La política
02.27.02 // 11:52 p.m.

A few days ago, I was flipping through my photo album, and I found the visual proof that at one point in my life I became (and still am) a politician. I found the pictures documenting the campaign process and the announcement of the results.

I talked to random students in the hopes that they would vote for me and the six other people on my slate (sort of like a political party or coalition) called Student Empowerment! In all honesty, I never imagined myself being on the student council or even campaigning for myself.

Although I had participated in student elections, trying to get referenda passed, the process became much more complicated and time consuming as a candidate. I had to raise money for my campaign expenditures (fliers, signboard, buttons, t-shirts), get volunteers to help campaign, prepare for endorsement hearings with student groups and the campus newspaper, come up with a design for my signboard, formulate a platform, and spend hours campaigning.

I wasn’t alone in all this. I had one of my best friends as my campaign manager. Isa literally had to remind me to eat sometimes. She really did come through in getting volunteers, helping me find a design and artist for my signboard, a wooden board 4’ wide by 8’ high. Since MEChA put me forth as a candidate with the coalition they also fully supported in all capacities.

Once campaigning started, the 5 slate managers had my days and nights planned out minute for minute. The only time I was not doing something campaign related was when I went to class. For the spring quarter I lightened my course load with only 12 units. I had a weekly time grid filled with campaigning, phone calls to volunteers, presentations at student organization meetings, “dorm parties,” and slate and candidate meetings. I didn’t even go to work, so I could use those 10-15 hours campaigning.

When it was finally over on a Thursday at 5 p.m. and the voting booths were closed for elections 2001, I went home, showered and got ready for dinner with friends. The results were to be announced later that night. My apartment was empty; a single rose in a vase sat on the table. My parents had stopped by a few nights before to bring some food for me and offer their support.

I dressed nice to keep the “cute factor” going and the slight tan from being out in the sun all day added a rosy glow to my cheeks. I may have looked nice, but felt awful. I had barely eaten all day and slept little all week, not a good combination. Before I left my apartment I sat down on the couch and started to cry. I was just scared. It was then that I realized how much time and effort I had put into the campaign. I had given up on my personal life and anything not related to SE! for about a month. I was behind in my schoolwork. Not eating well and very tired. And I doubted whether or not it would be all in vain. What if I lost, or we had to go into runoffs, which meant more campaigning. Worse, what if one of the seven candidates lost?

That week was one of the most trying of my life, and it all ended okay. As you know, I won my position. I actually was the #1 general rep because I received the most votes of any other general rep candidate. I say its because I’m cute but that’s another story. Everyone was happy [photo of candidates celebrating, that’s me in the black shirt] at least until mid summer when we actually began feeling how hard the work was.

I don’t know why I wrote this. I guess its because I’m really missing Kim, one of the candidates who ran with SE! Unfortunately, she had to resign in the middle of the year because of some personal issues. Its strange, we were told that a candidate with preceding slates always fell off and didn’t get elected. We rejoiced when we all won our positions… and then one of the magnificent seven fell off.

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