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Ten Candidates Seek Vacant Council Spots

By Alexander J. Blenkinsopp, Crimson Staff Writer

In heated elections that began Wednesday, 10 candidates are vying to replace five Undergraduate Council members who either resigned from the council or changed their positions.

Adams, Currier, Eliot and Dudley Houses all currently lack full representation after Rohit Chopra ’04 assumed the council presidency, Jessica R. Stannard-Friel ’04 became vice president, and three other representatives resigned for personal reasons.

“Never before have special elections been competitive,” Chopra said. “I’m very pleased.”

As heads of the council, Chopra and Stannard-Friel will no longer be able to serve as the representatives of Adams and Currier, respectively.

Ari Z. Weisbard ’03, Dudley’s sole representative, announced his resignation several months ago. Although he proposed a replacement election in November, the lone Dudley seat has remained unfilled.

Luke R. Long ’03 also stepped down in November from his post as one of three Adams representatives.

In Eliot House, council veteran Amanda E. Kowalski ’03 resigned, leaving vacant one of the three seats in the House.

Stannard-Friel announced the commencement of the special elections for new representatives in a message to the council’s e-mail list Wednesday evening, 18 minutes after balloting had officially begun.

Each of the elections is competitive.

Andrew C.W. Baldwin ’05 is vying with Constantin C. Chrachilov ’04 for the Adams seat, while Svetlana Y. Meyerzon ’05 is running against C. Benjamin Watson ’03 in Currier.

Eliot House features a race between two people living next door to each other, as Joseph R. Oliveri ’05 and Laura C. Settlemyer ’05 are campaigning for the single spot.

“It’s a friendly competition,” Oliveri said of the contest against his neighbor. “No hard feelings either way.”

In Dudley, Jordan A.A. Bar Am ’04 and Timothy J. Vasil ’04 will be dueling in an election that contrasts Weisbard’s uncontested election last semester, when he was elected after receiving only four votes.

Oliveri characterized the replacement elections as “a lot lower-key” than the October elections, and said most of the voters learned of the elections from the campaign posters that have sprung up around Houses.

The council cleared the replacement elections with the College administration in order to avoid the problems that plagued the October elections. In those elections for representatives, the administration did not allow council access to students’ Personal Identification Numbers. This posed a problem and delayed the elections because the online voting system the council had developed required that students log in with their PINs before casting ballots.

Students from Adams, Currier, Dudley and Eliot will be able to vote at www.uc.fas.harvard.edu until Sunday at noon.

—Staff writer Alexander J. Blenkinsopp can be reached at blenkins@fas.harvard.edu.

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