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The recently defeated candidate for the presidency of the Harvard Republicar Club filed a letter of complaint yesterday with Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, protesting what he terms the "peculiar campaign practices" in the club's February elections.
William F. Harnett '78 said yesterday he wrote the letter in order to bring to light certain alleged abrogations of Robert's Rules of Order, which serves as the final parliamentary authority for the club.
The rules require a two-thirds vote of the meeting to amend a standing rule, and Hartnett claims that during the elections, this requirement was not met in the passage of three motions which he feels may have "seriously, and perhaps negatively" affected his chances of election.
The controversial voiding of 12 absentee ballots, filed earlier by members of the club who were unable to attend the elections, was the first motion passed.
Prior to the meeting, the club's election committee had decided to allow 12 members of the club, who had to attend mandatory meetings at the Fox and Owl clubs while the Republican Club elections were held, to vote by absentee ballots. But at the actual election meeting club members voted to disallow the ballots.
A proposal to settle the order of speakers by lottery was the second motion, and a proposal by Hartnett's opponent to add 30 seconds to his speech after he had used up his allotted time was the third.
Because none of the motions passed by the required two-thirds vote, Hartnett said that there is a question as to the legality of the election process.
"I am mainly interested in the legal aspect of this question," Hartnett said yesterday. "Perhaps I should be more incensed by the election, but I'm not. I have been elected to a club position as director of membership and most of my slate came in," he added. Hartnett also said he would like to know the outcome of the absentee balloting.
"If I lost the election despite those ballots, I would let any possibility of a new election drop. But if I won it, I would want to run again. I feel that is fair," he said.
Hartnett has asked Dean Epps to declare either that the election committee was out of order for allowing the absentee voting in the first place, or that the rules of the club give the committee the power to permit such ballots.
Dean Epps met yesterday with members of the Republican Club, but the outcome of the meeting remains confidential.
Hugh Hewitt '78, former president of the club, said yesterday, "Dean Epps feels that it would be inappropriate to open the meeting for public discussion. Hewitt adds he met with Epps to get an opinion on whether the election process was correct.
"Dean Epps made it perfectly clear that it is the policy of the College to intervene in undergraduate organization disputes," Hewitt said.
"I expect that Dean Epps will make some kind of report on his findings about the elections," Hartnett said
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