With Student Association elections this week, I’ve got one thing on my mind: free candy.
This week, many students begin learning about various candidates’ platforms. One can’t help walking through University Yard or Kogan Plaza without getting a free blow pop or piece of chocolate candy with a “vote for me!” sticker on it. Most students embrace this new friendly feeling on campus with open arms, welcoming it into their daily lives as they cross over from J Street to Gelman.
Suddenly entire walls outside the Marvin Center and Phillips Hall are plastered with SA election signs, and even the LaRouche kids are in competition with people on the street handing out flyers and buttons and stickers. I usually walk the block a few times each day just to get as much free candy as I possibly can. I often wonder if I could bribe some of them, like by saying I’d be sure to get all of my friends to vote for them if they gave me all of their candy.
I try to get into the spirit of things, I really do. I would like to thoroughly research each candidate’s platform and make an educated and enlightened decision at the ballot box, but I just can’t. It’s nothing against the people running – I’m sure they’re all very qualified and capable of getting something accomplished for the SA. There are just some things that keep me from really caring about the outcome of the election.
I was involved with student council and the student senate from middle school through my senior year of high school. I can honestly say that the only reason I was active in student government was because I wanted to get into a good college. The biggest thing I ever accomplished while elected was getting a new vending machine in the senior lounge, and people loved me for it. When those stoners came back from lunch, they needed snacks!
Can we all just please agree that it would be B.S. if most of the SA candidates who are on the ballot weren’t running primarily because they have future ambitions in life? Maybe they want to be politicians, or successful businessmen and women, or possibly future leaders in their community.
Not that there’s anything at all wrong with that.
I, personally, felt terrible for the SA when they were bathed in controversy after President Audai Shakour was tried by Student Judicial Services for sexual harassment and sexual assault. As former president of the Metairie Park Country Day School’s Student Senate my senior year in high school, my entire administration was bathed in controversy during the middle of a piece of important legislation (OK, another vending machine, but this time an ice cream machine).
I don’t really want to go into details, but it basically involved a school trip to Disney World, a hotel room and a bottle of tequila.
We were all given a five-day in-school suspension, each of us locked away in a secret office somewhere on campus where we were told to read and do homework all day. Meanwhile, as we sat in our respective prisons, sealed off from the rest of the community, a movement was happening among the students, all started by the senior class.
They loved us, and they loved everything we stood for. We were their political prisoners, going down for a cause that every high school senior graduating in New Orleans had always fought for: alcohol consumption!
Soon computer-savvy kids were using Photoshop to create signs and stickers that said “FREE THE DISNEY-4!” underneath cartoons of Mickey Mouse with a frowning face behind bars. The walls and bulletin boards were swamped with what appeared to be political propaganda. We would use our cell phones to text-message kids and tell them where we were being held, and cute cheerleaders would bring us baked goods and sandwiches. After all was said and done, I still graduated, and I still got to go to GW after an apology.
I guess another reason why I might not vote this year is because I have more than one friend running for the same office – and we all know that most of us vote for our friends and not always for the person with the best policies or qualifications, even if we’ve been told to do otherwise since the fifth grade.
Maybe I’ll vote for the friend (y’all know who you are) that gives me the most candy. And I’m always partial to Airheads.
-The writer, a sophomore majoring in music and journalism, is a Hatchet columnist. Look for him on election day scavenging for candy.