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Spirit Week Suffers Low Turnout

By David C. Newman, Crimson Staff Writer

A poor showing in an Undergraduate Council initiative encouraging students to wear pajamas yesterday reopened debate on the merits of the council's Spirit Week.

According to Vladimir A. Kleyman '02, who has organized the weeklong project for the council, many students who might have worn pajamas yesterday didn't do so for reasons beyond the council's control.

Other council members, however, cited the anemic number of pajama wearers as evidence that Spirit Week was doomed to failure from the start.

Spirit Week, a council-run project that includes five themed dress-up days and a St. Patrick's Day dance on Saturday, is intended to increase school spirit among students and faculty members.

The cold weather and a student-led initiative to wear black to protest the verdict in New York's Amadou Diallo case might have kept some from showing their school spirit, Kleyman said.

Nehal S. Patel '01, who is co-chair of the Campus Life Committee (CLC), wore pajamas underneath warmer clothes today. She suggested in an e-mail message that there may have been more students participating than it might have appeared.

"It is hard to tell who just dressed frumpy because it [was] a Monday and who actually did so intentionally for Spirit Week," Patel wrote.

She also said that many students did not know about Spirit Week and that she hopes there will be more participation later in the week, after council members spread the word.

Student Affairs Committee Chair Michael D. Shumsky '00 said he does not think that students were made aware of the week's events. He said that, walking by the Science Center "half a dozen times" yesterday, he didn't see anyone from the CLC passing out handbills.

"In some ways, that itself reflects the failure of Spirit Week," said Shumsky. "I didn't see a single person wearing pajamas," he added.

Patel and CLC Co-chair Stephen N. Smith '02, however, said they did see some students wearing pajamas.

And the hundreds of students in Lit and Arts B-80, "The Swing Era," got to see someone wearing pajamas--their instructor, Robinson Professor of Music Robert D. Levin '68.

Levin had previously said he would consider wearing pajamas to lecture, and he didn't disappoint, sporting matching plaid blue P.J.'s and gray bunny slippers.

Levin was obviously taken aback that more of his audience wasn't dressed similarly, saying that he felt he had been "snookered."

Shumksy was equally taken aback upon hearing of Levin's attire.

"Oh, God," he said.

Kleyman wrote in an e-mail message that he was not worried that Pajama Day did not prove more successful.

"Right now, we're trying to use Spirit Week as an advertising campaign for the St. Patrick's Day dance," Kleyman said. "The dance is really the culmination of all of these events and will be massively fun and spirited."

Shumsky again disagreed.

"Nobody on this campus wants to go to a UC dance," he said, questioning the council's judgment in spending $750 on a dry dance on St. Patrick's Day weekend in the Quad.

When asked how many students would attend Saturday's dance, Shumsky replied, "None."

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