Stop voting for unqualified ASUC candidates

CAMPUS ISSUES: You voted for a squirrel. We’re disappointed.

Kelly Baird/Staff

Congratulations, UC Berkeley students: You’ve just elected a squirrel to represent you.

On Monday, Chancellor Carol Christ sent a campuswide email calling for more students to join in the fight to stop further tuition hikes, even though just three months ago, she was justifying tuition increases at the UC Board of Regents meeting. This change didn’t come from nothing: Countless hours of work from elected student officials preceded it. Members of the ASUC commit their lives to helping fellow students — but now, that mission is at risk.

Aspects of last week’s ASUC election results prove that UC Berkeley students don’t take this advocacy work seriously. This is a travesty, given that the ASUC does thankless work in the interest of the student body.

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 UC Berkeley Memes for Edgy Teens Facebook page generated countless jokes about “furry boi,” a satirical squirrel candidate whose human proxy is campus sophomore Stephen Boyle. The page’s endorsement of Boyle’s satirical campaign likely encouraged many uninformed students to jokingly vote for a squirrel for senate. But Boyle had no campaign promises — and he didn’t even show up to the tabulations ceremony. Still, you voted for him.

On a campus where roughly 20 percent of undergraduate students are transfers, instead of a single transfer representative in next year’s senate class, there’s a squirrel. Without a representative, there’s no guarantee that anyone in the ASUC will work to directly improve the transfer student experience in the coming school year.

Just as in national, state and city elections, it’s critical for student voters to be informed. 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 fraternitywide email that seemed to borrow liberally from the fear-mongering rhetoric that fuels populist political campaigns. (Interfraternity Council President Jon Jay sent an email to his entire fraternity community on the first day of voting, absurdly urging brothers to “protect our way of life” by voting for the Student Action executive slate and certain senate candidates.)

Clearly, most students aren’t aware of the essential work that the ASUC does. 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.

Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.

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  • Sarah Rosenfield

    I don’t understand why people commenting are saying “what is the ASUC good for?” They are able to vote on financial decisions. They can use lots of university money to create initiatives. They have a large voice in what admin will listen to. If there were more people invested in it, a lot more change could happen. I know most of you are going to give me a cynical response, but honestly answer this: how could it be in the best interest of anyone to have a small minority of people speak for the large majority of people?

  • BPatMann

    When has a student government ever accomplished a single thing, other than selecting the color theme for the homecoming dance? (And that always turns out to consist of the school colors.)

  • AltAzn

    Some of the “serious” candidates complain about how minorities get shut out of Cal (FYI minorities make up over 70% of Cal) and how minorities don’t feel welcome on a majority minority campus. At least the Squirrel doesn’t spew lies.

  • Andrew Conde

    I think the squirrel disrupted the election process just like Trump. Sad.

    • lspanker

      I’ll tell you the SAME thing I told the crybabies the morning after Trump was elected: Pick better candidates next time! If the majority of the voters wind up electing a squirrel or cheeto or whatever, it’s a clear sign that the options were sufficiently unpalatable enough to result in such a protest vote. When the choices are either shrill left-wing SJWs, gender-confused goofballs or the usual garden-variety resume-padding hacks, the squirrel looks quite reasonable in comparison.

  • Princess Mom

    I think we should stop mandating sensitivity training and mandate some satire training instead.

  • SGT Ted

    Maybe if the ‘serious” candidates weren’t such insufferable SJW douchebags, the squirrel wouldn’t have won.

  • Smokey Joe Wood

    TIL the majority opinion of the Editorial Board is to bolster sexual violence.

  • Harvey Birdman, Esq.

    Honestly, I’m just stunned this editorial isn’t about appropriation of furry/otherkin culture.

    Take the small victories, I guess.

  • Esteban Rodas

    The last time I heard about ASUC, they were badgering a girl because she had hooked up with some random guy at a frat party. Let that sink in. The people supposed to be representing us where more worried about gossiping and acting like hyperbolic extras to Mean Girls than dealing with actual issues. It’s a circus and a joke that all these self-aggrandizing, ineffectual “student leaders” use this to pad their ego than do anything of substance. Rather than elect a joke candidate, I just wish we could vote to abolish this institution that masquerades as a voice for students when in reality it just drains funds to people undeserving of power. I want this temple of corruption to come crumbling down once and for all. The Daily Cal can go for all I care as well, if they’re willing to defend this shameful display of incompetence rather than actually report on how messed up the ASUC really is.

  • Goldname

    your little asuc council has the potency of expired amoxicillin against the flu to improve berkeley in the first place.

  • WhigWam

    Absolutely fantastic to see that certain constants of college life remain, well, constant. The ASUC had absolutely 100% zero relevance when I was in school 40+ years ago, and it clearly has equal import now. It was (and obviously remains) a sandbox for a handful of dwebs with startlingly warped senses of self importance to play in. And kudos to the man in the squirrel suit. Mr. Beeswax (below) nails it..

  • slocklin

    “Privilege” -you keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means. The people have spoken; your ideas and qualifications are not of interest to the student body. For that matter ASUC probably shouldn’t exist at all, or should be explicitly turned into a furry organization.

    “Look at that den of traitors where I met you. Dry rot is no name for it. One can’t keep his sanity in such an atmosphere. It’s degrading. There’s not one of them who is not degrading, man and woman, all of them animated stomachs guided by the high intellectual and artistic impulses of clams” -Jack London commenting on University of California politics of 100 years ago.


    Liberals like this laughable “EDITORIAL BOARD” are dumber than dirt, and *far* less useful,

    • StanFromSomewhere

      They are far more of a joke than the squirrel who has their panties in a knot.

  • disqus_9NHum6ajxy

    I thought it would be obvious that voting for a comedic candidate should have indicated to you the growing level of apathy and disillusionment with the current political establishment. Students are not stupid, they’re not privileged (that’s the common buzzword nowadays, isn’t it?), and they’re not clueless of what’s in their best interest. This should have been the clearest expression of disenchantment and need for political change, but you instead condemn and dismiss their political expression as illegitimate and idiotic.

    Let me tell you something-voting for an anti-establishment “joke” candidates is a legitimate and rightful form of political expression that is implemented in many countries where the populace is unsatisfied and angry with their government. Brazil has satirical candidates all the time (Wonder Women, Jesus, clowns, etc.), and its known as a form of protest against the corrupt, inefficient, and out of touch nature of Brazilian politics. Of course, there are severe problems with the Brazilian electoral system including compulsory voting that encourage large drives of people to vote for joke candidates, but that doesn’t discount it as a fair form of political expression.

    The students voting for a Furry Boi haven’t failed their community and Furry Boi winning isn’t an indication of a failing citizenry. It shows how ASUC and those in power with influential voices have failed us.

    • StanFromSomewhere

      It’s also quite disingenuous of the editorial board here to whine and cry about “joke” candidates when they endorsed a guy with a beard wearing lipstick and claimed that he/she/it would be the best possible person for that particular position. Oh well, I guess some jokes are a lot funnier than others.

      • Rezeya Montecore

        Yeah, that pronoun cliche for instance. Less funny than others.

  • Jc Flores

    Either students don’t care about what you (hopeful candidate) are trying to accomplish, or they don’t agree with it. Either way, your failure as a candidate to get your point, or capacity, taken seriously is a strong sign that you do not deserve a position of leadership and responsibility. The only privilege on display here is by those who feel entitled to an elected position when they fail to both win and understand the will of the electorate. Be the change people actually want, not the tag line you can add to your resume.

    The squirrel is a wakeup call, the ASUC does not represent the student body.

    • lspanker

      The only privilege on display here is by those who feel entitled to an elected position when they fail to both win and understand the will of the electorate.

      What’s especially sad is that those who apparently disagree with what you or I or the others here have posted can’t come here to the comments section and give some type of reasoned rebuttal. Instead, they resort to their usual tricks of flagging and removing comments because they lack the backbone to engage in a two-way discussion. For a university that makes such a fuss about being the home of the so-called Free Speech Movement, they apparently aren’t very supportive of the concept.

    • Nunya Beeswax

      Democrats who didn’t support Hilary Clinton were also chided for their “privilege.”

      Because, you know, registered Democrats are morally bound to support whatever blithering nonentity the DNC places in front of them.

    • J.L.

      And ironically, the Daily Cal recently covered a story about the Graduate Assembly seceding from the ASUC–because they didn’t feel like their concerns were being addressed.

      The Daily Cal might be able to say undergrads are immature. But what about the graduate students?

  • Howard Krusey

    “last week’s ASUC election results prove that UC Berkeley students don’t take this advocacy work seriously” Yes! So maybe you should think about why that is.

    • That Guy

      Being an “activist” means never having to look at yourself.

  • Cervesa

    Its a display of apathy, rather than privilege.

  • lspanker

    Ooh, I see we’re back to people flagging comments when they get their little snowflake feelings hurt, but lack the intellectual capacity to come up with a reasoned rebuttal.

    Come on now, when in the capacity of the Editorial Board of the Daily Cal, you come out and openly ENDORSE some dude running around in a dress and lipstick and a beard claiming to be a woman and running for some office, don’t expect anyone to take you OR this election seriously.

    I’m not surprised at all that the squirrel won, better a squirrel than a nut…

  • 1776

    If I was still a Cal student I’d vote for Furry Boi. Anyways not sure why the editorial bored attacked kids in frats for voting student action. If they thought student action was better for fraternities that sounds like a pretty legit reason to vote to me. Has the Daily Cal been infiltrated by far left CalSERVE kids?

  • Jorge Carolinos

    “It’s a shocking display of privilege to vote for a squirrel over candidates who have actual plans to help students who need it.”

    It is a shocking display of privilege to be so entitled and so unaware. To be so unaware of how comical you are, while so entitled to be taken seriously when you are so unaware, that is some privilege. Vote squirrel.

  • Jorge Carolinos

    Sayre’s law states, in a formulation quoted by Charles Philip Issawi:
    “In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to
    the value of the issues at stake.” By way of corollary, it adds: “That
    is why academic politics are so bitter.” Sayre’s law is named after
    Wallace Stanley Sayre (1905–1972), U.S. political scientist and professor at Columbia University.

  • so protest votes arent allowed?

    • StanFromSomewhere

      My take of the editorial board’s position on protest is that it’s only acceptable when it’s done to advance causes that they agree with.

  • That Guy

    Squirrels gather nuts and hide them in holes. It sounds like a useful skill around here.

  • robin

    The fact that a few kids managing what is essentially a comedy channel resonate more with the student body than some resume padders and stuffy student journalists speaks volumes

  • RobMyers

    Perhaps if the Editorial board didn’t have their collectivist heads stuffed up their proverbial oak trees they’d understand the appeal of voting for a squirrel over the self-important, hyper-politicized nonsense that passes for student government.
    I’ll clue you in; if you don’t learn to recognize a joke, or that people have voted for a meme because they want to take the piss out of something that takes itself too seriously, you’re going to have a really lame life.

    • lspanker


    • California Defender

      Well written! I’ve looked at your other comments and you are quite talented.

      Keep it up!

  • Nunya Beeswax

    Voting for a squirrel sends the message that none of the choices are compelling, and that in any case the ASUC is a glorified student council with an inflated sense of its own importance.

    • lspanker

      Voting for a squirrel sends the message that none of the choices are compelling

      Which of course deflates their little egos and causes them to have this little editorial tantrum.

    • FSM

      Couldn’t agree more. Get a decent platform and maybe you’d be actually taken seriously.

      • lspanker

        Problem being is most of these children have been completely indoctrinated by hard-left teaching staff, and consider actually addressing student needs and concerns as secondary to using these positions as vehicles for their particular flavor of SJW “activism”. When the personas they project and the causes they advocate for start sounding like some third-rate Monty Python clone, the people who endorse them have no grounds to whine and cry when the voter base turns up and says “I don’t think so” to their candidacy…

  • lspanker

    I would vote for a squirrel over a guy running around with lipstick and 3 days worth of beard growth pretending to be a girl. It’s like the difference between the Slightly Silly Party and the Extremely Silly Party.

    • California Defender

      I’m disappointed the bearded lady isn’t going to be the scruffy face of Berkeley. I can hear Carol Christ exhaling in relief, but the squirrel is a nice consolation prize.

      Apparently there actually is an undercurrent of humor still alive at Berkeley. Or perhaps even a secret society of sanity that is willing to poke at the radical leftism that has Berkeley in its cold grip.