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Gilchrist to Seek Council Presidency

By Peggy S. Chen

Wesley B. Gilchrist '98 announced his intention to run for Undergraduate Council president Sunday, making him the only candidate to challenge incumbent Robert M. Hyman '98 so far.

Gilchrist pointed to his dissatisfaction with council procedures and issues as his motivation.

"[Declaring my candidacy] was something I've been thinking about for a couple of months," Gilchrist said. "The meetings need to be run more efficiently. We seem not be following through on our resolutions."

The Leverett House sophomore said that the current tenor of meetings is something he would hope to change as president.

"I've talked to people in the council and they are somewhat disappointed with the use of extensive rhetoric," he said. "We just keep saying the same thing over and over again," he added.

Gilchrist said that he believes that the council's lengthy debate has contributed to a high drop-out rate of representatives. He said that he would insist that council members develop resolutions in committee before presenting them before the entire council.

Gilchrist would also set time limits for debate.

"The president is supposed to be the one providing the structure," he said.

Gilchrist said that he is running for his own purposes, and that he is not intimidated by Hyman's position as the incumbent.

"He was not the worst [president], he was not the best," Gilchrist said. "Rob is a great guy. I'm not running just [to] challenge him."

The goodwill seems to be mutual.

"Wes Gilchrist is a nice guy [and] a talented council representative," Hyman said. "I think he's got a lot of good ideas and I'm looking forward to working with him."

Yet Hyman said he feels that the council has been very successful this term, and that the goals of "advocacy and service" had been fulfilled under his leadership.

He referred to council resolutions on key card access, Youthvote '96, calendar reform, and Core reform to illustrate his point.

Hyman conceded that some reform needs to be made on debate length and committee efficiency but said that he is working on it: "I've made the better utilization of committee a high priority."

Hyman also defended the council's notoriously lengthy debate.

"In large part, the long meetings are a byproduct of the great deal of issues we've brought up," he said.

Hyman also noted that he prefers to give the council members the power to decide the time limits of debate.

Council members said that Gilchrist will have to work hard to unseat the presidential incumbent.

"Wes Gilchrist is certainly a well-spoken and respected member of the council," Treasurer Edward B. Smith '97 said.

"But given the success that Rob's presidency has had, it will be difficult for Wes to challenge him.

"In large part, the long meetings are a byproduct of the great deal of issues we've brought up," he said.

Hyman also noted that he prefers to give the council members the power to decide the time limits of debate.

Council members said that Gilchrist will have to work hard to unseat the presidential incumbent.

"Wes Gilchrist is certainly a well-spoken and respected member of the council," Treasurer Edward B. Smith '97 said.

"But given the success that Rob's presidency has had, it will be difficult for Wes to challenge him.

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