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Eliot House Won't Pay for Uniforms

Committee Vetoes Subsidy for New Crew Team Jackets

By C.r. Mcfadden

Eliot House's intramural crew team will still take to the waters this spring, but they will not receive a subsidy for uniforms from the house committee.

In a reversal of a decision made after a stormy two-hour debate last December, the Eliot House Committee last night voted 19-7 with one abstention against giving the crew team money to purchase new jackets.

House residents yesterday expressed misgivings about their previous vote, which had allocated $800 to help crew team members purchase 32 recyclable jackets for use during spring rowing season.

"People in the house are angry about this," Jarrett N. Blanc'97 said last night.

At the previous meeting, 13 house members-mostly crew team members-did not attend the meeting but voted on the proposal via proxy ballots. All proxy ballots counted were in favour of the grant, and the proxies proved decisive in the vote's outcome.

"When one side packs a meeting, it's OK to fix that," said George S. Wang '95, who is a Crimson editor. "The [original] vote was a misrepresentation of the house as a whole."

Social Co-chair Matt L. Bruce'96 said crew team members misrepresented their need in their original grant request. Although the rowers claimed that they needed the money immediately, crew team members have yet to purchase the jackets, he said.

"They were misleading," Bruce said. "I think this is sufficient grounds to make us reconsider."

Since their last vote, the committee has also discovered that it had less money available in its bank account than it had previously anticipated. "We really have no money for these grants," Bruce said, noting that this year's expenses would exceed present budget limits.

In light of the revised financial outlook, residents said house committee money should be spent in ways which benefit the entire house, rather than on the crew team in particular.

"We should open this up to all intramural teams," Jana M.Meader'96 said. "There's a huge slippery slope in terms of founding just one sport. What about hi-tops for the basketball team?"

House Committee Co-Chair Ben F. Abbott'96 said the committee has recently voted to restructure its grant application, notifying all groups about funding considerations.

"We want to be fair to everyone," he said.

John M. Malleis'96, committee co-chair, also said that the committee had voted to amend the house constitution, barring the use proxy ballots in future elections.

Towards the meeting's close, resident Chris P. Herzog'97 presented the committee with a list of "Eleven Problems in Eliot House" which he said "contribute to an unfriendly atmosphere."

The list included complaints about the house's laundry machines, common room hours and photocopiers.

But other house members were quick to show their house loyalty. "This is a great place to live," Meader said.

Abbott said the sympathized with Herzog and would bring Herzog's concerns to the Eliot House masters.

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