It was a few years ago, and I walked into the dining hall and sat with my friends. Pretty routine day. I was a freshman, and my first year was winding down. I was one month into my new frat and life was good.
My friend, a class senator in student government, had a piece of paper laying on the table. I picked it up and read the big title "Run for Student Government", and I immediately joked that I was dropping everything to run for President. I was just joking of course; I had seen a bunch of other Baylor freshmen run for various positions earlier in the year during freshmen elections, and I had no interest in running.
But then my friend said bluntly, "No seriously you should totally do it. The current president is an idiot, and the senators don't like him. We need someone smart." (Note I think pretty highly of the other guy, these aren't my words) That got me thinking that it would be cool to put up a bunch of posters with my name on them around campus. See, I realized nobody gave a shit about it, and every campaign I had seen didn't take advantage of that fact.
So since I had just seen the movie Yes Man, I thought, "you know what, why not?" I figured there was no way I'd win, since I'm not a schmoozer at all and I'm not naturally showy, but I figured the $10 entry fee was worth the good story it would make. Plus I'd get to expand my comfort zone and meet a bunch of people. I started planning.
I didn't really want a good slogan or slicked back hair and fancy suits like all the other people who took it seriously. And I didn't even pretend to care about making myself seem important. In the end I tried to just be kind of funny.
So flash forward to the official candidacy meeting... It turns out I only had one opponent, the incumbent, significantly down from the 13 or so people who had run during the freshmen elections. I thought my chances just improved significantly, but I still probably wouldn't win- he just knew way more people than I did. But it was game on.
First I needed a platform. Since my whole candidacy was based on the assumption that nobody cared about student government elections and people generally resented them, I wanted to pick something that was somewhat farcical. My friend noticed that the sprinklers always seemed to be watering the sidewalks, so our platform cornerstone was to fix that. A secondary item was to veto death and suffering from everyday life. Finally, on the suggestion from another friend, we wanted to put a Panda Express in the Student Union. Sbarro sucked anyway (funnily enough I ended up having a weird amount of success with #1 and #3, even though they arose out of bullshit).
Pretty soon, I had an assortment of (what I thought were) clever posters, most of them featuring puns or obviously overt metaphors. For instance, I had one that said "Vote for Nate and your fantasies will come true" and it had not some picture of a scantily clad woman doing something provocative, but rather a unicorn and elf with a magic wand (get it? fantasy?).
My friend Andy made one with a quite graphic picture of a lion attacking a gazelle- "Nate takes down the issues by the jugular"
But the biggest display of show came from my roommate Cameron and his luchadores masks. Every Tuesday at Baylor there was this thing called Dr. Pepper hour, where they served free Dr. Pepper floats at the Student Union. A bunch of people always showed up, so it made for the perfect location to reach a lot of people.
My friends Cameron, Shaun, and Marshall all dressed up as luchadores, went up to everyone walking by, and passed out little cards with a kid on them. To picture it, the kid was flexing with sockem boppers and had a mean look on his face. The card said "Nate protects you from guys like this".
It was a rousing success, as we went through hundreds of cards and most everyone seemed to laugh when approached. And we didn't find many (any?) on the ground afterwards or in trash cans. It made the newspaper, but most importantly, everyone had a good time.
Pretty soon it was election day. The way it gets set up is pretty cool if you win- see, every year Baylor has a festival on one of the last Thursdays of the year. At the end of it, they usually have a relatively big name musical guest perform on stage (for example, one year it was Colbie Caillat), and right before this performance, they announce the winners of every race to thousands of people.
There were some last-second shenanigans in some of the races, including mine (I'll probably write about them at some point), but when it came time to announce the winners, I made my way to the front to listen to the names. Even though I had been tipped off, I was still nervous, since it wasn't official.
But sure enough, when they said "Sophomore class president" and then my name, it was over. As a cherry on top, I got more cheers than anyone else from the crowd. What started as a joke now turned into reality, and I was officially class president at a major university. As the title of this post suggests, incidentally enough Robert Griffin was in my class, although I very much doubt he voted for me, or voted at all for that matter. But it's something I can always say.
You guys should go into marketing. Once you became class president did you have any trouble actually fulfilling the role/responsibilities associated with that position? Did the same detached attitude work as the class president as you did whatever you wanted or did you have to hunker down and do a lot of administrative / lobbying work?
There are certain websites we need to use everyday.
It's 2013, so email is pretty much a must-have. Facebook used to be a social network but now it's a necessity if you want to keep some semblance of connection with old friends. It's also used for events and group messaging and whatnot. Point is- some internet facets have become more than just websites and are now societal norms.
Unfortunately, a lot of these websites, in an effort to gain ad revenue, go beyond their functional purpose and take on an entertainment role. They can become quite the time sink, and since you need them to function properly, you can't just fire up leechblock and block them altogether.
A month or so ago, Bryan Augstein (Maryland) and KC Parsons (Michigan) told me they wanted to come up to visit me in Rochester. I met both of them on my trip this summer, and (through the wonders of free verizon-to-verizon texts) texted back and forth quite a bit during long bus rides. We became good friends, and so of course I was enthusiastic about having them come up! KC Decided to bring a close friend of his, Nate Manly (Michigan), and soon Jesse Danger (NYPK) and Christopher Price (Michigan) were added to the list of attendees. Soon enough... we were having ourselves a Rochester jam!
Jesse arrived at the bus station Thursday night, and we hung out with some friends and watched The Dark Knight on our projector downstairs. We went to sleep late, and then got up early for a workout at the gym. We left straight from there to go back to the bus station KC and Nate arrived early the next morning. After a great (and cheap!) dinner at the local diner, we came back to my house and... immediately dropped to the floor and went to sleep. Jesse and I had 3 hours of sleep and a workout, and KC and Nate had a 14 hour bus ride under their belt. We woke up 5 hours later and went to the Red Barn, the local rock climbing gym (it's a big red barn. Go figure!). Chris showed up, and we all packed in his pickup truck and went to the bus station to pick up Bryan.
Everyone was hungry again, so it was time for dinner. If it's your first time in Rochester, there is only one meal your hosts will give you: a garbage plate:
Ingredients: hash browns, chili sauce, macaroni salad, 2 hamburger patties, American cheese, diced raw onions, mustard, ketchup.