So, the past week and a half or so (“has it really been that long?” etc etc) I’ve gotten more exposure to politics than I ever had in my life.
This is the first year I’ve been old enough to actually vote, and though I realized there were other ways to get involved without actually voting, despite being aware of current events, I never participated for reasons that are probably irrelevant to this blog.
I. Change We Can Believe In
…Yeah. So, you probably recognize that slogan because it seems like everyone under 40 is crazy about it.
I’m not going to get into my personal politics here – if you really want to know, you can talk to me – but I will say that I believe politics are relevant, and in my mission to make informed decisions as often as possible, I decided to attend an Obama rally the night before the primaries. I’ve never attended a presidental anything before and it was definitely a cool experience, even though I had to miss a free, pre-screening of Be Kind Rewind AND a chance to hear the awesome director Michel Gondry speak (courtesy of LSC), and possibly even to drink cocoa with him.
This is the problem with MIT – I’m always deciding between a great thing and an awesome thing. Oh, woe is me.
Anyway, Obama wasn’t the only presidential candidate in Massachusetts that night. In fact, Clinton and McCain were both here, though as far as I know, Obama was the only one to have a public rally in Boston. I think I shall make a life’s goal in which I attend a rally for each presidential candidate in one season.
This girl was there the whole time, and all of my pictures have her in it. Grr.
This is John Kerry! Obama was late, so we got to hear him and Ted Kennedy speak to make up for it or something – Caroline Kennedy was there as well! Oh man – the people went crazy for them. I think the only state that probably loves any of its senators more than Massachusetts loves Ted Kennedy is Illinois (loving Barack Obama).
II. Les Politiques Français
Since I know all of you read about French politics on a regular basis, you’ll be pretty excited to hear that Ségolène Royal came to speak at MIT! I mean, maybe I’m biased, but I think she’s pretty dang awesome.
She gave a speech in pretty bad English (I don’t know why. Everyone there was speaking French) about higher education in France compared to the USA, then there was a Q-and-A session. She mentioned that what surprised her most about MIT was the diversity, and how she really liked it.
Well, can’t argue with that ;)
[Part of being photography-challenged is always forgetting my camera, so I didn’t get any pictures. She pretty much looked the same as she does in all her pictures though.
III. Local Power
You may or may not know, but right now MIT is in the midst of elections as well. Senior Haus had its elections last night in the Housemaster Suite, which I had never actually been in, so it was pretty cool.
Keri ran for president basically unopposed, except for The Perfect Algorithm or something – the premise was that people make mistakes, and Perfect Algorithms do not, and clearly power belongs in the hands of perfection.
The other chairs you can hold in Senior House are treasurer, soccomm (social committe) and Judiciary Committee. MIT dorms are required to have JudComms – the premise behind them, according to the girl running the elections, is that we’re not grown up enough to solve our own problems between ourselves, so JudComm is there to make impartial decisions.
I think a cat got elected. Maybe a couple people, too, though I doubt anyone will ever know who they are.
There was only one actual contested race and it was – well – I suppose you’ll have to visit Senior House to find out ;)
And finally, I decided to be Senior House’s CPW chair for this year. Which means – yeah – *I* decide what you guys are going to be doing this April. I feel powerful. Muahaha. Any requests? I may or may not take them into consideration, depending on how interesting they are…
Keri did this last year. How sweet, it’s like a blogger tradition now or something.
IV. Elections and Ethics
Both Student Pugwash (a fairly young organization that works for ethics in science, technology and academics) and MIT Amnesty International held elections in the past week or so, and I was there for both. I know, I know! I told you I had been political lately. I’m not actually a part of Pugwash, but I went to support my friend Sam. Since they don’t actually have a significant number of members, the polls were completely open. I think Pugwash could be a pretty significant force on campus if time is put into it, so I hope you guys take it into consideration if you come here :)
As for Amnesty, well, in our most stereotypical humanitarian habits, we all kind of felt too bad to have real elections because they seemed so cut-throat and none of us wanted to intimidate anyone else with titles. So we now have co-presidents, co-treasurers, etc. Aren’t we nice? :)
For those of you that found this entry as exciting as I find real Mexican food delicious, you can poke around the Political Science website. I find that people are sometimes a bit uncomfortable when they hear that someone else is majoring in – gasp – a humanity!
But hey. Everything is important and everything is relevant. Don’t knock it until you try it.