ESC, etc.: Midnight Appointments
Written by Bwog Staff
Fu Foundation Bureau Chief Tony Gong stayed up all hours to report on the biggest night of the ESC calendar year, with the possible exception of Mole Day.
After seven grueling hours, twelve speeches, and far too many handfuls of complimentary grapes and cheese, ESC finally finished up electing next year’s Executive Board last night, while everyone I have ever known in my life was sleeping—barring my grandma in China. (What’s up Grandma?)
The winners and their opponents are as follows:
President: Peter Valeiras ’09
(vs. Prish Dunstan ’09)
VP Student Life: Huei Ong ’09
(vs. Angela Blackwell ’11, Daniel Gundrum ’10, Esther Zuckerman ’09)
VP Intergroup: Lauren Minces ’09 (vs. Gunnar Aasen ’10, Krissie Zambrano ’09)
VP Policy: Prish Dunstan ’09 (vs. Boris Mindzak ’09, Ken Yearwood ’09)
Secretary: Whitney Green ’10 (vs. Jiaying Xu ’11)
Presidential Candidate Prish Dunstan began his speech and our night with a nonsensical joke that would foreshadow our delusional states by 4:00 AM: “Hi, I’m Prish, and I enjoy long walks and short beaches.” The council, no doubt shocked by the hilarity of this man, sat in stunned silence. Prish went on to articulate his primary concern to “remedy the connection between us and student body,” which was probably severed when the student body vocalized its affinity for long beaches. LOL.
Opposing Candidate Peter Valeiras expressed a similar concern regarding the involvement of students at ESC meetings. He lamented: “While the meetings are open, students do not see the time as a chance to talk with the council members…Everyone else is back here looking at our backs. I want people not just sitting and watching!” An awkward moment followed when the attention of all the council members shifted momentarily to the tacit public, which was looking at Peter’s back just sitting and watching.
An interesting outcome resulted when Student Life Committee non-member Huei Ong, riding on her strong experience as a CPA, was elected as VP Student Life over the other candidates, all full-time Student Life Committee members. Perhaps this affirms the use of indirect elections, which did not advantage its ESC constituents. Or, perhaps this just shows that Student Life Committee sucks. Regardless, Huei’s opponents Daniel Gundrum and Esther Zuckerman contributed highlights of the night with the best speeches I have ever heard, including Jean-Claude Van Damme’s awesome speech at the end of Street Fighter, which is probably #3.
Daniel, proved to be a charismatic fellow when he prefaced his speech by ignoring the podium and striding to the side of the room, where he was in plain view of the public. He explained: “I don’t feel comfortable having my back to people because I’ll never turn my back on students.” Cue another awkward moment as immediately each council member glanced surreptitiously towards my direction. C
Daniel continued demonstrating his charm with a sage-like introduction to his speech: “Let us take a journey, back to the past two years…” What followed was a dramatic and heartfelt account about attending his first Student Life Committee meeting as a freshman, and his current devotion. Daniel ended delicately by informing us that he has never missed a committee meeting before—a fact that nearly had me in tears, until I realized that that sounded pretty geeky.
Esther, while maintaing Daniel’s apparent fervor, also took on Prish’s nonsensical style of humor, amalgamating them into a wonderful speech that left me clueless – but excited about it! Esther expressed crazed enthusiasm for flyering, marshmallows, and planning engineering wide-events for Mole Day (October 23rd! Get it? Because I still don’t, someone please explain it to me…). And Esther’s plan for Mole Day: “I think it would be really cool to get a huge pinata,” which makes a lot of sense. However, Esther demonstrated that she was a layered personality, not just into pinatas on Mole Day. when prompted to speak about her serious side. She responded: “Sometimes I like to use really big words.”
The final candidate elections were peppered with interesting moments, none of which really lived up to either Daniel, Esther, or Street Fighter. For the VP Intergroup speeches, Lauren Minches gave a well-planned articulation of her characters: “good with numbers, meticulous, able to work well under stress, organized, with good people skills,” but cited her love for Columbia as what distinguished her for the role. However, I was much more invested in Gunnar Aasen’s speech, during which he accidentally kicked off my laptop plug from the Satow outlet, probably symbolizing something.
For the VP Policy speeches, incumbent VP Prish expressed his experienced understanding of the multi-pronged nature of policy, winning him the position. And finally, as the night quietly ended with the Secretary election, winner Whitney Green greeted us cleverly with “good morning,” giving me the strong urge to call my grandma.