Mar 302010
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

The first candidate to follow my election strategy will win the election.

The ASCSU presidency holds some importance to CSU students. Whose name will be attached to the latest failed challenge to 3-unrelated? Who will be blamed for our financial woes despite a total inability to have any real effect on them?

Hence, it’s clear why this position is so desirable to the candidates. Failures of this level usually creep their way toward the highest levels of government, garnering awards and accolades as they go, until finally, they initiate some catastrophe or another, and settle down to a sweet retirement package. It’s the circle of life.

So, as my gift to the future leaders of tomorrow, I offer victory. You guys deserve it.

First, I am not seeing enough pageantry out there. Where are the rhyming cheerleaders and defamatory barber-shop-quartets spouting hateful verse? In years past I’d be trying not to learn which candidates fit into which nursery rhymes.

You, oh future victor, must correct this. I’m a modern guy –– I need my entertainment as either something violent or sexy, and it must be 140 characters or less.

In order to really score points with the crowd, you should pander to something all your constituents hate. Perhaps some tasty buffalo burgers. (As a vegetarian and lover of cattle, please leave the poor animals alone. I’m sure you can find some other buffs to cook and eat).

I’d also like to see some more grandiose promises. Sure, nearly any successful change promised by ASCSU is beyond its means, but if you’re running for president, you need some presidential-level hogwash.

People like believing that nice things come without anyone paying extra money, except for bad people. CSU is currently in the middle of an economic struggle. Just say the following:

“I (name) swear by my deeply-held convictions in (popular religion) that the cost of tuition will drop, the availability of parking will increase, classrooms will become larger, and fat will be the new thin. Can my opponent, (derogatory nickname), promise this? In conclusion, I support local sports team!”

You may notice that last bit wasn’t in parenthesis. It doesn’t need to be. At this point your supporters will be frothing with excitement at the magical wonderland you have promised them, and will mistake little eccentric slip-ups as leadership.

Don’t be above crass bribes. CSU is small enough that you can actually afford to bribe each and every student individually, and in the past candy has been used for this exact purpose. The only reason individual voters aren’t bribed in larger elections is that propaganda is cheaper on a broad scale. Otherwise, we’d all have elected King Bought-Me-a-Sandwich years ago.

At this point, you can do no wrong and every potential voter is on a sugar high. Time to tell grandiose lies about your own accomplishments and abilities. Sure, you’re a regular person, and you may even have a decent record of serving your community. But your opponent is probably that way too. You need to sell yourself up at the same time as you smear the opposition with polarizing slander.

That or you could try to trick them into giving an opinion on health care. Unrelated to ASCSU politics, but it’ll cost them half their voters no matter what they say.

The fact that I’m not seeing this behavior yet means we’re, for some foolish reason, avoiding the kind of behavior that goes on in real politics. This clearly means we’re just not at their maturity level, and if we don’t debase ourselves as quickly as possible, we may never be.

Johnathan Kastner is a senior computer science major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. When he wrote this on Monday, it was still an exaggeration. But now it appears likely that he undershot. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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