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Sexual Assault Policy Referendum Earns Signatures for UC Ballot

Proposed final club referendum may not make the Undergraduate Council election ballot

Ahead of a Monday night deadline, two referendums that students have proposed adding to the ballot in next week’s Undergraduate Council election have not yet solicited the required number of student signatures.

While one proposed referendum calling for greater student input in Harvard’s sexual assault policy task force meetings has gathered more than the 670 signatures necessary to make it to the ballot, two others—including one asking if the College should limit student participation in all-male final clubs—have not.

At the Council’s general meeting on Sunday, UC Rules Committee Chair Brett M. Biebelberg ’16 said the final club referendum question had acquired only 280 signatures as of Sunday at 5 p.m., while a question attempting to ban meetings from happening over breakfast has only garnered 114 signatures.

This month’s presidential election ballot will also feature a referendum question asking students if the Pusey Library should “be transformed into a freshmen-oriented social space.” Supporters of that question, which will automatically appear on the ballot because UC representatives voted to fast-track it last week, claim that the library’s location in Harvard Yard would provide freshmen with a social space some students say they lack.

Also at Sunday’s meeting, the Council discussed whether to approve a grant request from organizers of a TEDx Harvard event that took place on Saturday.

UC Meeting
Emily J. Miller, a Title IX Officer, speaks to the Undergraduate Council on Sunday evening about the role of Title IX at Harvard.

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Winthrop House representative Daniel R. Levine ’17, was hesitant about the UC funding the event. He said the event was unreasonably priced, at $25 per student ticket.

Following Levine’s comments, UC Treasurer Meghamsh Kanuparthy ’16 proposed an amendment to the UC grants legislation, which usually passes with little opposition. The amendment would permit him to ask organizers whether an event generated a profit and let the Council’s executive board review the funding.

Kanuparthy’s amendment was adopted into the final legislation, which ultimately passed with six abstentions and one no-vote from Levine, who is also a former Crimson news writer.

—Staff writer Jalin P. Cunningham can be reached at jalin.cunningham@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @JalinCunningham.

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