Tuesday, November 20, 2007

That may have been the loudest tree in a forest...

Ashok, we hardly knew ye.

With the news of his departure, Madison's political elite is chomping at the bit to replace him with some upstanding student who can truly bring the weight of the student body to the county level. Who? Well, Suchita always sounds like a good choice, but I know she probably won't want to - that whole "real life" thing gets in the way of politics, and that's a good thing. David Lepidus? Sure, I'd stand behind that. Conservative or not, good representation is good representation. However, the question that nobody seems to be asking about this is probably the most important.

How do you get students to care?

Believe me, I've written about this before, and I'm entirely concerned about how segregated fees have been manipulated under our noses, how city council twiddles its thumbs on reasonable police increases and how Dane Co. doesn't really acknowledge the existent of the undergraduate student body. We're politically active, but only on the BIG issues. With the presidential primaries coming around the corner, it's going to be hard to get anyone to care about some seemingly pointless local race. No one did anything that important before and the world didn't collapse, why should we care now? It's a hard case to make.

However, I have a plan. I'll reveal a little more about it after a heaping helping of some turkey and stuffing to remove the stress, but I can only say a few things:

1) it will start next semester.
2) It will require the cooperation and patience of every person of political standing on campus, in Madison and Dane Co. That includes you, bloggers.
3) It will try and bring the political scene to students in a way that admits the faults, but lets them know they actually have a lot of sway, if only they'd speak up. The only way to do that means not being so stuffy about politics - honesty includes a fair amount of comedy, I think.

I've been feeling ambitious lately, what with all the talk of change and hope and vision (Thanks Obama, now it's stuck in my head). I think now might be the time to finally reach out to the uninterested and show them what local politics is really about.

But for now, I'm hitching a ride back to Racine. Hopefully the RUSD hasn't collapsed and I can pay a visit to my old high school. Hopefully my high school hasn't collapsed (built during the Lincoln presidency).


Dorshorst said...

You have my sword.

Critical Badger said...

Why don't you make this an "open source" plan (off your #1) so the bloggers and political "elite" can help you out? I have written a paper on the subject and know a few others who talk extensively on the matter.

BTW, how to make them care? 1. Absentee ballot drive so they don't have to ;) 2. "Safety"

Anonymous said...

Starting during the semester of the vote is far too late, unfortunately...
But starting any earlier leads to nobody caring / forgetting.

Suchita Shah said...


Erik Opsal said...

And you have my axe!