The Undergraduate Council last night unanimously agreed to submit a $24,000 bid to bring the popular comedy and magic act of Penn and Teller to Sanders Theater.
The offer is the council's first attempt to organize a large concert performance since failing repeatedly last year to bring a high-profile act to Harvard.
Even though ticket prices have been tentatively set at between $15 and $18, Tree Loong '93, co-chair of the social committee, said the council would probably lose between $1000 and $4000 by subsidizing ticket sales.
Council members said that a successful night of comedy and magic could significantly improve the council's image among undergraduates. They added that it might restore some of the credibility the council lost when it organized concerts for Suzanne Vega and Ziggy Marley at a combined loss of more than $60,000.
The council has historically had difficulty planning successful and profitable concerts, and has frequently failed in its attempts to attract top acts.
"I think this would be something the UC would be remembered for," said David A. Aronberg '93, the council's chair.
Council officials said that the high cost of the comedy act would have no impact on the council's desire to organize a musical concert as well.
"In fact, one my priorities as chair is to push for a spring concert along with a comedy show," said Aronberg.
The council's bid includes a $16,000 performance fee for Penn and Teller and two suites at the Charles Hotel for $700--"grease money," according to Malcolm A. Heinicke, the council's vice chair. The hotel expenses, he said, would "make the offer look better on paper."
Before the business of passing legislation began last night, however, Sergeant Larry Fennelly of the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) addressed the council "to commend the UC for making students more aware about security issues."
Fennelly informed council members that fewer petty larcenies have been reported this year, although he said there is an increase in obscene phone calls. He urged students to report any criminal activity to HUPD.
"If anyone is being victimized, please call the police," he said. "Any time crimes go unreported, you're doing the thieves a favor."
In other business, the council approved the purchase of bulletin boards for the Houses and the Yard dorms in order to keep undergraduates informed about council business.
Another bill, sponsored by the academics committee, reestablished the Freshman/Upperclass Connection, a council-organized resource to help first-years solicit advice from upperclass students.
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