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Plagued by a perennial lack of undergraduates interested in joining Harvard's official student government, the Undergraduate Council's executive board has extended the filing deadline for this year's council candidates in seven of the 13 upper-class houses.
Only 105 students had submitted position papers for council seats by 5 p.m. yesterday, forcing the executive board to extend the deadline to Sunday at 1 p.m. for candidates from Adams, Dudley, Dunster, Leverett, Lowell, Mather and North Houses.
Executive board members said they plan to drop flyers outside student rooms in each of these houses in an effort to encourage new candidates for the council's 88 seats.
Council Secretary Evan B. Rauch '92 described the low turnout, which has been one of the hallmarks of recent council elections, as "marginally disappointing."
"We'd like to see a total of 150 candidates after the extended deadline," said Rauch.
Of the houses that were able to muster enough student interest, Currier House had the highest turnout with 10 candidates. Turnout was highest among the first-year districts, notably in Canaday Hall and the Union dorms, where 13 candidates are vying for five seats.
Several veteran representatives attributed the lack of student interest to the council's ineffectiveness toward the end of last year, when it was unable even to maintain a quorum for its meetings.
Colin V. Gallagher '91, a self-described "dissident voice," said that he wanted to serve on the council "because I was dissatisfied with the UC's performance last year and intend to change it."
"A large task for the UC this year is to restore its image on campus as a competent body," said Randal S. Jeffrey '91, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Divestment and a potential candidate for council chair.
Jeffrey said the council can beef up its imageby expelling representatives who fail to attendmeetings and by increasing its contact with thestudent body.
Many newcomers to the council said they wereenthusiastic about participating in the studentgovernment, arguing that it was important forpeople to take an active role in the Harvardcommunity.
"The UC is the only way a student can reallyshow that he cares about what's going on in hisUniversity," said John P. Illuzzi '94
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