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Last night the Undergraduate Council voted unanimously to allocate $1,000 to the Harvard Computer Society (HCS) to create an on-line book exchange that will be operative by the beginning of next semester.
According to Carl P. Sjogreen '00, business manager of HCS, the site will serve the same function as the bulletin boards in Server Hall and the Science Center where most students currently advertise course books for sale.
"This market already exists--it's already out there, and this program just centralizes it," Sjogreen said.
Sjogreen added that the site will be almost entirely self-maintaining. Students will simply post an asking price for their books and work out the details of the sale with interested buyers.
The site will be similar to the newsgroup "harvard.marketplace," where students can post for-sale notices, but the Web site has the advantage of better organization and ease of access.
"Our feeling is that the majority of students know about the Web but not about newsgroups," Sjogreen said.
The book exchange will be linked to related sites on the Web and will be easy to find electronically.
In other business, the council also voted to deliver, brightly colored flyers on Harvard's alcohol policies to all undergraduate mailboxes.
Unlike the letter on alcohol policy that undergraduates received from Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III and Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 last week, the council's flier will address often asked questions rather than repeat University policy.
Council President Lamelle D. Rawlins '99 said that the bill addresses confusion surrounding the confidentiality of medical records for students who go to University Health Services with alcohol-related health problems.
According to University policy, UHS informs senior tutors and the Freshman Dean's Office when students are admitted to Stillman Infirmary for alcohol poisoning--just as for any other prolonged illness--but does not specify the exact nature of the malady.
"There are people who don't know the alcohol policy, and this is important--people's lives are at stake," Rawlins said.
The exact text of the flier is yet to be finalized, but Rawlins, and the bill's co-authors, Nicola A. McKinney '99 and Todd E. Plants '01, said will offer solutions to possible scenarios and address alcohol "Dos and Don'ts."
"We want something bright and simple that answers specific questions," McKinney said.
The resolution passed easily, but some council members said they believed the fliers will be superfluous.
"There is so much information disseminated on this issue--people are amply aware of the risks of overindulgence and I don't see why we need to jump on the bandwagon," said Steven J. Mitby '99, who voted against the resolution.
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