The Wolfpack Files

My Life in My Words

Sunday, January 06, 2008


As we head into the big 2008 political season, I think back to my brief venture into politics. I'm not generally one that feels strongly one way or another. I tend to lean towards the Democrats and nothing this year makes me feel like I'll be changing that. I haven't watched any of the debates this year, although I tried to record the Democratic one last night. Of course I set it to record on the wrong channel so instead I recorded a Morgan Freeman/Ashley Judd film. But based strictly on the physical, I would have to say Huckabee, Romney or Obama will win. They just look Presidential to me. Anyway...

Back in college I was a member of the Student Government Association for a year. It may have been two years now that I think about it, but only one year was memorable. My senior year I was the co-chair of the Health and Public Safety Committee. Did I get the job because I was the most qualified? No. Did I get it because I cared deeply about the health and public safety of my fellow students? No. Did I get it because I asked for it? Yes. See that year two of my closest friends ran for, and became, President and Vice-President of the SGA. I remember standing in someone's dorm room after they won and jokingly asking if they had any cabinet positions for me. Pete, the President, laughed and said, yes, Health and Public Safety. I asked if I could have the position and he said, sure, why not? And thus I entered politics.

Before you think it was just that easy to become the co-chair of a highly influential and important committee, it wasn't. I had to be confirmed by the Senate. The Senate was made up of mostly people I didn't know nor cared about. And there was also another co-chair, although I don't recall his confirmation hearing. So anyway, I get to the confirmation hearing and am fairly confident it would be an easy process. Most of the time these chairmanships are rubber stamped and everyone is confirmed unanimously. Of course, it wouldn't be much of a story if that happened. I sat there and the President asked if anyone had any questions for me. One girl, who was extremely serious about her position, looked at me and asked me if I had a working relationship with either the head of Health Services (whose name I didn't know) or Public Safety (lead by Chief Evans). I looked her square in the eye and said that while I didn't have a relationship with the head of Health Services, I had met with Chief Evans many times in the past and had a good relationship with him. She seemed a little wary of my answer (as she should have been - more on that in a second) but didn't ask any follow-up questions. No one else had anything to ask so there was a vote. I got 13 votes for confirmation and 3
abstentions, including one from the question-asker. Of all the votes for confirmation that day, I was the only one who got more than one abstention. Of course there's no way I should have been confirmed knowing what a slacker I am, but what can you do?

So, that 'relationship' I had with Chief Evans? Well that basically boiled down to one incident I had had the previous year. I don't remember if I've blogged about this before, so I'll just tell the story. It's my junior year of college and my friend Pete (remember him? He became President) had just gotten back from Israel and had brought me some incense. It wasn't like any incense I had ever seen - it was more like a foam triangle, about the size of my hand. It burned nicely and smelled good so I didn't question it. Anyway, as I'm burning it, a friend of mine walks into my room and asks if I could give her friend a ride to the train station. As I am a fairly nice person, I agree and we leave. Now normally, I'll leave incense burning because the smoke it creates isn't enough to do any damage. Unfortunately, it seems this Israeli incense was different in more than just looks. When I returned from the train station, I walked into my room and immediately noticed that my trash can had moved into the middle of the room. I thought that was rather odd, and then I noticed I had a voicemail. I checked my phone and it was from one of the Public Safety officers. She said that while I had been away, the incense had set off the fire alarm and they had to break into my room. While there, they had noticed two street/parking signs handing from my window.

Which leads to another brief side story... earlier that year I had taken two parking signs from one of the lots behind one of the dorms. For some reason I had a fascination with street signs (and in fact still have a couple at my parent's house) and so I took them. Needless to say (but I shall anyway) I hadn't planned on getting caught with them. But since when you walked into my dorm room they were pretty much staring you straight in the face, Public Safety had seen them when they came to put out my incense. And now I was being asked to come see Chief Evans to explain the parking signs.

I made an appointment and later that week went into his office. Chief Evans was a very nice, calm guy. He welcomed me and I sat down. He looked at me and asked "why did you take the signs?" I looked back at him and lied. I said that I had been walked through one of the dorms and seen them lying in the hallway and I took them from there. Meaning, I hadn't been the one to take a screwdriver to the back of the metal post and removed them. I simply took them from someone else who had done the dirty work. He looked at me and I'm not sure if the believed me, but he simply said "don't do it again." I looked at him and said "OK," and that was the end of our meeting.

And that was my working relationship with Chief Evans.

I don't remember really doing much in the SGA, much like I didn't do much during my two-year tenure as Vice-President of the A.S.I.A. Society. It was a nice thing to put on my resume however. Considering I was a Political Science major, you'd think I'd care more about politics, but it's rare that there's a politician that gets me interested. Most of them say the same thing, just in slightly different ways. I'm more of a showman and I like someone that captures the imagination. I like reading stories of J.F.K. for instance, since he became President at a very young age and captured the nation in a way no other President ever had or has since. Yes, it helps his legacy that he died in office and there's a chance he'd be seen just like anyone else had he done his two terms and gone home, but I'd like to think he'd have changed the way the office was seen in the public's eye. And looking at the current crop of contenders, the only one who really has the chance to change the nation's way of thinking is Barack Obama.

I honestly don't know enough about anyone's policies to know if he really is the best person to lead the country from a political point of view, but from a social point of view, he would shake up this country - this world - like no one has in decades - possibly ever.