Cliff Gardner

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Last week, Amy and I watched Election and it got me thinking. See, I have this general contempt for most student governments that I don’t really try to hide at all. On the whole, I think they’re a waste of time and resources. It has been my experience that student governments are generally filled with self important assholes who are only doing it for resume filler or really talented people who haven’t figured out how to best use their time. When I was at Willamette, I foolishly thought that I had left all of that crap behind me in high school and successfully ran for a position in the student government senate. Boy was that a mistake.

For starters, aside from a few really smart folks, most of the other senators were the first sort of person I described—annoying, talking to sound smart instead of move things along, generally not too bright sort of people. The result was that the meetings were amazingly boring. After listening to the same frat boy clones saying the same stupid crap about some ultimately pointless committee they were chairing, for an hour straight, I found myself wondering if I could survive a leap from the third floor of the University Center building. Although I never tried it, that certainly would have brought some excitement to at least one meeting.

When the time came for re-election, I half heartedly ran again because some friends wanted me to, but I didn’t campaign at all (campaigns were a joke too, by the way). My logic was that if the “electorate” couldn’t clearly see that I was much more qualified than those running against me, then I didn’t want to waste my time sitting in lame ass meetings for their sake. I wasn’t surprised when I lost. A little disappointed, oddly enough, but not surprised. The next year, instead of student government, I got involved in the programming group on campus that organized debates, concerts, open mike nights and movies, and made more of a contribution of campus in a week than the student senate folks did all year.

The moral of the story is, student governments suck and if you really want to make a difference and get involved than you should find some other way. That, and Election is a pretty awesome movie!


  • I feel like, in the end, all non-sports extra-curricular activities are to teach students leadership skills. For every organization, there are six or seven leadership positions where people learn how to deal with administration, organize big groups, etc. The organization itself is great if it's fun, but doesn't teach you any leadership/organizational skills. I look back on the four years I literally devoted my life to Greek orgs and a) everything I and every other Greek leader did could have done far more efficiently by a single adult administration person and b) the only reason they let us do it was to teach us "leadership skills."

    Either way, the only time I ever had real disdain for my fellow student leaders was when I did my stint in student government. Unbelievable, these people! I totally hear ya!

    By Blogger Anna, at 4:18 PM  

  • This is why I pronounce PUCC as "puke."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:09 PM  

  • I was asked to be a faculty advisor to the student gov't. After I went to a meeting to check it out, I declined that invitation. I wasn't up to that big of a challenge.

    By Blogger magic, and with love from Sam,, at 10:59 PM  

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