Council To Request Input on Allston

Old and new leadership to write letter to administrators

University administrators must include students in their decisions about College life on the other side of the River, according to a resolution passed by the Undergraduate Council last night.

Leaders of the council will write a letter to University President Lawrence H. Summers and Dean of the Faculty William C. Kirby requesting the addition of student representatives to the Undergraduate Life Allston Planning Committee.

The committee, which the University announced last week, includes professors, administrators and former and current House Masters and senior tutors, but does not include any students or alumni.

“People have to be involved when decisions are being made that will affect the next hundred years of student life,” Council President Rohit Chopra ’04 said.

A possible student center, space for the arts, the relocation of athletic buildings and new undergraduate Houses in Allston will be items on the committee’s slate, according to Chopra.

The letter will be drafted by Chopra and Council Vice President Jessica R. Stannard-Friel ’04 and President- and Vice President-elect Matthew W. Mahan ’05 and Michael R. Blickstead ’05.

Chopra said he was particularly concerned about the possibility of housing in Allston.

“They are going to discuss whether there will be undergraduate Houses in the Jungle,” he said.

Mahan, who will begin his presidency in mid-January, said that he will dedicate himself to making sure that undergraduates have a voice in Allston planning.

“I think that this is a really important issue. Allston is huge,” he said.

Leaving undergraduates out of the Allston discussion would be an “either underhanded or misguided” move by the administration, Chopra said.

At last night’s meeting, the council also voted to partially sponsor a visit from hypnotist Frank Santos in Lowell Lecture Hall next semester.

“People complain about a lack of diverse campus events,” said council member Parvinder S. Thiara ’07, who will head up the event. “We’re trying to open things up to a different crowd.”

During the event, Santos will take student volunteers from the audience and attempt to hypnotize them, Stannard-Friel said.

“He’ll have them do funny things,” she said.

Tickets for the event will be sold at the Harvard Box Office for $5 each.

The council also passed an official proposal for a campus-wide online facebook and decided to postpone discussion of sponsoring a Multicultural Week in April until after a Springfest allocation is passed.

—Staff writer Ebonie D. Hazle can be reached at