April 13, 2006


First off, I'd just like to lead a big slow clap for the U of M campus-- only 10.51% of you could be bothered to vote. Congratulations. You actually decreased the turnout from last year.

After the polls closed Wednesday evening, 2,840 of 27,016 eligible students had voted. Last year 3,839 students voted in all-campus elections.

But seriously, I'd like to say a big 'thank-you' to those of you who voted for me. I promise I won't let you down. Congrats also to Max and Monica. I know they will do a great job.

I need to go to bed, but here are the results in case you care:

Max Page and Monica Heth 1,489
Anthony Dew and Jeff Tate



Noah Seligman


Emma Olson


Steve Mullaney


Pat Smith


Molly Watters


Samuel McCabe


Catherine Wang


Rachel Nearhood


JJ Glover


Sandra Mbibi


Channing Beumer


Lauren McGowan


DJ McIntee


Leslie O’Leary 493

Final position ended in a tie
(position to be determined)

SOurce: All campus elections commission

I might post more later on the presidential race. We'll see.

Posted by smit2174 at 1:02 AM

April 6, 2006

Running for MSA

Anyone who reads this blog regularly (and I know there are a few of you) have doubtlessly noticed that I haven't posted in almost a month. It's been a busy month, and during that time, I've had some thoughts about the future of this site. I'll share them with you at a later date. I also promise that the Coloring Contest will get judged, and you will all get your well-deserved APS points-- don't worry.

Anyway, as the title of this post suggests, I am running for MSA as an At-Large candidate for Forum. I meant to post about this weeks ago, when I actually filed, but obviously that didn't happen. I completed the following candidate survey for the Daily, explaining why I'm running and some of my concerns. It should be posted on the Daily website sometime soon, but I figured I would share it here, as well.

Please, read through my statement, comment, let me know what you think, but above all, VOTE next Tuesday. I would appreciate your support.

Please provide any background you feel pertinent to your campaign:

I am a second-year student here at the U, hoping to double-major in English and Russian. In my two years here at the University, I have tried my best to get involved in the community, participating in groups such as Habitat for Humanity; Students Today, Leaders Forever; and U-DFL (College Democrats.) I am proud to be U-DFL-endorsed.

I have been interested and involved in local and campus politics throughout my time here, and this year I decided to run for office myself.

What should the student government’s role be at the University of Minnesota?

First and foremost, I believe that MSA needs to be a more effective, responsive, and visible voice for students. Talking to other students while campaigning, I’ve realized that few people have heard of MSA, and even fewer have any idea of what it does. That is a problem.

MSA needs to act on, not just discuss, the issues that matter to students—-otherwise, what’s the point of the organization? MSA can act constructively by:

*Communicating with and reaching out to students more effectively (see below.)

*Focusing on action rather than voting on ineffective position statements.

*More successfully communicating with the University administration to find solutions, and holding them accountable to the wishes of the students.

*Working with the diverse communities that surround campus, as well as state and local governments, to realize our goals.

For which issues should student government advocate?

Obviously, the first duty of student government is to react to the concerns of students and attempt to address those issues. But there are a few issues I am particularly concerned with:

*Finding a way to curb the huge increases in tuition, fees, and textbook costs that have become yearly occurrences.

*Combating widespread student disengagement from local and campus politics.

*Working out a feasible, responsible plan for an on-campus stadium, one that does not place an unnecessary burden on students and addresses community concerns.

How would you reach out to the student body?

Communication between the student government and the student body is important if MSA is to be an effective voice for students. A key factor in the effectiveness of MSA is the degree to which it is able to mobilize the student body to action on the issues that matter to students. We need to improve campus communications by working with all available media (campus publications like the Minnesota Daily; electronic options like e-mail and websites; and face-to-face interaction-- perhaps a regular “meet and greet? with student government) to spread information about what’s happening in MSA to the campus community. If students are more engaged in the political process, I believe MSA will be better able to accomplish its goals.

Should you be elected, what could students expect to see from you in your time on Forum?

If elected, I would be a dedicated, responsible, hard-working representative for students. I would be responsive to student concerns and well-informed about every decision that comes before MSA. Above all, I would push for action rather than debate. By the end of my time on MSA, I want to be able to honestly tell students that we’ve made real progress on the issues that matter.

Thanks for reading. Please also consider voting for Max and Monica.

Posted by smit2174 at 12:58 AM

March 2, 2006

Rock the Cauc(us) FRIDAY-- don't forget!

One last time, here are the deets for RTC:

Friday, March 3
Manhattan Loft (Corner of Oak St. & Washington Ave.)

Remember, you'll get 100 APS points just for attending! Seek me out to get your points, or send an email (see sidebar) proving you were there, and you will be immortalized forever on the sidebar! "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: / Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

Even if you can't make it, get thee here next Tuesday:

DFL Caucus Banner

Also: Click here for a nifty tool that'll let you find your DFL precinct caucus details. Just type in your zipcode and away you go!

Posted by smit2174 at 10:54 PM

Thoughts on Tuesday's governor's debate

We've already established that the Daily article/video combo on Tuesday's U-DFL-sponsored gubernatorial debate is pretty skimpy on useful detail or thoughtful analysis. Luckily for us, MN Campaign Report, who was liveblogging the debate (I logged him in to the network!), has a great post summing up the points the candidates made for each question. That means I won't waste time writing my own summary, and I can just dive into my own thoughts on how it all went down. Here goes:

I'd seen Steve Kelley and Becky Lourey before at U-DFL meetings, and their debate styles were consistent with their stump-speech personas: Kelley the practiced, polished politician; Lourey the overtly (and sometimes overly) enthusiastic grandmotherly type. Kelly Doran was a pleasant surprise for me. I'd seen his billboard on 35W, but didn't really know much about him. Turns out he is a pretty good speaker (I can't say "debater," because, despite its billing, this wasn't much of a debate.) He plays the role of the sensible, no-nonsense, non-partisan moderate very well. As I mentioned before, Doran had the applause line of the night (if there had been any applause in the entire debate): "My generation is doing a pretty good job of trying to screw your generation. And that's wrong."

The format of the debate was somewhat confusing for me as an audience member, and doubtless even more confusing for the candidates. At first, the candidates, especially Sen. Lourey, had trouble staying within the 1-minute time limit for the specific questions. Later, the moderators (Kelly and Noah) opened it up to more general 15-minute discussions of topics (environment, health care, education, and "effectiveness and vision," or something-- the candidates had trouble defining this one.) I think the intent was to allow an actual debate where the candidates could interrupt each other, but they either didn't catch on or didn't want to appear too combative by interrupting, instead opting to pass the speaking duties down the line. Only once did things get even remotely snippy, as Steve Kelley took a swipe at Kelly Doran, saying that he (Mr. Kelley) wouldn't presume to step directly into the management of a real-estate company (Doran is a wealthy developer)-- the clear implication being that Mr. Doran doesn't have the experience in state government to be an effective leader, while Sen. Kelley believes he does. Doran popped back by saying that the Founders envisioned private citizens stepping up to serve their states and nation, and that he'd like to believe that state government isn't so complicated that he can't manage it, especially with his business experience. [aside: MNCR says "Doran was NOT ready for Kelley's comments"; I disagree. His response was logical and well-delivered, and, if delivered in the right setting, would have opened up Kelley to criticisms of being a "lifer." Then Doran could make the case that he's just the "breath of fresh air" that MN needs. But I digress.]

In my opinion, there wasn't a clear "winner" in this debate. But I did learn a lot about the candidates. Becky Lourey is definitely the most liberal candidate in the race, and she seems to have the most concrete plans of any candidate, especially on healthcare. She obviously has a great grasp on the policy details of the health-care debate, as her appearance at our U-DFL meeting made clear (she spent probably close to 30 minutes detailing her health-care plan, which was great, but she went into such detail-- this type of account vs. that type, what she did with her businesses, etc.-- that none of us had any idea what she was talking about.) She has been a strong voice for programs like MNCare-- and is one of the founders of that program. But Lourey needs to learn to better communicate her ideas. Many times, she ran over her allotted time, or launched into digressions that seemed to have no relevance to the topic at hand. These stories are told with a grandmotherly exuberance that is charming, but in the wrong audience, she could come off as a less-than-serious candidate. I enjoyed her ending story: she told of being called an "F.B." (think curse words) by a veteran over an anti-flag-burning amendment that she opposed, and then later finding him crying in the hallway because, apparently, her words in defense of freedom of expression had made him see why he had fought for his country- to protect these very freedoms. However, it had absolutely no relevance to the topic of "effectiveness" or "vision." She also repeated her joke that she is the only candidate that has had her arm up to the elbow in the uterus of a cow. I think it's a funny story. I also have a sick, morbid sense of humor. Is Minnesota ready for such an incendiary anecdote?

Kelly Doran is a pretty good speaker. He effectively stayed within the time limits, and didn't make any huge gaffes. Rather than going into specifics of his plan, Doran tried to connect his general political beliefs with examples from his own life and business career. (Examples: when speaking of the need to support the University, he revealed that he had paid his own way through the U back in the day; in stating that Pawlenty's "greatest mistake" has been that he lost touch with where he came from, he brought up his own family background of growing up in a single-parent household without a lot of money. He also connected a lot of his policy stances to his experience in the business world.) I think this is a style that could appeal to a lot of voters, especially independents. I'd have to review the Doran campaign's policy specifics, but as of now, I would not have a problem voting for Doran in November, if he makes it past the primary.

However, barring some last-minute change of heart, I will be voting for Steve Kelley in Tuesday's caucus.
He is the only candidate that has promised to abide by the DFL endorsement, which I appreciate. I also liked his views to the effect that conflict in politics is OK, as long as it's constructive. He understands the need to build a broad base for the DFL, and believes that being partisan is a good way to encourage participation. He also praised the state DFL because "we can't be rolled over like the national party," as they proved in the last session. I generally agree with Kelley's positions, but even more, I believe he is the candidate that can successfully appeal to progressives, moderates, DFLers, He is definitely the most polished campaigner of the three.

It would appear that Kelley has quite a bit of momentum going into the caucuses: He won the DFL straw poll last weekend, and appears to have more traction against Pawlenty than Hatch does :

2/20. Likely voters. MoE 4.5% (1/16 results) Pawlenty (R) 40 (47) Hatch (DFL) 45 (44)

Pawlenty (R) 42 (46)
Kelley (DFL) 42 (37)

(Rasmussen poll, via Kos)

He's moved up 5 points, while Hatch shows no movement. And this despite the fact that AG Hatch, perennial candidate for governor and publicity hound, doubtless has better name recognition than Kelley. Also remember that Hatch never shows up to anything. In fact, he doesn't appear to be doing a whole lot of anything. I mean, I'd vote for the guy if he ends up with the endorsement, but he needs to prove he is going to put the work in to deserve it.

Overall, I was impressed with all three candidates. I would not have trouble voting for any of them. We've got to get Pawlenty out of office. ...and that's the end of that chapter.

Posted by smit2174 at 6:19 PM

March 1, 2006

Couple of things from the Daily


*The Daily has a short, not very informative article about last night's DFL debate. They did, however, get the money quote from Kelly Doran:

"My generation is doing a pretty good job of trying to screw your generation," Doran said. "And that's wrong."

They also have a poorly-edited video that highlights a few things from the debate, though most clips are taken out of context. One of the editors must have a grudge against Steve Kelley, because the ending clip shows him getting cut off by the moderator, when, in reality, it was Sen. Lourey that regularly went over her allotted time.

*Does anyone else find this funny?

First-year student [name deleted, but trust me, it's in the article] discovered an option to clear her record when she was ticketed with minor consumption in the third week of September. Along with the citation was information about the restorative justice program, a chance to erase the incident from her record.

Having a criminal record could affect future employment, depending on the severity of the crime. But most employers interviewed said they aren't as concerned about misdemeanor crimes as they are about felonies.

Nonetheless, [name deleted] decided to go through the restorative justice program in November to erase the charge from her record and to save money by not paying the fine. Instead, she did eight hours of community service.

This way future employers will see an unblemished record.

Doesn't this person know that this article will be on the internet for all time? Now, the employer doesn't even have to do a background check; googling this person's name will turn up this misdemeanor she thought she was getting rid of. I'm sure it's not that big of a deal for future employment, but by allowing herself to be quoted, she basically negated whatever benefit she got from the "restorative justice program."

Posted by smit2174 at 8:54 AM

In other news...

The gubernatorial debate tonight was an overall success, I'd say. We didn't have a great turnout, and only once did a real "debate" break out, but I learned a lot about each of the candidates and think I know who I will support in next Tuesday's caucus. Hopefully I will have time to do a detailed write-up sometime in the next few days. I know that a couple of people from the Daily were there, as long as a few other media outlets and at least one blogger from the Kelley campaign (I hope he didn't abuse the access I gave him to the U's wireless network!) You could check other outlets for news until yours truly finds the time to write something decent.

Also, if I get the chance, I will be making a comic about one of Becky Lourey's infamous stories. So check back!

Posted by smit2174 at 1:20 AM

February 27, 2006

Time change for Gubernatorial debate!

Apparently, they went and changed the times for tomorrow's DFL Governor's Debate. Here are the real details:

Tuesday, Feb. 28th, from 7-9 PM in the Great Hall of Coffman Memorial Union (in the basement.)

Becky Lourey, Steve Kelley, and Kelly Doran will be in attendance.

I wish I had a digital camera so I could post a pic of the amazing dinosaur-themed advertisement Melissa and I chalked on the sidewalk near Ford Hall. Trust me, it's awesome. Go see for yourself... before it's too late.

OK, see you at the debate!

Posted by smit2174 at 8:35 PM

February 21, 2006

Rock the Cauc(us): Be There

What: 3rd Annual Rock the Cauc(us), sponsored by U-DFL
When: Friday, March 3rd, 8 PM - 12 AM
Where: Manhattan Loft, 802 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis (near the corner of Washington and Oak on the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota)
Cost: FREE

We're gonna have at least two great local bands playing (one is called Battle Royale, and the other I can't remember right now... but believe me, they are awesome. Or at least decent.) But the main draw is the candidates. We have nearly 10 state-wide candidates confirmed as of right now, and we are still working with more campaigns. Come hear the DFL candidates for Governor, Secretary of State, and U.S. Senate speak and mingle with the crowd. Did I mention it's COMPLETELY FREE?!?! Oh yeah, I did. (You have to buy your own pizza, if you want any... but it's not too expensive.)

P.S. Free prizes!
P.P.S. More free prizes: coveted Arbitrary Points System points! (See sidebar for details.) If you are a reader of this blog, come to Rock the Cauc and you will win 100 APS points. Either find me at the event, or somehow prove you were there to claim your 100 points.

Posted by smit2174 at 4:54 PM

February 16, 2006

Ah, the good old days of AP English

I was just brushing my teeth and had an interesting revelation...

[Funny, isn't it, the illuminating power of brushing one's teeth? I highly recommend it... for those of you who don't brush, you should try it. It's fun! and good for you!]

This week is turning into 12th grade AP English redux. Last night and today comprised one of Lady Stip's trademark "nightmares of death and destruction," as I stayed up 'til 3 AM, then got up at 8:30, to finish a paper-- on a poem about death, no less. Then, as luck would have it, I had to spend the rest of the day (when I wasn't in class) prepping for a Russian test I wasn't prepared for at. all. (So why am I up right now at 2 AM? God only knows.)

And there were other parallels. First off, we're reading Hamlet in my Shakespeare class. It's a great play, and even better the second time around. Then, in my British Lit survey, we're reading (well, skimming, unfortunately) Tennyson, and one of the poems we're studying is the classic "Ulysses":

...Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in the old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal-temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

That last couplet has been quoted and analyzed so often it's become almost cliched, but it's lost none of its power since I first read it in the Perrine's poetry book. Tennyson is great. So are Keats and Wordsworth. I really need to read more of their stuff.

While we're on the subject, I don't miss high school all that much, but I do kind of miss the classes. I miss the days where you could sit down every day and talk about a book, or analyze a poem in real depth, rather than going to a lecture in which the professor tries to cram in so many texts and authors that we are unable to get down to the good stuff in any of them. Or going to a "discussion" section where 3/4 of the time is taken up by ridiculous quizzes, stupid procedural questions, and dumb-ass comments by people who don't know what they're talking about, and lukewarm responses from a TA who doesn't really care.

Posted by smit2174 at 1:56 AM

February 8, 2006

Upcoming political events-- get informed!

We have some unique opportunities here at the U to learn more about the 2006 elections that are soon approaching. I guess I will just list them for convenience.

1. Sen. Becky Lourey will address the UDFL next Monday, Feb. 13 at 5:30 PM in Coffman 324. (Watch for the sign.) New members or interested parties are welcome!

2. The UDFL is also holding a gubernatorial debate on Tuesday, February 28th from 8-10 PM in the President's Room. We hope to have at least 3 candidates, if not all 4, there. It should be a lively discussion and a chance to see the candidates before the precinct caucuses.

3. We will also be sponsoring "Rock the Cauc(us)," an event that will combine performances by local bands with speeches and information from statewide candidates (or their representatives) running for Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State. See some free live music and meet the candidates in person to see what they're really like. "Rock the Cauc" will be taking place at the Manhattan Loft (near the corner of Oak and Washington on the East Bank) from 8 PM - 12 AM on Friday, March 3. It was a good time last year, and with 2006 a "real" (*sarcasm*) election year, it should be fun again.

4. Don't forget about the PRECINCT CAUCUSES, Tuesday, March 7! There's no better way to have your voice heard by the party. You could even become a delegate to the state convention, which is a surefire ticket to wealth and fame. Here is a brochure about the caucuses, with helpful "jargon" section and details. DYK: Under state law, you can miss work or school to attend the precinct caucuses with a written notice at least 10 days before they occur.

Pick your party...
Caucus information: DFL / GOP / Independence
*there is no Green Party precinct caucus I'm aware of, but I'll link to their site anyway, in the interest of fairness.

Thanks for listening. This was supposed to be my Steve Kelley wrap-up post, but it turned into something else entirely. So that will still have to wait.

Posted by smit2174 at 12:25 AM

December 15, 2005

1 down...

Well, my first final is done (Biology.) I wasn't too worried about it, obviously, because I only started studying last night. (Not that I had a choice. Waaaay too much stuff going on this week.) But did I need to worry? Umm... no. I calculated that I only needed a 32/60 on a relatively easy multiple-choice test to get an A for the semester. There were a few tough questions, but overall it was anticlimactic.

Now I just have a 10-page paper to write and then one more final that's not 'til next Wednesday. Wish me luck. I wish you luck, as well.

Posted by smit2174 at 11:05 AM

November 6, 2005

Bill Clinton's speech

After standing in line a couple of weeks ago to get tickets (which we came perilously close to not getting-- had we gotten there about 5 minutes later, we would have been too far back in the line), the night finally arrived for Bill Clinton's Carlson Lecture at Northrop.

Melissa, Alex, and I got to Northrop a little after 3:00. The doors opened at 4, but there were already a few hundred people lined up to get good seats. When we finally got in, I was disappointed to find that the entire front half of Northrop's lower level was reserved for those with "gold stars" on their tickets-- I'm guessing those were professors, big Humphrey Institute donors, and other big shots. The other disappointment was that, despite shout-outs to "our wonderful students" and the stated goal of the lecture-- allowing students, business leaders, community members, and University employees, faculty, and administrators to learn together-- about 90% of the crowd consisted of "old people." (According to Alex, the "nutrient people"-- those who should be ground up in factories for their nutrients, like so many horse bones for Jell-O. KIDDING. But seriously.) Obviously, there was a huge demand for tickets, and not everyone who wanted them could get them. And, yeah, everyone pays taxes, which go to support the University, so they should be able to get tickets to a free event. But there was so little publicity on-campus that most students didn't even know about the tickets until they saw the signs at Coffman that said "Bill Clinton Tickets are SOLD OUT!!!" Tickets were such a precious commodity that, I am told, they were going for $50-$60 apiece on craiglist.

We finally got into the auditorium and sat down to wait. The event, scheduled to start at 5, didn't actually get going until 5:30 or so-- they had to wait for ole Bill's plane to arrive. There was the usual series of pointless introductions, but the most surprising was Walter Mondale's introduction of Clinton, which was really nothing more than an extended indictment of Bush. The extremely liberal crowd ate it up.

Finally, Mr. William Jefferson Clinton himself strode onto the stage, white-haired and looking much thinner than I'd remembered. (His new place must not be within running distance of a McDonald's.) There was a huge roar from the crowd and an immediate standing ovation. Obviously, the room was packed with Clinton fanatics. During the speech itself, Mr. Clinton was frequently interrupted by loud applause whenever he said something that could possibly be interpreted as remotely critical of Bush or the Christian Right. It got kind of annoying after a while, because I don't think this was a campaign speech or a Republican-bashing speech at all.

On to the speech itself:
Above all, Billy-boy proved he's still a great speaker. His speech was well-rehearsed and he was able to stray from the script and then expertly get back on-topic without missing a beat. From what I saw, he didn't even have notes or a script.

His speech began with his theory of the "interdependence" (not globalization) of the world. He said that the U.S. must prepare for a time when it is not the world's most powerful country, and explained the need to improve people's image of the U.S. through better communication. He said that, when U.S. troops, doctors, and NGOs went into the tsunami-affected areas this spring and showed that we were there to help, those people's image of the United States improved dramatically. In largely Islamic Indonesia, America's approval rating increased from the 30% range to over 60%, while bin Laden's approval fell-- because we offered real solutions instead of hate.

In his speech, Mr. Clinton also laid out a few of what he feels are the most important policy issues facing the nation today. I don't remember all of them, but he did say that reducing the national debt should be our top priority. The pitch and tone of his voice were so high that he strained the microphone when talking about the five tax cuts that he had received. He was able to effectively relate the issue of national debt to the reduction in our ability to solve other problems in the world: since U.S. debt sucks up 80% of the world's savings, all of that money is money that cannot be used to solve problems like global poverty, hunger, and the AIDS epidemic.

He also touched on the issue of national health care. He stated that the U.S. spends 15% of its GDP on health care, while Canada, the biggest spender of the developed countries with a national health-care system, spend only 11%. 50% of that difference goes towards administrative costs in the battle between insurance providers and health-care providers.

I don't remember the other issues he addressed, but he closed with an optimistic analysis of the state of the world: despite all the problems we see, it is now more possible for citizens to make social change in the world than at any other time in history. Two factors he cited here were the rise of the internet and the rise of the Non-Governmental Organizations (everything from the Red Cross to community food shelves).

Sorry this was such a long and boring entry. If you want more, here are some links:

MPR article
Pioneer Press article

Posted by smit2174 at 5:42 PM

May 4, 2005

Sit-in, part 3-- students arrested

I'm still sorting all this out in my head, so I won't state my opinions about the whole situation just yet. But the news is finally in:

Apparently 9 to 10 students were arrested for tresspassing shortly after 6 p.m. today, when the building closed:

Seven people began sitting in the president's outer office about 10:15 a.m., and another 10 to 12 reportedly sat or stood in the hall outside. He was not in his office Wednesday. Six of the seven in the president's office were arrested shortly after 6 p.m. on trespassing charges, as were three or four others. Police handcuffed them and led them to a van in a parking garage beneath Northrop Plaza, out of sight of the other protesters. Most were expected to be released Wednesday night.

University Police Chief Greg Hestness said some protesters near the van were sprayed with a chemical irritant. There were differing accounts of whether those sprayed were approaching or retreating from the van.

(From the Star Tribune. No one else is on this yet.)

Take a Left weighs in on the "complete disgrace" that is the "shameful arrests of peaceful student protesters." He has pictures, too!

Read up, it's interesting stuff. Hopefully the Daily will have some good coverage of this tomorrow, too.

Posted by smit2174 at 11:08 PM

Sit-in, part 2

From Save the General College: The Unofficial Underground:

HI all,

there are 12 of us inside Bruininks office right now,
they are trying to move us outside of his office, we
need people to call the president's office RIGHT NOW
to tell them to let us SIT IN this office! 612-626-1616

please help us by calling and telling them to let us
sit in this office until the president meets with us

Thank you!

This was posted at 12:10 PM. I just got back from class over in Walter Library, and there didn't seem to be a huge rally going on at Morrill. There was a "Save GC" table set up, but only a few people were around. I also heard there were police over there before, but I didn't hear what happened-- anyone know? There is still no coverage of this in mainstream sources, so it's hard to know for sure what is going on.

Posted by smit2174 at 3:52 PM

Holy crap... a sit-in!

Wow. Apparently a group of General College students and supporters are staging a sit-in in Morrill Hall and President Bruininks' office to protest the closing of GC. This should be interesting to follow.

I'm sitting here trying to think of what I think about all this, but I haven't made up my mind yet. I will post more on my thoughts later if I have time. This story hasn't hit the StarTrib or Google News as of yet-- the sit-in just started an hour ago.

Search for the latest news or keep checking here. Take a Left and the Save General College blog will probably have more updates as the protest progresses. This should be fun.

Posted by smit2174 at 11:06 AM

April 25, 2005

UDFL election

Just got back from our final UDFL meeting for the year, in which we elected a whole new slate of officers. Here's the list, in the unlikely event that you care... at all...

President: Max Page
Vice President: Kelly Kubacki
Secretary: Noah Seligman
Treasurer: Monica Heth
Affirmative Action Coordinator: Chris Montezon
MSA Representative: Adam Engelman

Should be a good year next year. We have a lot of work to do, though. But here's some good news (shamelessly cribbed directly from Armando at Daily Kos):

A new WaPo Poll shows Bush's approval is in fast descent:

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling:

Approve Disapprove
A. Social Security 31 64
B. Iraq 42 56
C. Economy 40 57
D. Terrorism 56 41
E. Energy Policy 35 54

A lot of other stuff, but this one is my favorite:

Which party better represents your personal values?

Dems - 47%
GOP - 38%

The Democratic Party, the Party of Values. Can I get an Amen for that?

This squares with polls from last week: CBS had Bush's approval at 44% and disapproval at 51%, while Harris Interactive had "44% positive, 56% negative."

I'd imagine that those numbers are even better (worse for Bush) among college students. But we still have a long way to go towards getting more young people active and enthusiastic about politics. I think we did a great job of this during first semester with the energy that people had towards getting rid of Bush, but things definitely slid during Spring semester. Rock the Cauc and the campaign for Emily and Colin went well, but other than that, I can't really think of anything we did that was very successful. Here's hoping that UDFL revs it up this fall.

Posted by smit2174 at 7:33 PM