Council Swiftly Tackles Long Docket

Group passes resolution honoring Epps, endorsing 'Take Back the Night'

The Undergraduate Council tackled its longest docket in recent memory last night and still made it home almost in time for The Simpsons.

At last night's meeting, the council wove its way through a packed docket that included constitutional amendments, student center support bills and a resolution "to recognize and honor" Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III.

But thanks to efficient parliamentary procedure, the resolution honoring Epps and another endorsing the annual "Take Back the Night" event were approved in a matter of minutes, and the council spent minimal time debating the four other items on the docket.

In what Council President Noah Z. Seton '00 called "the wild and crazy Sam show," Samuel C. Cohen '00 presented four bills in a row.

The two bills that incurred the most debate dealt with the council's push for a student center.


The strikingly similar bills both called for student group space, performance space and communal study space for students. However, the first bill proposed a new building to house these facilities while the second took a softer approach.

Cohen said his rationale for supporting both bills was that one represented his ideal, while the second was more of a compromise. He said the second bill is more likely to gain the support of Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68, who signs or vetoes all council legislation.

The second bill, Cohen said, is more likely to win Lewis' support because it asks for student facilities without specifying that they be located together.

Nevertheless, by supporting just the second bill, Lewis would still "become an advocate within the administration for [the student center initiative]," Cohen said.

"I know Dean Lewis will not sign this bill," Cohen said, referring to the stronger proposal. "But he'll need to give us his rationale why he rejected it. And that gives us something to work with."

"For now, it's better to have partial support from an administrator than have him completely opposed to us," he said.

Adams House representative Eric M. Nelson '99 took issue with Cohen's maneuvering, saying the council would show weak resolve by "throwing [the second bill] in as sort of a softball...a gesture [Lewis] doesn't have to take seriously."

Despite Nelson's objections, both bills passed by large margins, and Seton said he would present both proposals to Lewis this week.

Cohen's other two proposals were constitutional amendments that dealt with representation in the Houses.

Cohen proposed changing the language in the council constitution that allows Houses to have at least three representatives. He said the proposal was targeted at Dudley House, which currently has less than 80 undergraduates affiliated with it.

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