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In Vote, Council Says RIP To CLC

UC changes its constitution to cut council size by one-third

By Rachel L. Pollack, Crimson Staff Writer

Starting next year, each House will have only two representatives on the Undergraduate Council (UC), down from the current three.

The UC announced last night that it had narrowly approved a constitutional amendment to reduce its size from 51 to 35 members by abolishing the Campus Life Committee (CLC).

The Council ceded many of the CLC’s responsibilities to the new College Events Board in early April, leading representatives to debate whether the CLC should be replaced with a new committee or whether the UC’s size should be reduced.

After nearly a month of heated discussions about internal restructuring, the council broke into applause when UC Vice-President Annie R. Riley ’07 announced that 36 members had voted in favor of the amendment to reduce the size of the UC and 10 against, just over the three-fourths majority needed to pass a constitutional amendment.

The loudest cheers could be heard from the back of the room, where Team Zebra, Dem Apples, and Red Ivy bloggers drank champagne. While leaving the room, they shouted “We did it!”

For the past week, the bloggers had pushed for the amendment, and House open e-mail lists were deluged with debate. On the Currier list, alone, there were 70 e-mails about the restructuring proposal, according to UC President John S. Haddock ’07.

Several council members were visibly upset with the outcome of the vote.

Sunday night, a proposal to replace the CLC with a new Outreach and Services committee was voted down.

After that defeat, former UC presidential candidate Magnus Grimeland ’07 and CLC’s vice-chair of services, Raul A. Campillo ’09, advocated that the CLC continue as a committee in charge of student services and take on additional duties, including lobbying for a student center and raising money for a UC endowment fund.

“Efficiency does not equal smaller numbers. Efficiency equals enthusiasm, energy, good leadership, clear mandates and direction,” Grimeland wrote over and over again in a flurry of e-mails to the UC-General list, responding to claims that a smaller council would be more productive.


At a UC-sponsored event on Sunday night, University President Lawrence H. Summers offered his own advice to the council. According to students in attendance, Summers said the UC had become so focused on internal reform that it had lost sight of issues that matter to the student body.

Riley, who co-sponsored with Haddock the legislation to reduce the council’s size, seemed to agree with Summers’ take.

“UC internal reform gives blinders to the council, forcing us to look inward at ourselves rather than out to the students who should be informing and motivating our conversation,” Riley wrote in an e-mail over the UC-General list.

She later said the restructuring conversation overshadowed important issues such as a recent bill that reformed funding for House Committees (HoCos).

At the Sunday night meeting, the UC unanimously voted to increase funding for each HoCo to at least $4,500 or 25 percent of the UC budget, at the beginning of every semester.

That legislation requires HoCos to choose officers through democratic elections and prohibits them from charging dues if they want UC funding.

Riley said that after closing the debate about restructuring, the council can now refocus its efforts on informing students about issues that more directly affect them.

At the end of last night’s meeting, CLC Chair Sopen B. Shah ’08 thanked her committee members for a semester of hard work, even while the committee’s future was uncertain and its budget was reduced. “Circumstances surrounding our mission and our existence made it challenging,” she said.

—Staff writer Rachel L. Pollack can be reached at

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