On Tuesday, The Daily Cal, the student newspaper of the University of California, Berkeley, convulsed in agitation that students on the campus didn’t take their votes in the ASUC election seriously enough, as 538 of them voted for a squirrel.
The ASUC is the officially recognized student association at the university.
The Daily Cal noted that on Monday, Chancellor Carol Christ sent a campus-wide email urging students to fight tuition hikes. The Daily Cal huffed, “Members of the ASUC commit their lives to helping fellow students — but now, that mission is at risk.”
Then the lecture: “It’s a shocking display of privilege to vote for a squirrel over candidates who have actual plans to help students who need it. Instead of electing qualified students who had real, tangible ideas — improving UCPD relations, boosting housing, bolstering sexual violence or mental health awareness — many of you (at least 538 strong) thought it might be a funny joke to have a man dressed up in a squirrel costume with no real platforms represent you at the administrative table.”
The Daily Cal was referring to “furry boi,” a satirical squirrel candidate who was represented by campus sophomore Stephen Boyle. The paper sneered, “Boyle had no campaign promises — and he didn’t even show up to the tabulations ceremony. Still, you voted for him.”
The paper added, “But this ASUC election season showed that students just vote for the latest meme trend. It’s not just that: So many students don’t vote at all. So many students vote for their one friend senate candidate and nothing else. And this year, so many students even voted in response to a fraternity-wide email that seemed to borrow liberally from the fear-mongering rhetoric that fuels populist political campaigns.”
Then, a warning: “It’s up to the new ASUC executives and senators to make sure that the student body takes the ASUC more seriously for the next election. With one of those senators being a squirrel, our confidence is wavering.”
So with all the pontificating The Daily Cal has published about students acting responsibly, it ‘s fun to remember this from 2017, when they ran an op-ed that was actually a series of op-eds talking about why violence was useful in shutting down political debate.