The Radcliffe Union of Students (RUS), in its first meeting last night, came up with a partial solution to the persistent shortage of representatives in its legislature.
RUS still needs to fill ten vacancies to achieve a full 38-member body. Eight of the ten vacancies are representatives of the freshman class.
The body unanimously voted to send a letter to all freshmen women, as well as upperclass women in South and Kirkland Houses (which both lack one representative), inviting them to attend the next RUS meeting, when they may be appointed as official delegates.
Although poor election publicity may have caused the apathy of the freshman class, confusion about the role and value of RUS may also have compounded the problem. Hilary A. Nelson '82, an RUS representative, said yesterday.
Collette A. Creppel '82, another representative, added that the poor turnout might reflect a feeling of freshmen that "they've got the world's weight on their shoulders," and therefore want to just settle into their work before getting involved.
Nevertheless, several representatives said RUS should play a more active and visible role within the University in order to improve the organization's image.
RUS has a budget of approximately $12,000 funded by a $5 charge on all undergraduate women's term bills. "What the legislature does with it largely determines what the group does in general," Jennifer R. Levin '80, president of RUS, said yesterday.
A large portion of that money is usually given away to organizations involving or primarily run by women, and to individuals, explaining the body's somewhat passive role.
Judith E. Paprin '79, chairman of the committee on special events, said that the "problem is not one of finding funds but of energy and interest."
This year, more representatives volunteered for Paprin's committee than any other. "It reflects a change in attitude of undergraduates being more and more interested in serving the Harvard-Radcliffe undergraduate community rather than concerning themselves with greater political questions," she said.