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Republicans Fill Board Spots

Wheatley, Lascelle Increase Club's Racial, Gender Diversity

By Angela C. Walch

The Harvard Republican Club (HRC) filled the two remaining spots on its executive board this week with a female student and a black student, steps which club leaders said highlight the organization's diversity.

Travis D. Wheatley '99 was elected president and Jennie M. Lascelle '98 was elected member-at-large during the club's elections Monday night.

Both Wheatley and outgoing president Jay M. Dickerson '98 stressed the percentage of women on the executive board.

As a result of Monday's elections, two of the board's six members are now women. Melissa R. Langsam '00 was elected freshman member-at-large last semester.

Although no women served as HRC officers last year, Dickerson said Lascelle has been informally involved with the board for the past two years.

Dickerson took issue with a Jan. 29 article in The Crimson that portrayed the club as male-dominated.

He added that he believes the club's gender ratio is comparable to any other campus group, "except for the Radcliffe Union of Students."

Lascelle said that while she believes many women are nominally club members, she would like to see more women regularly attending meetings.

"The number of women who actually go to the meetings is not as great as it should be," she said.

Lascelle said she felt there was little difference between titled officers, who this year are all male, and other executive board members.

"Even though there are titles, the executive board works closely together as a unit," she said.

Wheatley said that while the club has had problems with female participation in the past, the HRC is "now just like any other club.

"There is no bar or impediment for woman leadership in the club," Wheatley said. "All women...are welcome to join. We don't create an environment that's anti-women."

Dickerson also said that the election of a minority president also reflects a greater diversity in the club.

Wheatley's father is black and his mother is white. He said his ethnic background is not an issue in the background is not an issue in the HRC.

"I don't feel at all uncomfortable [in the HRC]," he said. "I didn't win the election because I'm black, but it's not an impediment either."

Wheatley said he plans to make few changes in the club's activities.

"The club's been doing well for the past years," Wheatley said. "The biggest change [will be] to have closer ties to national organizations, like the National College Republicans, now that Harvard will allow us to associate with [such groups]."

Wheatley won on the second ballot of the election, defeating Steven J. Mitby '99.

Monday's election was HMC's second of the year. The first election was nullified because of voting technicalities. Wheatley was elected president in both elections

"I don't feel at all uncomfortable [in the HRC]," he said. "I didn't win the election because I'm black, but it's not an impediment either."

Wheatley said he plans to make few changes in the club's activities.

"The club's been doing well for the past years," Wheatley said. "The biggest change [will be] to have closer ties to national organizations, like the National College Republicans, now that Harvard will allow us to associate with [such groups]."

Wheatley won on the second ballot of the election, defeating Steven J. Mitby '99.

Monday's election was HMC's second of the year. The first election was nullified because of voting technicalities. Wheatley was elected president in both elections

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