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Ramya Sankar
Rachel M. Bainbridge ’09 (left) and Kristin K. Brown ’09 (right) collect donations for APO’s annual charity UMOC contest (short for Unholiest huMan on Campus this year) in Lobby 10 on Monday. At the end of the first day Miriam “Mish” A. Madsen ’09 led the competition with $17.85.
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The Unholiest huMan on Campus (UMOC) competition, the latest descendant of the annual Ugliest Man on Campus event, is being held this week. Members of the MIT community can vote for their favorite candidates by placing money in the candidates’ respective jars in Lobby 10. At the end of the event, which concludes on Friday, November 2, all proceeds will be given to the charity of the winner’s choice.

Alpha Phi Omega has been holding UMOC events at colleges and universities nationwide since the early 1950s. MIT’s chapter of the co-ed fraternity closely followed the tradition until 1992, when a female entered the competition on the basis that “she made a very ugly man,” according to Iolanthe K. Chronis ’08, one of UMOC’s coordinators. Since then, UMOC has transformed into the Ugliest Manifestation on Campus (which a now thirteen-year-old carton of milk in Random Hall has won five times) as well as the Ultimate Manifestation of K0R3 before returning to its roots last year with the Ugliest huMan on Campus.

This year’s theme came after grueling deliberation. “We searched through every word in the English language of the form “U.....est,” said Chronis. “There were many good choices — from untidiest to unhappiest to unwisest, but we settled on unholiest because it seemed the most thematic for MIT.” Among those in the running for the illustrious title is “Those Damn Spammers.” Competing with One Laptop Per Child as its chosen charity, Those Damn Spammers is running on the slogan “Helping developing countries learn everything there is to know about Vlad the Impaler.”

Contestant Natalia N. Chernenko ’08, president of the Pagan Students Association, has selected the Charles River Watershed Association as her charity. She cautioned that the children of her Lord and Master from the river “shall arise and engulf all that which lives, choking its very veins with alkali sand”, but also added, “They must not be stopped. Do not vote for me.”

Running on the slogan “No Hell Below Us, Above Us Only Sky”, Evelyn M. Mervine G wants to donate the funds raised in the event to the James Randi Educational Foundation, an organization that promotes science in schools and also brings scientists and magicians together. “I am running for UMOC,” she stated, “because I want to bring attention to the MIT Atheists, Agnostics, and Humanists Club.” Despite her Christian upbringing, Mervine decided she was an atheist her freshman year in college.

Jasmine R. Florentine ’11 decided to make a UMOC run after being recruited as publicity chair of the newly-founded Dead Kittens Society (which itself was inspired by one of her drawings of a dead kitten). “The Dead Kitten Society,” Florentine noted, “then helped me choose a charity and we decided for the irony we had to choose a charity helping animals.” As a result, even though she is running on a slogan that declares “Cute Things Are Tasty!”, Florentine is competing for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Also running for consideration as the Unholiest huMan on Campus is Adalberto Nicolas Garza ’10. His charity of choice is Planned Parenthood, which works on family planning health issues related to reproduction. Going along with that theme, and satirizing the nationwide abortion debate, Garza has proclaimed “Pro-Abortion. Because Life and Choice are both wrong.”

Christalee R. Bieber ’07, a.k.a. “Talia Winters,” High Priestess of MIT’s Campus Crusade for Cthulhu, has made her campaign slogan “Sinfully Tentacular”. Nevertheless, she hopes to bequeath the funds accumulated by the week-long event to the Transition House for Women, a group devoted to providing help to mothers with recently-incarcerated children.

Although this is her first attempt at UMOC, Miriam “Mish” A. Madsen ’09, competing for Doctors Without Borders, said she was optimistic about her chances of winning. “I’m running for Unholiest huMan On Campus,” Madsen said, “because it seemed like an excellent opportunity to don a beret and an eye patch while stabbing condoms with a knitting needle.”

At the end of Monday, Madsen was leading the competition.