Elections are in the air in Cambridge, and it's not just because of the latest round of regime change in the U.S. (and New Zealand!) After a not-so-suspenseful election, I am the new treasurer of the Gates Scholars Council, which organizes all of the social events, speaker series, publications, and other services provided to and by Gates scholars. I won this post through a Soviet-style election in which I was the only candidate, which was true of about half the Council positions. However, I did win convincingly over RON ("re-open nominations"), who is an option for every office. In my case, RON went down 95 to 1. RON got at least one vote in every race, leading me to believe that either (A) each of the new Council members has at least one archenemy or (B) somebody is making a statement for electoral competition.
After another, only-slightly-more-suspenseful election, I am also one of three Social Secretaries for the Emmanuel College MCR this year. I say only slightly more suspenseful because although there were four candidates for the three slots, one of them chose not to submit a "manifesto" (Cambridgespeak for a candidate's statement), which is tantamount to running for president and not campaigning. The planks of my platform included an Emma community service day, an Iron Chef-style cooking contest between graduate houses, and more opportunities to interact with Master Richard Thomas James Wilson of Dinton and other college muckymucks.
A third election is underway for two student reps to the Development Studies committee. I'm not really interested in this one and did not nominate myself, but someone put my name in. There are ten candidates, and unfortunately only one of the ten represents a developing country. The rest are mostly from the North America, the UK, and the Netherlands. Not to be ungrateful to whatever kind soul(s) nominated me, but I did not vote for myself and am hoping that I will lose. As an aside, I have a colorful tradition of occasionally not voting for myself... there is one particularly embarrassing story from my childhood that my mom likes to bring out if she feels that some embarrassment is in order.
In other news: I'm going to Paris! I'm taking the high-speed train to the City of Lights tomorrow night with a small posse of Gates people. Updates on our très excellente adventure to come soon.