News

Amid Boston Overdose Crisis, a Pair of Harvard Students Are Bringing Narcan to the Red Line

News

At First Cambridge City Council Election Forum, Candidates Clash Over Building Emissions

News

Harvard’s Updated Sustainability Plan Garners Optimistic Responses from Student Climate Activists

News

‘Sunroof’ Singer Nicky Youre Lights Up Harvard Yard at Crimson Jam

News

‘The Architect of the Whole Plan’: Harvard Law Graduate Ken Chesebro’s Path to Jan. 6

UC Opens Voting To Abolish CLC

UC members, left to right, Matthew L. Sundquist ’09, Matthew R.
Greenfield ’08 and Benjamin M. Milder ’08 debate about the structure of
UC committees at the Monday meeting. A new constitutional amendment
proposes the replacement of the Campus Life Comm
UC members, left to right, Matthew L. Sundquist ’09, Matthew R. Greenfield ’08 and Benjamin M. Milder ’08 debate about the structure of UC committees at the Monday meeting. A new constitutional amendment proposes the replacement of the Campus Life Comm
By Rachel L. Pollack, Crimson Staff Writer

The Undergraduate Council (UC) opened a week-long voting period Monday night on a constitutional amendment that could revamp its structure, abolishing the Campus Life Committee (CLC) and replacing it with a newly created Outreach and Services Committee.

If three-quarters of the council votes in favor of the proposal this week, a new committee will be formed specifically for outreach—conducting surveys, meeting with student groups, and e-mailing House lists—and for student services, such as Harvard-Yale shuttles and cardboard box sales. If the amendment fails, the CLC will most likely continue to exist in its current form.

The amendment was one of three proposals suggested for changing the council’s structure that each involved dissolving the CLC, which had previously organized large scale-social events. The UC ceded campus-wide social programming responsibility to a new College Events Board last month.

The other propositions involved downsizing the committee to two committees or dividing the Student Affairs Committee into two separate committees for academic and House life student advocacy.

In vote among the three options, 25 council members listed the Outreach and Services proposal as their first choice. Six preferred creating an education affairs committee, while four wanted to downsize the UC to two committees.

“The UC knows it needs to improve communications with the student body,” said Thomas D. Hadfield ’08, one of the amendment’s sponsors.

The amendment includes a “sunset” provision, which calls for the council to vote on whether it will keep the new committee next spring.

But opponents of the amendment said that the committee would lack a clear purpose and would only add useless bureaucracy.

“Students will see that this is a do-nothing committee,” said Benjamin W. Milder ’08. “You can’t just say that you’re going to liaise with students in the abstract.”

Milder, who serves as the UC’s public relations director, said that a committee designated specifically for outreach sends the message that only a third of the council should be talking to constituents.

Other representatives worry that no one would choose to serve on the committee.

Matthew T. Bosch ’07, a former UC member, said that representatives might want to keep three committees out of self-preservation or to have more opportunities for leadership advancement.

“It’s very hard to have thoughtful constitutional reform that is divorced from political considerations,” Bosch said.

Milder said that the council rushed to a vote before campus dialogue about restructuring began.

“It’s ironic that the UC voted to create an outreach committee without adequately consulting the student body first,” Milder said.

UC President John S. Haddock ’07 said he was disappointed with the council’s decision to move forward with the Outreach and Services proposal without consulting students first.

“I am bewildered at the vote and have not heard a single voice for the [Outreach and Services Committee] coming from outside of the council,” Haddock said. “I think the UC’s restructuring decision is not what the student body wants.”

THE UC GETS RELIGION

At Monday’s meeting, the UC also voted to fund events sponsored by student groups that limit membership or officership on the basis of gender or religion.

Haddock had ruled the previous week that the bill to amend the council’s nondiscrimination policy had not garnered the requisite two-thirds majority.

But in what Haddock described as a “parliamentary twist,” a further review of last week’s meeting found that the bill only required a simple majority.

The bill had passed by a 26-19 margin.

—Staff writer Rachel L. Pollack can be reached at rpollack@fas.harvard.edu.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags