I had a very nice lunch with Katie today and then swung by the Reitz to pick up some Kaplan info (yeah right...I was really there to snoop around!)
I arrived via the ground floor of the Reitz by the Wachovia and didn't see any slating sighs there or on the entire groud floor. Then I went up to the first floor and saw few flyers: b&w Swamp & Pants ones plus the professionally done Action Party page-sized ads. Outside the parties were no where to be found, as a Pro-Israel rally was taking place (number of Arabs in attendance: "0").
As I strolled over to the culdesac of party tables and qualifying rooms, I saw Chris Chase (Action Veep Candidate), Rosemary Clouston, and Sen. Ryan Nelson. The hospitable senator offered me a seat, that was nice. I spoke to the Action people at length and congratulated them on their candidate-pick for his experience in office, however, I did make mention that they could have dug a little deeper and gone more grassroots/indie to 'sow the seeds for spring,' but w/e, Chris Chase is a strong candidate, with plenty of experience, and will definitely give Armand some bang for his buck.
I finally got to meet Gavin Baker (he wasn't anywhere near as vocal as Nelson) but very professional to say the least. I must say that when Bruce Haupt (Pants, Veep Candidate) arrived he took control of the room and I wanted to shake his hand. I told Nelson & Co. to watch out for this party -- which I will publicly predict even at this most early of times, that Pants will surpass the 20%-mark. I'm willing to bet $20 with one person on this, let me know whoever wants this action).
I also want to clear something up with Swamp. I had every intention of going into the Party of my good friend Lydia Washington's room, however, I didn't like the way I was 'greeted.' Action's Nelson offered me a seat, Pants' Haupt offered to answer questions for the blogsite, but Swamp's officer blocked the doorway, gave me a kind of cold vibe, and made me remember how out of place I felt as an Ignite House Leader and just how much I hated being a mainstram Greek for the semester that I was one. She smiled and seemed to be really trying to be friendly like Nelson & Haupt but I guess I saw right through her (or maybe I saw what I wanted to see, this is nothing on her, just, if I were a student I'd a bolted outta there too).
Just looking inside the Swamp room I saw a sea of black, the black fabric of formality donned on every person's back, makeup & pomp, it was like the Tribe of the Power-Lunch had returned to re-take their plush qualifying room while the Opposition Parties got stuck in the Section8/HUD'like closets of Voice days. Still....Swamp has my old colleague Arturo Armand and the lovely Lydia Washington amongst its ranks, so I will not base my opinion on them merely on one slightly over-formal party member. That look though.....she's a pretty girl....but that look....reminds me of Meredith Pelton's look when I mistakenly sat at an Innovate caucus meeting or whenever I'd interview for the Judiciary Committee or maybe the first five or six summer sessions when Goldberg would call me "Mr. Duque" instead of "Senator" like everyone else (possibly b/c rebel Greeks are considered scum by mainstreamers). Whatever the case may be, I'm still open to Swamp and have a great interview comin up from them.
Bill of Rights
*Compare to Handout
1. Unanimous Votes....3 Parties in one year (Impact, Unite, Action), 3 platform cards, why not push 1 platform till its done?
2. Baker/Nelson, ok.
5. CHEESEY F-I-L-L-E-R
7. Low-Fat Diets? What is this?
8. Cannot be addressed by SG, A&S Fees are limited, this is nonsensical
9. VAGUE F-I-L-L-E-R
Bill of Rights: C/C-
I hope action promotes safe sex, because it looks like you're sleeping with almost ten different (business) partners. Worse of all, there's no Maude's, Leonardo's, Satchel's, Book Lovers on it....you're selling out to CORPORATE businesses, this is TOMMY JARDON and the Impact Crew at work, I would hate to think that Gavin Baker sat quietly for this. If you "just needed the money" then fundraise like Voice did, like Progress did, like the Student Alliance did...like---> ACCESS did.
This flyer is a football calendar, a food menu, and a party ad. It's sick and just for this ad I wouldn't vote for your party, but it's early yet, you might change. I'm sorry guys, but Action has the right people, the right conditions, but the wrong approach. You cannot think about winning, you need to sow the seeds for Spring, you need to be GRASSROOTS, INDIE, FRINGE, you need to S-T-O-P trying to BLEND in with SWAMP and show the students, sacrifice this election for it, you need to show the students that "'WE'RE'" DIFFERENT!
At least take a loss and let the kids know you're DIFFERENT. When I was rallying for Ignite @ Turlington, I felt shame, S-H-A-M-E to wear that red b/c of the fact the SA Party kids were fewer, more modest, but so much more different and were a true alternative; I wanted to be part of them and I supported them even as an Ignite official. Please, I'm begging you guys here, please stop trying to be what you are not, go INDEPENDENT. But will you listen, probably not...because the independent movement is dead, thus spoke Zarathustra.
Glossy Grade: C-
Overall Grades (includes multiple other factors, curve, and sans shallow-ur-not good enough to breathe our lavish years-in-advance-reserved-room air* and also based on policy and party behavior, front-runner quality, and party organization):
I was harsh guys, but you gave me the most to work with. Good on ya.
ATTITUDE alone is worth 20% points; If they try...25% is a very outcome!
Institutionalistically-BORING. Armand, Brett, Lydia could save it.
Just from Alligator articles and limited emails, I would push for JCB to speak more for Swamp than others. JCB possesses the kind of literary prowess that could not only save Swamp from appearing so P-C that they look indifferent and just might bolster renewed support from sluggish Greek houses.
IF Lydia rallies support at BSU and Armand's SLB's are still as strong as in 2004, the MGC will go Swamp -- adding a sizeable strain on the larger NPHC to continue it's support of the original Boyles/Washtington ticket now presenting Armand for the vacancy.
The wildcard however, is the Haitian bloc of BSU...my sources say they are not entirely Pro-Swamp, so this could be a problem for Swamp organizers. I would think that the Battle For BSU would be fought between Swamp & Action at CARIBSA, whom it is my belief are the powers that be in the African American community two years and counting. However, unlike JSU & Pride!, CARIBSA leaders are known for being extremely shrewd and have little patience for rhetoric, while they have issues with Swamp, I don't know that Action has the goods to win their votes.
Another battle to be had will be that between Armand and Jardon, whom I'm sure will probably use ineffective community leaders (that are convinced otherwise about themselves) to try and split support in HSA between Armand and Action. Will not fly. I suspect we will see endorsements from Danny Sanchez, Jeannette Coto, Joyce Medina, Laura Gonzalez, hell maybe even Gil Sanchez go Armand's way. Jardon's CASA-clout will help him, but it'll be lambs to the slaughter for Action in HSA, the MGC, and possibly even non-aligned-yet-mighty org's like UEPA. I also believe the LTA Reign is over, with Medina & Armand ruling almost successively, the bar has been set with Gamma Eta & Sigma Lambda Betas back on top.
The Dark Horse
The Gay & Lesbian community remains a powerful, though largely, untapped force. Unlike the large advantage one would have w/Black votes if one were in fact Black (or Hispanic, or a Cowboy, or a Sushi fan)...the LGBTQ community is much more demanding and being Gay is about as relevant to the LGBTQ commuity as if you prefer rhinestones to studs. However, if a candidate was Out-&-Proud, full force...this I believe would be a formula for mass mobilization. Will Action go for something fringe, survery say: "no."
The LGBTQ community could fet as high as 4.5% of the student population (by 2005 estimates). Action has the oppportunity RIGHT NOW of using their campaign to not only sell high-fat, low-budget empty carb meals but to also raise tolerance and diversity. Will they do this, survey says: "no."
Alright then! I'm out. Great seeing all of you. Why am so hard on Action you ask?
Because I expect more! Tired of working today? I don't care, work harder. I sat with you for a reason. I identify w/you, so do a lot of people. You want their vote, work harder and stop whoring for $. No one wants gloss & pomp, they want revolution, they want to feel part of something dynamic, try feeling like a COLLEGE STUDENT REBEL dining at:
If anything I'd feel like a moron donning a plastic-drool-bibb and wearing a cone-shaped party hat. Students aren't morons, give 'em something better, give 'em something to be proud of.