This is the first installment of The Sundial Press’ satire series. References to persons and events in this article are fictional.
By Akshat Singh
With the campaign for the four permanent bureaus on campus coming to its conclusion, the political atmosphere seems as charged as a UV member on Gatorade and a few lines of white, chanting “à Reims” on the city’s streets after midnight. It is interesting to see prospective members lead the campaign for the lists, with an assured sense of dignity. Of course, since there is dignity in labor as well, the chatter of certain members promising to clean up their long lost friends’ apartments and doing their dishes is becoming apparent by each fleeting hour.
While several members showed hesitation by simply campaigning by evoking sentiments in other students like reminding them of the first (perhaps, the only) time the two had met, many others have taken the election to a whole new level. It was interesting to note how all lists trying to do something innovative and completely different came to the conclusion that throwing parties in overcrowded clubs, spread throughout the city is perhaps the most novel idea.
Inside one of the clubs strategically placed members targeted vulnerable looking voters. One could easily sense the lurking discomfort as two individuals stood facing each other, smiling and not saying anything. “My cheeks hurt already. I don’t think victory is worth the chronic pain in my facial muscles,” a list member was quoted as saying.
While most students sympathized with the plight of members and spared them from the congenial “small talk”, a mischievous individual was seen, stretching an unwarranted conversation by pretending to seem interested. He also obliged with the occasional laughter, which gave off the impression that he was actually listening. Soon, this turned into a game of cat and mouse as each individual waited for the other one to back out. But as soon as the list member got a notification on her phone requesting delivery of food, alcohol, cigarettes, homework assignments, and toilet paper to a prospective voter’s house 5 kilometers away, we knew that the voter had achieved victory.
Moreover, the park was one of the most crowded venues in the evening. On an attempt of discovery as to which event was taking place over there, we spoke to certain students present with their makeshift tents and sleeping bags. “The only path to success is planning in advance, therefore we are camping here for the night so that we can beat everyone else to the morning picnics and barbecues being thrown by the lists. Our strategy is to wake up early and stand in queue with multiple tupperware boxes, so that we can store the food for a couple of weeks and our dedicated cadre is evenly distributed at all the different venues for the same,” a student at the park was quoted saying. On being asked the point of such severe anticipation for food, when several lists are delivering food to your doorstep, the individual turned pale. This was followed by a mass riot as the campers felt cheated.
Agreeing to speak on terms of anonymity, a student hailing from New York confided by saying, “I was extremely shocked to be approached to be a part of this list since I did not know anyone else on it! Though, I later found out that other members still think that I am Russian, because of my last name and are hoping if I can contact my friendly neighborhood election rigging agency to get ‘favorable’ results.”
On further asking whether he had clarified this misconception, he responded by saying that he will let the election play out and see if he can get a chance to take unwarranted credit, a skill that he has mastered since joining Sciences Po. Forget human effort, certain members have taken to mysticism to win the much coveted elections.
One of our sources tell us that a member running for the SPE list has been planning to sacrifice a bull in honor of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike. On being asked if it seems a little contradictory to the values of SPE, the member went on to explain that the entire world only works in complete harmony once different beings understand their respective position in the cosmos. After pointing out that she was dodging the question at hand she concluded saying, “All’s fair in love and war”, and informed that she had to rush to a protest against the inhumane treatment of livestock by multinational corporations.
Moreover, it was astounding to see certain members distributing free t-shirts to support their campaign. “Only free t-shirts can counter free hugs and kisses”, one of the members involved said. On being asked if this was not a violation of the expenditure limit set by the Campaign Committee, he seemed amused and said that the only source of reliable campaign-related information for him was the ‘Yik Yak Campaign Week’ page. Others, surrounding the member nodded in agreement and seemed to protest the formation of a new committee without any prior agreement. The chants of “What’s the point of an election, if it is fair?” were heard soon after.
The journalist was also manhandled after this, as certain members of a list argued whether he was actually a spy for the other side, which is playing on secrecy to get an unfounded advantage over the others. The realization, that thanks to the tradition of Chinese whispers, there are no secret lists anymore, seemed to have taken a toll on the member.
Nonetheless, we would like to wish all the aspirants all the luck from our side.