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Though the presidential inauguration included ceremonial, intellectual and culinary components, undergraduates by and large only participated in one facet of the festivities - the free food.

Student involvement was limited both by official regulation and personal choice. The inauguration ceremony held in Irvine Auditorium was restricted to a select group of about 1,100 - with only about 60 seats granted to student leaders.

But over 100 chairs in the auditorium were empty Friday, leaving students wondering why more of their peers were not invited to attend instead of watching the proceedings over simulcast.

"That was too bad," Student Activities Council Chairman Omar Vasquez said, noting that most of the day's events only drew "student government types."

While the five-part symposium attracted sizable crowds of alumni and faculty, few undergraduates chose to attend, despite the fact that all were welcome.

"I didn't hear of anyone going," College freshman Hayley Barton said.

While College junior Annafrancesca Fuchs did attend one of the panels and was complimentary of the event, she noted the lack of students.

"I don't think it was really well advertised to undergraduates," Fuchs said. Others, however, said poor publicity was not the cause of low attendance.

"The ones who really did care had enough information to take the initiative," Vasquez said. The popularity of the luncheon demonstrated that students were willing to take the initiative in one arena.

The catered event on Wynn Commons and College Green included a vast array of options, given out at thematic stands ranging from Japanese to Mediterranean to Oktoberfest.

"It was awesome," Wharton freshman Maria Arias said, noting that she happened upon the luncheon rather than planning in advance to attend.

"All I went to was the free food festival," College freshman Ellen Martino said. Even though students did not participate in many of the day's activities, their limited involvement still provided a chance to interact with President Amy Gutmann.

"The president just came over and started talking to us. . She was showing us her medals," Arias said. "She was talking to everyone she didn't know."

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