have wide popular appeal."
Biotnick and Davis both noted that Harvard's traditional attitude toward student organizations has been indifference. "This election is typical of the Harvard reaction to student polities and student problems," Biotnick said. "This fall we had an open Council meeting, in which any undergraduate could come inland discuse any issued, but only one freshman abowed up."
Read H. Ellis '65, representative from Dunster, felt that this disinterest, was largely responsible for the lack of competition for House seats on the Council. "This response is very disheartening, because efficient student representation, depends entirely on undergraduates' interest," he said.
Voting is the Houses for representatives at-large was typically light. Dunster led in students voting with 65 pre cent, in most of the other Houses where balloting actually did take place, fewer that half the students cast votes