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More Minorities Elected to New Student Council

Turnout rises; women hold third of 90 seats

By Caitlin E. Anderson and Barbara E. Martinez, CRIMSON STAFF WRITERSs

The election returns from this year's Undergraduate Council elections, which ended early yesterday morning, show a stronger representation of minorities and women than in recent memory.

The 90 members of this year's council were elected from a record high pool of 155 candidates, a dramatic rise from last year's 114 contenders.

Women comprised 56, or 36.1 percent, of the candidates. Thirty of the winners-a third of the new council-are women.

During this year's campaign, council members attended meetings of student groups including the Asian American Association (AAA), Latinas Unidas and the Radcliffe Union of Students (RUS) to recruit candidates from traditionally underrepresented constituencies.

The efforts to diversify the council were led in part by Lamelle D. Rawlins '99 the first female president. But Rawlins said that she was disappointed by the election results.

"It's not just that women aren't running," she said last night. "There needs to be a shift in attitudes among students for women to be equally represented."

The council does not keep figures on the ethnic background of candidates or members, more than 10 members interviewed last night said the new council has a greater showing of Asian-Americans.

The proportion of African-Americans on the council has remained strong, although the body still has few Hispanics, members said.

"Anyone at the meeting tonight would vouch for the diversity being greater than last year," Rawlins said.

At the first meeting of the council's 16th session last night, members elected a secretary and treasurer in the first order of business.

"There is no doubt in my mind that this U.C. is going increase the legitmacy of student government at Harvard," Rawlins said in opening remarks.

Rawlins said the two major issues on the Council's agenda this semester are increasing Faculty diversity and changing the college move-in policy.

The council will be forming task forces to address both issues.

Council Vice President Mark A. Price '98 announced a new council policy for soliciting constituent opinion.

Instead of holding office hours, as they did in the past, council members will be required to table on Sunday nights.

"You sit there and actually solicit your constituents' views on what is going on on campus," Price said.

"We must move forward," Price added. "We seek and exist for the search for veritas."

Olivia Verma '00 won the position of treasurer over Sterling P.A. Darling '01.

Verma said that she hoped to improve the council's newsletter, Veritas, which is sent to the student body.

The secretary also takes minutes at council meetings and maintains the council's Web site.

Verma also said that she would like to produce more professional and consistent posters for the council.

Beth A. Stewart '00 won the highly contested office of treasurer.

The other four candidates were Brian J. Chan '99, Steven N. Chang '01, Steven J. Mitby '00 and Marc Stad '01.

Stewart, who served as the treasurer last semester, asked council members to vote for her to ensure a "relatively seemless transition." She also is proficient at Quicken.

The council's executive board, comprising the four top officers, dockets legislation for Council meetings, enacts temporary by-laws, allocates up to $2,000 for publicity expenses and decides whether or not to expel members who have more than five absenses.

Diversity Efforts

Grace Y. Shieh '99, co-president of AAA, said she feels her organization's efforts to promote Asian-American candidates have paid off.

"I'm glad that more Asian Americans feel that the political environment is more comfortable, that they feel they can change the U.C.," Shieh said.

"The apathy before was the idea that this [council] is a body that doesn't represent them," Shieh added.

According to Shieh, the council's difficulties in diversifying are common to all broad organizations.

"A lot of women who are very strong would rather be involved in RUS, and it's the same way with Asian students," Shieh said. "I chose AAA because their interests were my interests," she added.

Heather C. Chang '99, this year's only returning Asian-American woman council member and leader of the Pforzheimer House delegation, said that she has mixed feelings about the election results.

"I was very encouraged by the number of Asian Americans, although unfortunately the number of women elected is still low," Chang said.

According to Chang and other council members, the problem lies less in getting women to run for office than in getting them elected.

Price, who is African-American, said this year's council is much more diverse.

"I think it's what we're looking for in terms of having a council more representative of the student body," Price said.

Lillian J. Epstein '00, a returning council member now in Leverett House, participated in the council's recruiting efforts.

"We conducted outreaches to the student groups, to promote women candidates and inform students about U.C. initiatives to push for more women and minority hiring," she said.

Many of the female candidates said they based the decision to run on these conversations with other female council members.

Kathleen M. Douglas '99, Dunster House delegation leader, was a last-minute addition to the list of candidates.

"After speaking with Lamelle and looking at the candidates, I realized that the people running definitely did not represent the campus as a whole," she said.

"I wanted to run to balance the scales, to get women, minorities, gays, lesbians and others heard on campus," Douglas added.

Aside from the continuing gender gap, election commission co-chair and returning council member Benjamin W. Hulse '99 said he was pleased with the overall enthusiasm level in this year's election.

"I think it looks like a terrific group, perhaps the strongest ever," Hulse said. "We have a large number of people returning-something like 33 returning members, up from about 20 last year-which will give us a lot of institutional memory."

Hulse said that the high voter turnout was also encouraging, especially in the Eliot, Mather and Yard races.

Fourteen of the 17 districts were "competitive"-the races there had more candidates than seats. In those districts voter turnout averaged 34 percent of students. Competitive upperclass houses, however, only saw an average voter turnout of 23 percent.

Hulse said he was particularly excited about the high voter turnout from the class of 2001.

More than half of all first-years logged on to choose their council candidates, with a high of 63 percent from the Southeast Yard.

Although the races in Leverett, Lowell and Quincy houses attracted only as many candidates as there were seats, this year's election filled all of the council positions.

Last year, some houses had as many as three empty seats after the election.

The New Members

Evelyn H. Sung '00, a resident of Winthrop House, said that the extensive publicity by advocates of female and minority representation influenced her decision to run.

"I was interested in the U.C., but I wouldn't have found as much time to do it if there hadn't been so much publicity," Sung said.

As part of her platform, Sung advocated activities that would increase the interaction between different student cultural groups. Sung she she seeks to improve the diversity of the Faculty.

"A lot of the issues that I would support as a woman or an Asian-American would also benefit all students," Sung said, citing campus safety and faculty diversity as examples.

Neil Sinhababu '01 said he walked from room to room and "swallowed fire" while wearing a sign that advocated Core Curriculum reform.

"I wanted to make the experience worthwhile so they didn't think I was just bothering them," Sinhababu said.

Sinhababu said that he realized Core reform was an important issue when he first opened his course catalogue and saw how much influence the Core would have on his course schedule.

"I was just tired of complaining about the U.C., and I thought that it would be good to actually do something about it instead of just complaining about it," he said.

Alison F. Egan '01, a representative from the Canaday/Union district, said that campaigning in college is very different than in high school.

"I had a lot of fun campaigning. In high school you [didn't] have to knock on doors," Egan said. "I'm looking forward to getting to know a lot of people in my district this year."

Egan said she is particularly interested in issues that will affect first-year constituents, such as the fall move-in policy.

"[At the meeting] there were a lot of things that were mentioned as goals for the year, but it seems like once we break into small groups things will start to happen pretty quickly," Egan said.

"I'd like to try to make freshman year a little better by getting a frozenyogurt machine in Annenberg," she said.

The New Council

ADAMS (Turnout 18%)1. Carmelo Larose '002. Eric M. Nelson '993. C. Thomas Brown '994. Kathryn Markham '995. Andrew J. Green '98

MATHER (35.4%)1. Jobe G. Danganan '992. Mark D. Palmenter '003. David J. Malan '994. Anna M. Baldwin '005. John Paul Rollert '006. Bryan E. McKrell '98

QUINCY (13.2%)1. Sarah K. Hurwitz '992. Keanne C. Henry '993. James T. Grimmelmann '994. Benjamin A. Rahn '995. Chloe Jean Lopez '966. Alexandra Budabin '00

DUNSTER (19.2%)1. Kathleen M. Douglas '992. Emma C. Cheuse '983. Asti Pilika '984. Lauren A. Hammer '985. Susannah R. Mandel '98

KIRKLAND (27.5%)1. Justin D. Lerer '992. Noah Z. Seton '003. Nicola A. McKinney '994. Anne M. Thompson '995. William Jay '98

ELIOT (33.5%)1. Peter S. Manasantivongs '982. Cody C. Tibbetts '993. Benjamin W. Hulse '994. Trevor S. Blake '005. Olivia Verma '006. Robert S. Schwartz '00

LEVERETT (11.1%)1. Lillian Epstein '002. Lindsay Pindyck3. Curtis J. Mahoney4. Matthew S. Caywood5. William F. Abely6. Eli Poliakoff '00

CABOT (8.4%)1. Matthew J. Aliberti2. Andrew F. Ruggiero '983. Helen L. Steele '994. Errol L. Fields '985. Michael F. Rizzo '99

LOWELL (5.5%)1. Samuel C. Cohen '002. Noah R. Freeman '983. Steven J. Mitby '994. Ryan Dorris '005. Angela Wiggins '006. La Tasha Edwards '99

CURRIER (33%)1. Lanhee J. Chen '992. June Yoshinari '983. Shirley Lisa Sadioglu '994. Adam S. Vaina '975. Christa M. Franklin '98

PFORZHEIMER (24.3%)1. Heather Chang '992. Chuck A. Truesdell '993. Brian J. Chan '984. Kamil E. Redmond '995. Jeffrey Kurashige '00

DUDLEY (12%)1. Diana L. Adair '982. Alex Myers '003. Chris Morton

WINTHROP (9.6%)1. Beth A. Stewart '992. Evelyn H. Sung '993. Kevin A. Shapiro '004. Derek C. Araujo '005. Hollis C. Waite '98

CANADAY/UNION (44.8%)1. Hanindar K. Dhesi '012. Joaquin Vega '013. Alison Egan '014. J. Justin Pasquariello '015. Fentrice Driskell '016. Larry Obst '01

NORTH YARD (46.5%)1. Mark Stad '012. Flora Kim '013. Erik T. Smith '014. Auden Velasquez '015. John Burton '016. Tim Daskivich '01

SOUTHEAST YARD (63.2%)1. Steve Chung '012. Sterling Darling '013. Neil Sinhababu '014. Todd Plants '015. Dan Hughes '016. Michael Tan '01

SOUTHWEST YARD (47.3%)1. Chris King '012. Jared Brammer '013. Eddy Dominguez '014. Alexis Karteron '0

"It's not just that women aren't running," she said last night. "There needs to be a shift in attitudes among students for women to be equally represented."

The council does not keep figures on the ethnic background of candidates or members, more than 10 members interviewed last night said the new council has a greater showing of Asian-Americans.

The proportion of African-Americans on the council has remained strong, although the body still has few Hispanics, members said.

"Anyone at the meeting tonight would vouch for the diversity being greater than last year," Rawlins said.

At the first meeting of the council's 16th session last night, members elected a secretary and treasurer in the first order of business.

"There is no doubt in my mind that this U.C. is going increase the legitmacy of student government at Harvard," Rawlins said in opening remarks.

Rawlins said the two major issues on the Council's agenda this semester are increasing Faculty diversity and changing the college move-in policy.

The council will be forming task forces to address both issues.

Council Vice President Mark A. Price '98 announced a new council policy for soliciting constituent opinion.

Instead of holding office hours, as they did in the past, council members will be required to table on Sunday nights.

"You sit there and actually solicit your constituents' views on what is going on on campus," Price said.

"We must move forward," Price added. "We seek and exist for the search for veritas."

Olivia Verma '00 won the position of treasurer over Sterling P.A. Darling '01.

Verma said that she hoped to improve the council's newsletter, Veritas, which is sent to the student body.

The secretary also takes minutes at council meetings and maintains the council's Web site.

Verma also said that she would like to produce more professional and consistent posters for the council.

Beth A. Stewart '00 won the highly contested office of treasurer.

The other four candidates were Brian J. Chan '99, Steven N. Chang '01, Steven J. Mitby '00 and Marc Stad '01.

Stewart, who served as the treasurer last semester, asked council members to vote for her to ensure a "relatively seemless transition." She also is proficient at Quicken.

The council's executive board, comprising the four top officers, dockets legislation for Council meetings, enacts temporary by-laws, allocates up to $2,000 for publicity expenses and decides whether or not to expel members who have more than five absenses.

Diversity Efforts

Grace Y. Shieh '99, co-president of AAA, said she feels her organization's efforts to promote Asian-American candidates have paid off.

"I'm glad that more Asian Americans feel that the political environment is more comfortable, that they feel they can change the U.C.," Shieh said.

"The apathy before was the idea that this [council] is a body that doesn't represent them," Shieh added.

According to Shieh, the council's difficulties in diversifying are common to all broad organizations.

"A lot of women who are very strong would rather be involved in RUS, and it's the same way with Asian students," Shieh said. "I chose AAA because their interests were my interests," she added.

Heather C. Chang '99, this year's only returning Asian-American woman council member and leader of the Pforzheimer House delegation, said that she has mixed feelings about the election results.

"I was very encouraged by the number of Asian Americans, although unfortunately the number of women elected is still low," Chang said.

According to Chang and other council members, the problem lies less in getting women to run for office than in getting them elected.

Price, who is African-American, said this year's council is much more diverse.

"I think it's what we're looking for in terms of having a council more representative of the student body," Price said.

Lillian J. Epstein '00, a returning council member now in Leverett House, participated in the council's recruiting efforts.

"We conducted outreaches to the student groups, to promote women candidates and inform students about U.C. initiatives to push for more women and minority hiring," she said.

Many of the female candidates said they based the decision to run on these conversations with other female council members.

Kathleen M. Douglas '99, Dunster House delegation leader, was a last-minute addition to the list of candidates.

"After speaking with Lamelle and looking at the candidates, I realized that the people running definitely did not represent the campus as a whole," she said.

"I wanted to run to balance the scales, to get women, minorities, gays, lesbians and others heard on campus," Douglas added.

Aside from the continuing gender gap, election commission co-chair and returning council member Benjamin W. Hulse '99 said he was pleased with the overall enthusiasm level in this year's election.

"I think it looks like a terrific group, perhaps the strongest ever," Hulse said. "We have a large number of people returning-something like 33 returning members, up from about 20 last year-which will give us a lot of institutional memory."

Hulse said that the high voter turnout was also encouraging, especially in the Eliot, Mather and Yard races.

Fourteen of the 17 districts were "competitive"-the races there had more candidates than seats. In those districts voter turnout averaged 34 percent of students. Competitive upperclass houses, however, only saw an average voter turnout of 23 percent.

Hulse said he was particularly excited about the high voter turnout from the class of 2001.

More than half of all first-years logged on to choose their council candidates, with a high of 63 percent from the Southeast Yard.

Although the races in Leverett, Lowell and Quincy houses attracted only as many candidates as there were seats, this year's election filled all of the council positions.

Last year, some houses had as many as three empty seats after the election.

The New Members

Evelyn H. Sung '00, a resident of Winthrop House, said that the extensive publicity by advocates of female and minority representation influenced her decision to run.

"I was interested in the U.C., but I wouldn't have found as much time to do it if there hadn't been so much publicity," Sung said.

As part of her platform, Sung advocated activities that would increase the interaction between different student cultural groups. Sung she she seeks to improve the diversity of the Faculty.

"A lot of the issues that I would support as a woman or an Asian-American would also benefit all students," Sung said, citing campus safety and faculty diversity as examples.

Neil Sinhababu '01 said he walked from room to room and "swallowed fire" while wearing a sign that advocated Core Curriculum reform.

"I wanted to make the experience worthwhile so they didn't think I was just bothering them," Sinhababu said.

Sinhababu said that he realized Core reform was an important issue when he first opened his course catalogue and saw how much influence the Core would have on his course schedule.

"I was just tired of complaining about the U.C., and I thought that it would be good to actually do something about it instead of just complaining about it," he said.

Alison F. Egan '01, a representative from the Canaday/Union district, said that campaigning in college is very different than in high school.

"I had a lot of fun campaigning. In high school you [didn't] have to knock on doors," Egan said. "I'm looking forward to getting to know a lot of people in my district this year."

Egan said she is particularly interested in issues that will affect first-year constituents, such as the fall move-in policy.

"[At the meeting] there were a lot of things that were mentioned as goals for the year, but it seems like once we break into small groups things will start to happen pretty quickly," Egan said.

"I'd like to try to make freshman year a little better by getting a frozenyogurt machine in Annenberg," she said.

The New Council

ADAMS (Turnout 18%)1. Carmelo Larose '002. Eric M. Nelson '993. C. Thomas Brown '994. Kathryn Markham '995. Andrew J. Green '98

MATHER (35.4%)1. Jobe G. Danganan '992. Mark D. Palmenter '003. David J. Malan '994. Anna M. Baldwin '005. John Paul Rollert '006. Bryan E. McKrell '98

QUINCY (13.2%)1. Sarah K. Hurwitz '992. Keanne C. Henry '993. James T. Grimmelmann '994. Benjamin A. Rahn '995. Chloe Jean Lopez '966. Alexandra Budabin '00

DUNSTER (19.2%)1. Kathleen M. Douglas '992. Emma C. Cheuse '983. Asti Pilika '984. Lauren A. Hammer '985. Susannah R. Mandel '98

KIRKLAND (27.5%)1. Justin D. Lerer '992. Noah Z. Seton '003. Nicola A. McKinney '994. Anne M. Thompson '995. William Jay '98

ELIOT (33.5%)1. Peter S. Manasantivongs '982. Cody C. Tibbetts '993. Benjamin W. Hulse '994. Trevor S. Blake '005. Olivia Verma '006. Robert S. Schwartz '00

LEVERETT (11.1%)1. Lillian Epstein '002. Lindsay Pindyck3. Curtis J. Mahoney4. Matthew S. Caywood5. William F. Abely6. Eli Poliakoff '00

CABOT (8.4%)1. Matthew J. Aliberti2. Andrew F. Ruggiero '983. Helen L. Steele '994. Errol L. Fields '985. Michael F. Rizzo '99

LOWELL (5.5%)1. Samuel C. Cohen '002. Noah R. Freeman '983. Steven J. Mitby '994. Ryan Dorris '005. Angela Wiggins '006. La Tasha Edwards '99

CURRIER (33%)1. Lanhee J. Chen '992. June Yoshinari '983. Shirley Lisa Sadioglu '994. Adam S. Vaina '975. Christa M. Franklin '98

PFORZHEIMER (24.3%)1. Heather Chang '992. Chuck A. Truesdell '993. Brian J. Chan '984. Kamil E. Redmond '995. Jeffrey Kurashige '00

DUDLEY (12%)1. Diana L. Adair '982. Alex Myers '003. Chris Morton

WINTHROP (9.6%)1. Beth A. Stewart '992. Evelyn H. Sung '993. Kevin A. Shapiro '004. Derek C. Araujo '005. Hollis C. Waite '98

CANADAY/UNION (44.8%)1. Hanindar K. Dhesi '012. Joaquin Vega '013. Alison Egan '014. J. Justin Pasquariello '015. Fentrice Driskell '016. Larry Obst '01

NORTH YARD (46.5%)1. Mark Stad '012. Flora Kim '013. Erik T. Smith '014. Auden Velasquez '015. John Burton '016. Tim Daskivich '01

SOUTHEAST YARD (63.2%)1. Steve Chung '012. Sterling Darling '013. Neil Sinhababu '014. Todd Plants '015. Dan Hughes '016. Michael Tan '01

SOUTHWEST YARD (47.3%)1. Chris King '012. Jared Brammer '013. Eddy Dominguez '014. Alexis Karteron '0

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