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Leader's Gathering Stirs Little Interest

By Eli M. Alper, Contributing Writer

A last-minute effort to get Harvard student leaders to attend an Ivy League leadership conference had the event's organizers sending hundreds of e-mails to students this week asking them to apply before the deadline tonight.

The three-day Ivy Leaders Summit, the first of its kind, will join 10 students from each school with professors and professional leaders in a conference at Yale University beginning Feb. 18.

The Ivy Council, a body of representatives from each school's student government, is sponsoring the event, which is entitled "Integrity and Responsibility in Leadership."

Summit co-chair Amar Dhand, a Dartmouth junior, said that, as of yesterday evening, less than 15 Harvard students had applied. He said Harvard has had fewer applicants than most other schools, some of which have had more than 35 applicants.

Dhand said extensive efforts to increase publicity about the summit did not begin until recently.

"We didn't do a good job of spreading the word," said Matthew C. Ebbel '01, one of two summit organizers at Harvard and president of the Ivy Council. "So we've been doing as much as possible in the last few days."

Fentrice D. Driskell '01, the other summit organizer at Harvard, said many of the names of the recipients of the e-mails came from a list of 270 student leaders given out by University Hall. She said that not everyone on the list--which is publicly available--was e-mailed, although some people not on the list were e-mailed.

Driskell said organizers did make efforts to publicize the summit before this week. Applications were available in Lamont and Cabot libraries, posters were placed around campus and an announcement was made before a Social Analysis 10 lecture, she said.

Dhand said the e-mails were not needed to reach those most likely to apply to the summit.

"Those who are truly interested would have probably heard about it beforehand," he said.

Marc Stad '00, president of the College Democrats, said he learned of the summit before the e-mails were sent. He said the summit gives Ivy League students a rare opportunity to gather together.

"It seems like all the Ivy League schools are separate entities," Stad said. "[The summit] is a lot of great minds coming together and talking about important issues."

Stad said he had not applied for the summit yet, but he said he plans to do so before the deadline.

Organizers said they think more students will apply before tonight's midnight deadline.

"I'm thinking that by then end of [today] we'll have more like 30 to 35," Ebbel said.

The application for the summit asks students to list leadership experiences and to write three short essays. It is available on the Internet at http://pantheon.yale.edu/~asd24/.

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