Burton Scandal May Weaken Council

As Undergraduate Council President Fentrice D. Driskell '01prepares to launch her Harvard Census 2000 of the student body this semester, she faces a council stymied by discord over the behavior of her vice president, John A. Burton '01.

Driskell campaigned for president with the ambitious promise of uniting the student body. And despite a rocky start, Driskell says she is hopeful the council will enjoy a productive semester.

She plans to administer the census--a campus-wide questionnaire she says will help identify Harvard's strengths and shortcomings--before spring break.


Driskell says she expects the survey to identify problem areas that the College and University have been reluctant to address in the past.

"It may be things that the administration doesn't want to hear," she says.

According to Driskell, several administrators, including University President Neil L. Rudenstine, have promised to pay close attention to the census' findings.

But some council insiders, including outgoing Vice President Kamil E. Redmond '00, suggest that Driskell--who has defended Burton against allegations of election misconduct--may not have the political strength to generate the massive council effort needed to undertake the survey.

Much of Driskell's first month in power has been dominated by questions surrounding Burton's conduct during the council election in December. And last night, the council voted to consider impeachment charges against Burton. Ten council members filed a petition for Burton's recall, alleging that he had taken buttons from a student group without permission and misrepresenting his actions to the council's election commission.

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