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Thursday, October 13, 2005

inside the UC

full disclosure: whenever I write about the UC, keep in mind that I am very biased. My roommate and best friend is the Matt Glazer (the UC Pres), I ran his campaign and am certainly in no way an objective observer.
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For a long time I, and many others, complained about the Crimson's inability to really cover the undergraduate council. Most articles are more stenography ("they voted on x and it succeeded/failed by x number of votes") rather than real reporting. That started to change last year. Encouraged by some good editors, Goodwin has started to really get into (and understand) the interworkings and politics of the Council. Today, she published an outstanding piece in FM that does an excellent breakdown of the possible candidates this December. I highly recommend it for anyone who is trying to get a grasp on how our student politics works. In addition, I have a few thoughts of my own.(more in expanded post)

First, I would draw your attention specifically to Matt's quote:
“Politics is part of the deal, but anyone interested in this job needs to make sure that they prioritize their Council work before their campaigning,” Glazer writes in an e-mail. “This job becomes your life, so you need to be doing this for the right reasons and have the experience to do it.”
With so few of these candidate having been truly committed to the UC before, it will be interesting to watch and see if these five (or anyone else) can prove themselves actually qualified to do the job. Most of their political moves are relatively transparent (all you have to do is read the UC list to see when people are trying to get attention, or not) and it's not hard to know whether or not they're doing any work (I just have to ask the guy who lives down the hall), so we'll find out who's for real and who's just there because it's sexy to run for President.

The second thing I think will be important to consider as this political process begins in earnest in November, is how different communities on campus shake out. That, maybe more than a lot of these questions of leadership, will have a huge impact on different candidates viability. For instance, does the fact that Conner is being pushed by the Harvard Republican Club help him or hurt him? Does the fact that he and Voith are in Final Clubs help them or hurt them? Will Tara or Lauren be able to mobilize women around a female candidate on the top of the ticket? In my experience with this, it's where you find your first level of supporters that really defines your success. Any thoughts?

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