Campus Politics: Prelude
Note: The following is the opening chapter to an SG satire I never finished. I took the notion of an SG satire and made it a high-concept hook by going meta on the audience in the finished product, my 2005 novel Reunion at University Avenue. In that novel, excerpts from an SG satire are used to aid a police investigation.
Campus Politics. . . No Longer Just a Game
As Vera Brittain once said, “Politics are usually the executive expression of human immaturity.” If this is an indication of politics in general, it is the rule for politics on the university level. With handwritten signs and slogans such as “free lunch” as the staple of campus politics, the only ones interested in Student Government historically have been politically ambitious nerds and charismatic jocks. The jocks usually won the election.
All that began to change in the 1970s, when university administrators across the country began giving students more autonomy over their activity fees. The sons and daughters of the rich and powerful began to take notice of Student Government for the first time in history. And for the first time in history, they began to organize to take it over for their own devices.
As apathy increased, it got easier, and within a decade, it was theirs. Now they just had to consolidate power, which was easy enough – bring in a few jocks and a few political nerds, and they had it made. Opposition was few and far in between. The only problem was that they got used to not having an opposition.
In 1999, Gainesville University witnessed the most bizarre election in nearly a decade. After nearly three years without a significant opposition, the group in power split into factions. The “rebellious” faction joined with “dorm rats,” engineers, and political nerds to overthrow the Establishment. Only a liberal group and a joke party would stand in their way.
That was when things got ugly.