David and the Student Council

So, who is this David C that he asked me such question? Well, I met David at a ball, had a long chat, suddenly felt giddy – guys in tuxes usually had that effect on me – and in he goes in my not-very-long list of dodgy guys. I was wandering about in the union, partly minding my own business and partly hoping to bump into him when he sprung out of nowhere asking me to run for a seat in the Student Council. Apparently they are one seat short and now must run further election to complete it. I don’t have a clue and wasn’t interested but of course it is the Faculty of Arts & Science seat, which I happen to be a student of, so David, who happened to be a Union officer that year in charge of running elections decided that I am the perfect candidate! Oh joy. Lucky me. To further persuade me, he launched into a monologue about how there’s only one person running for the seat, thus not much of a democracy if there’s no competition, the election would be fraud, the students interest wouldn’t be served and on and on he went on this vein for some time including the bit about the cycle of life. I wasn’t really listening of course. I was just lost in his lazy eyes. So like lamb to slaughter he escorted me to the union office to make sure I do the paperwork required to run for the seat. I wonder how many students he tried to suckered into running before he met me. I’ll never know I guess.

As soon as I got back to my dorm, I badgered Hannah for help. She’s a politics student so I figure she knows about running for these things. Heck, at that time I don’t even know what manifesto means! Hannah kindly explained to me what I should do and even helped me craft my manifesto. Hey, just because I run on a whim doesn’t mean I’m going to do it without a fight. So I handed in my papers and blitz everyone I know into voting for me. I didn’t really think I would win since the other guy is affiliated with more organization than I was, his paper was more professional looking too, with neatly typed out manifesto (dang, I love this ‘m’ word, been using it 3 times already within this paragraph) compare to my hastily made, handwritten one. Election day come and went. I won. To everyone’s surprise. I had to laugh when David told me how many students voted. Not many that’s for sure. Still, I won it fair and square. The seat is mine.

Thus, I got a cubby hole on which I got invites for meetings. At first I go because David would be there, but half way through he went awol from Uni. He just sort of disappear, nobody knows where he goes. I was heartbroken but hey, I have a duty to go to the council meetings, my seat doesn’t disappear just because the guy who tricked me into it is no longer there. I still go because these weekly meetings were actually quite interesting. I’ve never been involved in something like this before so it is quite fascinating to see how a mini government works, how various officers debate points and merits about their programmes with each other and with the council members that cares, how their own political leaning would spill over into their work and their causes. Like the one time they were arguing about legalizing marijuana. It was fascinating, the pro’s looked like dope-heads and the con’s looked like conservatives. Too bad it went on and on for too long I lost interest.

Another thing I got to do was went on a march in London. It used to be that the students can go to university for free and got a grant to live. Then they cut the grant according to how much their parents makes; the richer the parents the less money they get. Then they want to cut the grant altogether and replace it with loans. Of course this doesn’t sit well with the students. So the student unions across Britain got together to march in protest of such plan. As a member of the council I had to go. So off we went early in the morning in the student bus. I think everyone was half asleep except the driver. I don’t remember where in London we held the protest, all I remember was that we walked for some length, yelling things like, “What do we want? Grants not loans. When do we want it? Now!” listen to speeches, had lunch, then went back home.

I also got to know more people, like Ellie who takes her job as Union Officer seriously (I think she was secretary) and was passionate about her causes. Funny thing about Ellie, when she’s still in the union she dressed just like a pretty political activist, she looks like she’s ready to go on a demo anytime. Then she became a third-year student, graduation and job hunting approaches and she transformed into this very clean, pretty, conservative. Then there’s Mavis who likes to poke fun at his fellow officers. Mavis is not his real name. I forgot what it was. I do remember thinking how very strange, he has a girl’s name. Until I found out that he’s called Mavis because everyone thought he looked like a British fairy cartoon character called Mavis, round with long hair. It wasn’t until he showed me a picture of Mavis the fairy that I realize, why yes… you do looked like the fairy. I have no idea how, I mean, yes he was round and he has long hair just like the fairy but he is also a tall guy with hair on his chin but somehow he really looks like the cartoon character. Amazing. Great sense of humour that Mavis. Well, you gotta be when everyone calls you a girly name.

Too bad I don’t remember their last names. Can’t exactly google for ‘Ellie + Leeds University’ or ‘Mavis + long hair’ somehow I don’t think it’ll yield any result I want. I could google David C. I suppose. But then for what? Somehow I doubt he remembered. Oh well. In any case, I am glad I got to meet him albeit briefly. Though I didn’t run for any seat in the union or the council the next year I certainly glad I had the experience. It was quite interesting. So for that I gotta thank you David, wherever you are.

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