So the UC campaign is over, and how does this little Harvard Indy blogger feel? Well, tired. It was a long run (one that I was a part of), and as the days progressed, the expected became more and more inevitable regarding the winners of the presidency and vice-presidency, but the unexpected certainly came true as well- I was a winner, too.
First and foremost, this campaign has made sisters out of my closest girlfriends on this campus. We stayed up until ungodly hours of the night only to wake up and dance in the 9 AM snow to Peter Shields’ “Body Glow”. We made posters and shirts that fit over our coats, abused our glitter privileges, giggled and doodled through UC candidate meetings, mustered up some resources we didn’t even know we could find, and made a movement out of nothing at all- no experience, no networks, no fear. So, to you, Campaign Manager Laura Hensch, Chief of Staff Rachel Montana, Propaganda Minister Camille Graves, and the many of you I have no space to name here, a sincere thank you- you made me who I now am, a totally different person than a week before. A confident, sociable, happy, fearless person. You know you’ll always have my deepest friendship.
But this appreciation is to be expected, and I knew that, coming into this, I would have a least four great friends by the end of the ride. What I did not expect, however, was how many people- old faces and new- I would grow to appreciate and count among my friends by the end of the week. In fact, between my GOP-Open emails and my father’s hilariously slanderous blog, I was pretty sure my friend count would drop exponentially, and I was almost sure that the one person I knew before coming into this, current president Matthew Sundquist, would be one of them. Yet, miraculously, this was the exact opposite case. The winning campaign took myriad attacks from my campaign in stride- sometimes with shy smiles (probably Walt Howell’s case) and others with the kind of earnest laughter that echoes in your mind for decades (Jeff Kwong and Randall Sarafa are really the textbook examples of this). Campaigning outside in frigid 10-20ºF weather can do something to a group of people, even when they are institutionally meant to be enemies. You can’t help but comment how cold it is to the other team, and between the 10 and 11 AM rush hours, you have nothing to do but either play the flute and ask passersby for food donations (my preference for a while), make a sometimes irritating competition out of standing outside (the Roy Willey approach) or walk up to the other candidates to say hi and see whether or not they are cooler than the missing third party (the Sundquist-Sarafa team’s tactic). And with an obvious passion in common (politics), it’s not hard to be make friends with the only warm thing about campaigning outside the Science Center- the other campaigners’ dispositions.
As we now all attempt to return to the normal life- the one with classes and papers and sleep- I can only extend my sincere love and congratulations to Matt and Randall their campaign manager, Mel McGowan, and remind them warmly that they are not the only winners. By living this experience with them, and by now being able to count them among my friends, I am a winner, too. I can only pray we don’t lose touch after election time, and only regret that I didn’t take enough pictures with you all.
Forgive the sappiness, my friends; this past week meant a lot to me. And the sappiness comes with being raised among poets.
I guess I should also mention Leo Zimmermann, my VP. Thanks for letting us use your name.