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Late on the Rent, UC Left Homeless

Council forced to pay debt before booking room for presidential debate

By Liz C. Goodwin, Contributing Writer

Plans for this Thursday’s presidential debate ground to a brief halt last week when the Undergraduate Council found itself unable to rent a room due to an outstanding bill.

Thanks to their $105 debt to the Science Center’s media services office, the council was told that their business was unwelcome—at least until the fee, which was owed for two movie nights hosted by the council’s Campus Life Committee (CLC), was paid yesterday morning by treasurer Clay T. Capp ’06. The show will go on as scheduled Thursday at 8 p.m. in Science Center A.

“Somewhere between [the CLC] making arrangements with the Science Center and them telling me to pay, we neglected to do this,” Capp said.

Member of the debate steering committee Matthew S. Meisel ’07 said he attempted to reserve a room in the Science Center last Tuesday, and was turned down because the council hadn’t paid up. He then alerted a dozen members of the council, including Capp. Meisel, who is also a Crimson editor, successfully reserved the room yesterday after Capp discharged the debt.

Craig R. Lajoie, a science center employee who notified the council of their outstanding fees, said he tried to contact the council settle the bill multiple times.

“Every time I sent a note saying that there was an outstanding notice I got bounced around,” said Lajoie, who added that the debt was over a month old.

Capp said that the breakdown in communication was partly due to a change in leadership in the CLC. In early October Christina L. Adams ’06 replaced Jack P. McCambridge ’05 as CLC chair.

But Adams said that she was not involved in planning or paying for movie nights. That task was delegated to two council members, Neil N. Shah ’05 and Omid G. Shahi ’08. Shah and Shahi don’t have the authority to pay council bills.

“All that he can really do is tell the treasurer that there needs to be a check paid and it’s his responsibility to get it out,” Adams said.

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