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'Athena Slayer' Wins 1993 UMOC Title

By Eva Moy
News Editor

After a week of mismatched clothing and loud publicity stunts, Ken J. "Athena Slayer"/"Transparent Horizons" Lin '95 emerged as this year's Ugliest Manifestation on Campus.

The contest, sponsored by the Alpha Phi Omega, service fraternity fielded 12 candidates according to Ping-Shun Huang '94, APO service vice president.

Candidates collect votes by soliciting donations for their designated charity with the winner's charity receiving all of the money collected.

Lin collected a total of $493.76, about $150 more than the second place contestant. His designated charity, the Cambridge and Somerville Program for Alcohol Rehabilitation, will receive a total donation of $1680.10.

In addition, the winner receives a pendant with an ugly face on it, and the top five candidates chose prizes donated by local businesses, like dinner at Networks or a $20 Laverde's gift certificate.

"[The prizes are] really practical, but more nominal," because people are running for the charity and not really for the prizes, Huang said.

The Ugliest Man On Campus contest started in the late 1950s, Huang said, and it's name was changed to Ugliest Manifestation on Campus last year.

Although the change of name was not entirely political, it did encourage women to run, as well as objects like the "Minion of [Andrew File System]" candidate this year, said UMOC Coordinator Leaann Collins '94.

Campaign strategies

While many of the candidates attracted people's attention with mismatched clothing and mass electronic mail messages, others took a more direct approach.

Lin played his saxophone in Lobby 7 and Lobby 10 and on the steps of the Student Center. "I thought that if I played really terribly it would be another ugly manifestation," Lin said. "I got my idea from those people at Harvard that just stand there and make lots of money," although he noted that he earned little from his performance.

Second and third place candidates Matthew N. Condell '95 and Stephanie A. Sparvero '96 had a "fairly successful `I'm the uglier one!' fight" in Lobby 10 one day, Sparvero said.

Fourth place Christopher R. Shabsin '95 shouted, "I'm the only true ugly one. The rest use paint!" in Lobby 10 for a few hours.

In addition to using clothing combinations such as a hunting cap and swimming goggles, Lin said he got votes by calling himself "Transparent Horizons," a reference to the metal sculpture near the Green Building, and "Athena Slayer," a nickname he acquired after overloading the Athena mail handler during his freshman year.

Lin also went to the CASPAR groundbreaking Thursday to try to solicit votes, but he added, "I actually didn't get too much [money] there."

Shabsin decided to run for UMOC because "it seemed time for Random [Hall] to reclaim its throne as ugly capital of MIT," he said. "But alas, it didn't happen."

Shabsin chose the Central Square Fire Fund as his charity. "It seemed like a good way to alleviate the guilt I felt for leaning out my window in the front of Random Hall and watching the fire down the block, think, `Cool!' " he said.

Condell "decided to run for UMOC because it seemed like it would be a fun thing to do, while at the same time having a potential benefit for a good cause"

"My biggest help was a very active active campaign staff, who raised many of my votes," Condell added. "I dressed up every day. It was like a full week of Halloween."

"I chose the Cambridgeport Children's Center because it's a place where underprivileged children can go," Sparvero said. "It breaks my heart to know that so many kids these days seem to come from bad homes or broken families, and I guess I felt pretty lucky to come from a good environment."

Sparvero originally went to Lobby 10 to vote for Condell, but ended up running herself.

On the other hand, fifth place Patrick Mahoney '94 did not choose to run. "A friend of mine decided that it would be a neat way to amuse himself, so he went ahead and registered me," Mahoney said.

"I took the approach that if I just ignored it, then it would go away like an annoying insect," Mahoney said. "Unfortunately, my sponsors seemed to be as determined as cockroaches and just keep coming back, so perhaps the best thing to do would have been just to step on them."

Sparvero concluded, "I guess it all worked pretty well, so it was worth any residual embarassment I may have caused myself, my friends, my parents, my future children, and my dog."