Earlier this evening I made my first, and hopefully last, steps into politics. It was the most fun I’ve had in weeks. A sociology graduatre student wrote an open letter to UGGS, the graduate student “government” at the University of Colorado. They don’t really govern grad students, but they claim to represent their interests to the administration. And I have to admit, they do a commendable job.
I could think of no better bait to lure me to the meeting than this guy’s letter. He proposed a “living wage” for all graduate students of $25K per year. He arrived at this figure with a budget for “necessities,” and peppered it with Marxist jargon and identity politics. At the meeting I had two minutes to express my opposition this proposal, which, if voted for, UGGS would pursue. Inspired by ESPN’s Chris Berman, it was the “fast two minutes in…”, uh, political rhetoric?
The gist of my case was as follows: Students can more than get by with $10K, as I demonstrated by butchering his arguments. It was too easy, really. I mean, if we’re going to play the “living wage game”, then let’s get serious. The proposal also called for “free” day care for grad students with children. I proposed to ammend that with “free” dog walking services for students who chose to have dogs instead of children, and similar accomodations for those who liked horses. After all, should the graduate school descriminate for against one lifestyle or another?
I greatly enjoyed preparing, rehearsing, and finally “performing” it. In those two minutes I was right, entertaining, funny, showing off, and people agreed with me (I received positive feedback after – made my day). What more can I ask for? I really should find a job incorporating as many of the above factors as possible.