Sunday, March 16, 2008
My own feelings
As for my own personal feelings about the elections, I don't think I've ever cared less about an ASUC election, except maybe my freshman year as an undergrad (way back in 2001). Interesting note: My RA at the time was Tony Falcone, which may amuse any old-school ASUC dudes who still check the blog.
To a person who feels safest when the people in charge are in conflict (e.g. me), one of the biggest drawbacks of a Student Action executive slate is their blind agreement with the university administration on almost everything. This attitude helped bring us the ridiculous Lower Sproul "give money to the university for no reason whatsoever" fee and the RSF "we suck too much to convince people to show up, so it's subsidy time!" fee, although Josh Daniels's own willingness to bend over for the administration helped push that first one.
Similarly, Student Action domination of all aspects of the ASUC led to some of the most dramatic corruption we've ever seen in the "the legal bills I incurred failing to sue the ASUC must be paid by the student body" conflict of 2006. I'm still astounded that anyone succeeded in derailing it, though I'm not fully convinced that's what happened.
CalSERVE, on the other hand, claims my voice as its own, which is personally offensive to me. It postulates the existence of some "student voice," and denies any dissent. It denies the individuality and humanity of most students, preferring to define people in terms of their collective identities, grouping them into "communities." Their ridiculously one-sided and often false statements on world events make me gag when they insist that I'm the one making them.
Where does that leave me? With SQUELCH!, of course, but let's be real. As a commentator, CalSERVE is the way to go, because conflict gives me something to talk about. It's also safer for my wallet. My own personal dignity, though, demands Student Action control. CalSERVE is my enemy. They've declared themselves to be such year after year. Student Action perceives me to be their enemy, for some reason (they didn't even send me their press release... *sniffle*), but they're pretty much the enemy of my enemy.
Now that I'm quitting being a commentator, I have less reason to want a CalSERVE victory. There's still the money thing, of course, but the fact that I have the spare cash to sink into large-scale election jokes suggests that my opposition to fee increases is more a matter of principle than one of pocket protection, and in a war of principles, the party which dehumanizes me loses.
Since CalSERVE has outlived its usefulness as a provider of my entertainment, I think I'm going to throw my unenthusiastic vote in with Student Action this year. Don't expect me to be a partisan, though, as I'll gleefully mock every stupid campaign detail I notice from SA.
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