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Chesnais wins Big Screw

Chesnais wins Big Screw

By Joanna E. Stone

After vowing to cut off his hair and give it to a worthy art project if he won, Pascal R. Chesnais SM '88 received over half of all the votes cast this year in the annual Alpha Phi Omega Big Screw contest.

Chesnais, a systems programmer in the Electronic Publishing Group at the Media Lab, received $416.35 in donations.

Chesnais believes his large victory was due to his "hacker-type platform" -- Chesnais is a well-known hacker -- as well as his efficient campaigning.

Ellen T. Harris, associate provost for the arts, finished second in the contest, receiving $184.08.

"I'm very unhappy," Harris said. "I had campaigned vigorously. I had announced my candidacy to the Academic Council and urged them to vote for me. I guess it wasn't enough, though."

Harris did offer one explanation for her defeat. "The winner really did run on my platform," she said, referring to Chesnais' hair donation promise. Harris figured prominently in last year's controversy over the hair sculpture that was to have been placed in the Stratton Student Center.

Harris said she plans to hold Chesnais to his hair cutting vow. "I want to have a public shearing," she said.

Chesnais said he plans to cut his hair during spring weekend and hopes that Harris will be there to collect it to use for an art project.

"I do not think we will be going ahead with the hair sculpture, so we will have to use it [Chesnais' hair] someplace else," said Harris. "But we will certainly find someplace to use it."

Harris also mentioned that she believes that the name of the Big Screw contest should be changed. "It has been mentioned to me many times that there is a very distinctly sexist connotation to the name, which is unfortunate," she said.

Chesnais has no problem with the contest's name, but he questioned its ultimate meaning. "I believe in my case that the Big Screw goes to the person that's been screwed rather than the person that's screwed people," he said.

Although Chesnais anticipates missing his long hair, he is looking on the bright side. "I'll have to use a lot less shampoo."