The Harvard Alumni Association this week announced the winners in the first of two rounds of elections for senior class marshals.
The 16 semifinalists were chosen by their fellow classmates from a total of 80 candidates who entered the race this year.
The semifinalists for the senior class marshals were Eric T. Eads '92, of Leverett House; Edward D. Farley '92, of Quincy House; Joseph T. Gentile '92, of Kirkland House; Gregory P. Lisi '92, of North House; Anton N.A. Quist '92, of North-House; Lawrence M. Rhein '92, of Leverett House; Jonathan D. Unger '92, of Kirkland House; and Alliric I. Willis '92, of Adams House.
The Radcliffe marshal semifinalists were Gabrielle C. Burton '92, of Adams House; Georgia R. Bush '92, of Currier House; Deming Chen '92, of Eliot House; Kirsten J. Dirksen '92, of Winthrop House; Kelley A. Doyle '92, of Mather House; Cara A. Dunne '92, of Dunster House; Angela M. Payne '92, of Leverett House; Trisha D. Perez '92, of Lowell House.
"The class marshals' principal responsibility is to plan social events for the senior class, finishing with Commencement week activities," said Diane Jellis, associate director of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA).
"I like organizing social activities and working with people," said semifinalist Eric Eads '92 of Leverett House. "I can easily see myself doing this for the next 50 or 60 years," he added.
After Commencement, marshals continue as titular heads of their class, coordinating alumni social activities in conjunction with the alumni office. Jellis also said, "class marshals put in a lot of effort and do considerable amount of work related to class activities." She added, "in the past most class treasuries would have an average of $200 by the time they graduate, but in recent years some senior classes have raised funds exceeding $10,000."
"The number of students who enter the elections seems to vary widely," Jellis said. She said that in 1979 there was a total of 79 candidates who ran for the positions, but in 1988 the total reached 117.
All candidates interviewed uniformly expressed their surprise and thrill on making the first round. Deming Chen '92 of Eliot House said, "I'm thrilled that my classmates chose me to represent them. Its very exciting."
Semifinalists interviewed also said they were not actively campaigning for votes. "There are no rules prohibiting campaigning, but by tradition it's generally not done," said Jellis. One election supervisor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, "Campaigning would be a kiss of death for the candidate, its really frowned upon."
Cara Dunne '92 of Dunster House, who said she entered the campaign on a lark, said she also thought campaigning was unnecessary. "By now the class should know who we are and what we are about," she said.
Gabrielle Burton '92 of Adams House agreed, saying, "Campaigning isn't going to help. It's up to the people."
Despite the noncompetitive nature of the election, all semifinalists interviewed cautiously expressed their desire to win the election. "I want to win because as a marshal I'll have an opportunity to will give something of myself back to Harvard and to my class for all the good things they have given me," said Angela Payne '92 of Leverett House.
The final round of elections, which will select four marshals each to represent Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, will conclude Friday.