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Eschewing conventional techniques in his campaign to become vice chair of the Undergraduate Council, candidate Adam D. Taxin '93 this week invited most of the body's top brass and all the first-year representatives to three separate "informational" dinner meetings at his native Quincy House.
Taxin said that nearly all of those invited came to the gatherings, which were held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Council members who attended said that Taxin spent most of the 45-minute sessions explaining the nuts and bolts of council committee work.
"[It was] fascinating stuff, like `the academics committee deals with academics,'" said outgoing secretary Evan B. Rauch '91-'92, a candidate for council chair.
Taxin said the meetings were originally intended to "indoctrinate" council representatives in an effort to gain votes. But he added that he soon shifted the focus of the meetings because he thought an informational approach would be more useful to first-year representatives.
Despite some initial apprehension that the gatherings would simply be partisan attempts to secure votes, several first-year council members said they found the sessions quite helpful.
"I was a little suspicious at first," said Adam G. Wolff '94, a council member who represents the Canaday/Union district. Instead, he said that Taxin "didn't sell himself at all. It was a nice chance to get to know people on the council."
"I thought it was pretty objective considering it was run by a candidate," said Jonathan K. Hsu '94, another Canaday/Union representative. "It was a good way to meet everyone."
Even veteran council members, perhaps less starry-eyed about the campus political scene than their first-year counterparts, said for the most part that the sessions were productive.
"It's a fairly obvious ploy," Rauch said, "but it's a positive one. It's nice because we get to know some of the students."
Some of the attending council members added that the gatherings made them look favorably on Taxin's candidacy.
Rico Reyes, Taxin's only opponent for the vice chair position, conceded that his opponent's strategy might prove effective, but said that the meetings were largely irrelevant to the position both are vying for.
"The vice chair is mainly responsible for administrative duties," said Reyes, who was not invited to any of the dinners. "I hope that the students do realize that the role of the vice chair isn't to define policy."
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