Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Then & Now, Here & There

As I read the Daily Bruin yesterday in an attempt to distract myself from finals, I stumbled across the platforms for this year student government candidates. I feel so old as friends who were freshmen when I was a senior are this year's seniors running for office.

I smiled as I saw each slate have the same coalition of candidates running on the same kind of platforms as when I ran and candidates much older than I ran on as well. When I ran for Vice Pres, I thought our ideas and tactics were so different, so reinventing the wheel, so progressive from the past. How naiive I was.

After observing UCLA politics for six years now and talking to alumni, I have realized that there will always be the blue slate (my team) with the Greeks, the Hill, Jewish Groups, Bruin Dems, Moderates, sometimes Republicans, and independent organizations against the red slate with the cultural groups, labor people, lgbt groups, and "very liberal" protester types. Sometimes a student group will switch sides or the slate may try a new color, but it always seems to go back to this formula.

Moreover, I have learned that the coalitions, major players, and issues of student elections are the same school-to-school. When I clicked on my friend's links to the UCSB election, I saw that they even had the same exact tshirt color and design as the one we came up with three years ago. (Faith, we should have copyrighted it then).

There's a lot I do not miss: passing out flyers during campaigns, being called a race traitor, someone threatening to revoke Bruin Dem's charter, meetings until 2am, and losing races. But there were many aspects of student government that I am still grateful for: mostly the people I met. Some of the coolest, ambitious, smart, crazy, and dedicated people at UCLA. And of course, there was my running mate Alex. We really need a reunion.

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