“Student politics are the most vicious kind of politics that exist, because the stakes are so low.”
I certainly think Henry Kissinger knew what he was talking about when he said that student politics are vicious. They are not for the weak hearted or the sensitive. You need to have a nice, thick skin if you plan on entering the world of student government. Every move you make, word you say and look you give will, from appointment on, be criticized. The overeager constitution eaters will rip you to pieces if you forget your Bylaws and back in the days of John Packman, you couldn’t finish a sip of your coffee before the flash went off six times. Are you from Studley? Then Sexton councillors already hate you because you don’t “get” them. I don’t envy those of you about to enter office; however, I commend your passion and commitment.
Regarding those about to enter office: I did made early predictions for the victors, and I’ll stand by them (perhaps moderately reluctantly), but I know firsthand there are a lot of factors even the most inside lounge lizard living under Zimmerman’s desk could not accurately account for.
Two years ago, while actively encouraging the electoral process, I had a group of gentleman at the voting station say “he has a nice ‘white’ name, let’s vote for him.” That ‘white name’ happened to be Jonathan Hughes who later that week went on to win the third Undergraduate Senate seat by 3 votes. In my first year, the executives of the union all had last names which placed them at the top of alphabetical orders – Edelstein, Dugay, Bond, and Berthier. This was before randomly assigned positions on the ballot. Coincidence? We’ll never know. I’ve heard girls vote for hot boys, boys vote for cute girls, students remembering candidates from a first year class and even recognizing “that guy from the Info Desk”.
Don’t get me wrong. I am, by no stretch, accusing students of basing their vote on racism, alphabetical order or their sexual preferences. In addition, I’m not discrediting those students who take the time to inform themselves, vote with a conscious and invest themselves in the outcome. I am only illuminating the reality that is the unpredictable nature of student politics.
Perhaps we will see Kurin rise above the sea of testosterone, never knowing whether or not her gender played a large role. Bailey’s dark, hipster frames could give him the upper hand. Maybe a last name like Wedge will ‘wedge’ out the competition and being named Price could come at a ‘price’. Again, we’ll never know.
What I do know is it’s all coming to an end. Here’s my overcritical, bias, and unwarrantedly blunt summary of the election period:
Debogorski remains the petulant child throwing a tantrum and tugging on the parental pant-leg that is the DSU. Despite his dreamy demeanour, I fear Bailey is limited beyond sunshine and cuddles. King Whitfield of Gossip Kingdom experienced a rumour mutiny and learned what it feels like to be on the other end of the whispers. Leforte entered the election with a sense of entitlement and mild arrogance and exits exactly how he entered. Kurin, however, does not exit in the same fashion she entered. Much like the month of March, Kurin entered like a lamb and leaves as a lion. A lion with bloody claws and sharp teeth. Price claims to have shaken the hands of upwards to 1200 students and saved the lives of upwards to 6 kittens stuck in trees. Raising political funds may be his strong suit, but humility is not. Over all, this wasn’t an overly exciting election and even became borderline annoying.
My advice for the candidates, and those candidates of the future, is to focus on you. Forgo the nasty gossip, direct personal attacks, planted interruptions and rumour mill churning. Be confident enough in your ideas, your platform and your ability to fill the position so that you don’t feel the need to belittle your opposition. Leave that to us.
See you at the AGM, bitches.