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Students Express Apathy Before Council Elections

By Justin E.M. Jones, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

While last week's vote on grapes sparked heated campus-wide debates, many students are apparently apathetic about this week's elections for president and vice president of the Undergraduate Council.

Some students said they are unimpressed by the candidates' platforms.

"I think the platforms people are running on seem useless and petty, and that makes me disinterested entirely...there's nothing that jumps out at me," said Adam S. Cohen '01.

But others said they think that this year's election is less political or personal than those held in previous years.

"It's a lot cleaner. Last year, Rawlins was bashed by people...she was torn apart. I haven't seen that this year," said Suzanne M. Miller '99.

Others said they don't feel that the candidates have made sufficient efforts to reach out to the student body.

"I'm very disappointed in the lack of voter-candidate interaction. I've only met one [candidate]; I don't remember who she was," said Will P. Bohlen '01.

Ramesh O. Johari '98 said he thinks that apathy has become increasingly evident over the last three years.

"Since popular elections started three years ago, they've lost importance every year," he said. "Candidates are basically saying the same thing, and the changes made by the U.C. year-to-year are not very visible at all. So therefore people care less and less every year."

Many students said they are interested in issues such as universal keycard access, which are addressed by many candidates.

"I was locked in the Winthrop court-yard at about four in the morning for about 20 minutes," said Thomas P. Windom '00 who is a former council member.

David W. Foster '00, who said he plans to vote for Beth A. Stewart '00, said he is in favor of the council's playing a less political role on campus.

"I like the idea of changing the role of the U.C. so we worry about things besides fighting about grapes," Foster said. "I'd like to see it be about services for the student body."

A few students said they will base their votes on official or unofficial endorsements by organizations with which they are affiliated.

William Edwards '01 said that, regardless of who is elected as president, the council has limited control in certain issues concerning students.

"In terms of student government, I think ours has much power as can be expected or hoped for. The administration has a pretty good sense of what they want to do, and they don't need too much student guidance," he said.

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