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An Undergraduate Council representative from Lowell House who had been expelled from the council for poor attendance said yesterday that he plans to try to win back his seat.
Drew L. Oliver '92, who violated the council's attendance policy by missing more than five meetings, said he will run for his former seat in the January election. The seat is being filled in the interim by Thomas I. Savage '91, who was the runner-up in October's elections.
Oliver said he missed the meetings because of "scheduling conflicts" between his tutorial and finance committee meetings. "I didn't realize that I would have to spend hours and hours at unproductive meetings," Oliver said.
But Council Chair Evan B. Rauch '91-'92 said Oliver's scheduling conflicts were not a satisfactory excuse for his attendance problems. "Standing committees meet on all days of the week and usually try to schedule around any member's conflict. In any case [Oliver] could have called," he said.
Each representative on the council must attend full council meetings and serve on one of the five standing committees.
Oliver said that the council's finance committee was not his primary interest. "I was really interested in the [structuring] committee. If I couldn't be on the [structuring] committee, I would resign again," he added.
But Rauch said that any member of the Harvard community can join the council's ad hoc committee on structuring. "In fact, the chairperson of that committee is not a council member," Rauch said.
Rauch said he thought Oliver was doing a disservice to Lowell House. "We had two candidates who ran in Cabot House on a platform that they wouldn't attend meetings, and they lost. Oliver ran on a platform stating that he wanted to abolish the council, not stating that he wouldn't attend the meetings," he said.
Oliver said he still believes the council needs radical reform.
"I think the council shouldn't worry about crises around the world that do not concern the immediate needs of the students," he said.
Oliver also said that the council is too big and inefficient. "It doesn't take 88 people and Harvard students' $20 to decide how to put hamburgers in the dining hall," he said.
He said he thinks that the $20 student fee "should go exclusively to student groups," and that the council is doing a "disservice to these groups by sidetracking the money."
But according to Rauch, when Oliver neglected his commitment to the finance committee, he jeopardized the funding of eight student groups. Oliver did not review the grant applications assigned to him by the committee.
"Luckily, other members [of the finance committee] were willing to cover for Oliver," Rauch said.
In other attendance matters, the council voted to reinstate Jeffrey M. Perlman '93 of Mather House when the representative protested his expulsion. The executive board forgave Perlman's five absences because he had not been informed that he had won the election due to a miscount in the election process.
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