Playstation vs. College Council elections: No contest

I know, I know. One week off and you’re all wondering where my funny, witty remarks went. For those of you who weren’t wondering where my humor went, now you’re really going to have to think about it. With the Olympics finished, there’s been a little bit of a slump in the breaking news department. Hence the extensive coverage of the College Council elections. I’m not sure if you noticed, but I sure didn’t have a clue that this heart-rending time of year was upon us again. Last year was bad enough with the free cheese-ball American flag pens (go USA! elect some guys as College Council presidents so they have a better chance of being I-bankers) and enough campaign posters to fill a keg of beer.

This year things are really different. First-off, there aren’t any free pens. There aren’t any kegs either. Now that’s a real problem. I guess what tears me up about the whole election process is that I’m forced to choose between good friends and qualified candidates and I can’t really decide. . .wait a minute, what am I talking about? No one is running for anything! I mean the race for the presidency of College Council, our vaunted student government, is totally uncontested. What’s up with that? Yeah, I know there’s going to be some sort of write-in campaign, but there’s several reasons that will never work. First, I haven’t seen any advertising at all, so unless you read The Record or know these people, you won’t have a clue about these mysterious candidates. Second, these guys are guys, which is a fatal flaw in itself. There goes the girl vote, and that’s at least half (if not more) of the votes in the election. “Don’t be a moron, Doug”, you’re saying to yourself. How can girls constitute more than half of the vote if the school population is split down the middle? Simple. A whole lot of people don’t vote in this election because they perceive it as pointless (especially if no one is running for anything). I’ve also been involved with science once or twice, and there were some studies or something conducted, and it’s been proven guys are pretty lazy and would rather just play Nintendo 64 than vote.

So there is no race for the presidency of our student government, which is pathetic. Even if there were a race, what’s the point? Is anyone running on a ticket of originality, or at least promising something new and interesting? No. Here’s a sampling of the revolutionary and drastic reforms that are part of the imminently successful platform of Ervin and Slocum. Winter Study: They’re going to get some more internships and stuff and increase trips to cities. Yippee. I can barely stand the excitement there. Really. Except for the shockingly brilliant plan of providing school transportation to Montreal, there isn’t much here. But let’s address this Canadian issue. If the school is going to squash all attempts at big parties and fun on a scale slightly larger than micro-machines, I definitely think that Williams should provide an opportunity for me to go to Montreal where the drinking age is 5 and there are lots of clubs. So, more Canadian stuff is a plus. The real issue should not be more medical internships, but the fact that there is serious sentiment among the faculty that Winter Study should be axed because of its lack of academic value and other nonsense. This cannot be allowed to happen. The issue isn’t my resume-building internships, but saving Winter Study from the promoters of anti-fun.

Okay. More platform pieces. Student space: of course the Mission common rooms could be refurbished. Maybe if we’re really lucky some of the interior design geniuses that added the stunning collection of tables and chairs to Mission earlier this year can also fix up the common rooms with stuff like, oh I don’t know. . .tables, chairs and couches! Judging by history, sophomores will just mess them up anyway. If you’re really interested in improving the common rooms, buy some plastic furniture covers. Also, getting VCRs really won’t do a thing and is just some token baloney to get freshmen votes (rising sophomores, for anyone who just got confused). New VCRs will suffer the same fate as the old ones. Namely, they’ll get stolen. The campaigners’ promise, “We will also work on the new Goodrich Student Center,” is meaningless. Unless someone is actually going to grab a tool belt, a hard-hat and pound a few nails, no candidate will work on the new student center. The plans have been laid out and finalized since last year. Will there be a stunning addition from College Council like a snack bar, some tables, chairs and coffee? The new student center is going be the same no matter what, so taking credit for it is amusing.

The rest of the platform is pretty tame. Who’s really going to say that they are going to make all freshmen live in Baxter basement and endeavor to destroy all forms of entertainment? This is just “vote for us and we’ll make life peachy” fluff. Pretty much all the same criticisms can be applied to the candidates in the other races. I am reminded of junior high student government, which was forever obsessed with getting vending machines so we could buy Coke and candy bars when we had a little break from class or during recess. Admit it. All of your junior high student governments were stuck on the same thing, or something equally important.

I would really like to address the fact that some of the empty or uncontested seats are pretty important. Freshmen, wake up. Do you realize that there is an empty seat on the honor committee from your class? You’ve got to fill that up so when you footnote Rodney Dangerfield instead of Abe Lincoln, there’ll be a voice of reason from your class to bail you out. Don’t let this slip by. After all, it could very well become extremely important to you and your future at Williams. How about this one—Committee on Priority and Resources. Come on, people. That sounds important even though nobody knows what it does. Bottom line, it’s got priorities (a step up from most other committees) and resources—just imagine what a potent combination that would make. And you could be part of the excitement. Finally, Juniors, there’s a vacancy on the Honorary Degrees Committee. This is part of your graduation ceremony and something that’s important to your class, both for the sake of memories and tradition, and to ensure that whoever spoke at last year’s graduation is never allowed back again. Make your graduation quality, and keep in mind you will be sitting through a million degree heat.

I guess I’ll stop here. I know what many of you are thinking, though. “Why doesn’t Doug save his breath for running for office instead of harassing those with actual initiative?” It’s valid criticism, I suppose, but to tell the truth, I’m too lazy to care. Besides, I’d rather play Nintendo.