Editor’s note: This is one installment in a four-part series on this year’s candidates for ASUC president. Read about the other candidates here.
While other presidential candidates campaign on Sproul Plaza by holding large signs with their names and faces on them, SQUELCH! presidential candidate Ghost has found it difficult to use traditional methods of campaigning because of one issue: transparency.
According to Ghost’s human proxy, Ethan Schlatter, it has been present on campus for “quite a long time” and possesses the most experience out of all of the presidential candidates. Schlatter added that Ghost is smart and knowledgeable about the campus, has a quiet campus presence and is a “joker” and a true friend.
Schlatter, who is also the SQUELCH! co-creative director, said Ghost has been “trying its best to walk up and say hi to almost anyone it sees on Sproul.” Because of Ghost’s visibility issues, said Schlatter, it has not been very successful, but he added that they are confident that Ghost will improve further into campaign season.
Ghost has been listening to students’ concerns for as long as it has been on campus, according to SQUELCH! party chair Henry Foote. Foote added that Ghost has heard many student opinions over a long period of time, which has helped it develop a good idea of what students want and need.
“It really wants to just be everyone’s friend, and it might have not had that opportunity before,” Schlatter said. “It’s always had obvious problems of visibility.”
According to Schlatter, the typical idea of a “day” does not apply to Ghost, but it still has a regular schedule for every 24-hour period. Ghost’s typical “day” begins about midnight, where it can be found roaming in the libraries. Afterward, it enjoys floating around appreciating the campus’s beauty, Schlatter added.
Throughout the day, Ghost enjoys sitting in on as many classes and club meetings as it can to learn everything that the campus has to offer. It also loves to sit at the Golden Bear Cafe and simply meet people, watching and listening to the flow of campus.
Schlatter noted that Ghost recognizes that meeting people is “the most important thing,” especially through its extended experience on campus. He explained that Ghost has been a presence in many campus organizations, “a larger force than what people might actually see.”
“It’s almost constantly here, as if it cannot leave due to some spooky curse,” Schlatter said. “It’s been a huge lifeblood of the campus, even though it might not be alive. … It has really just seen so much and has so much experience and knowledge that it can pass on to other people.”
When asked about Ghost’s background, Schlatter said that because Ghost does not feel comfortable discussing its previous life, its background is a bit “nebulous.”
Foote agreed that Ghost wants to keep its private life separate from its candidacy, adding that he believes it is best to focus on what Ghost is doing in the present and what it plans on doing in the future, should it be elected to the ASUC presidency.
“Ghost’s private life is Ghost’s private life, and we like to respect Ghost’s background,” Foote said. “The important thing to focus on is all the changes and benefits that Ghost can provide as ASUC president now with its wisdom.”
All three of Ghost’s platforms — access to on-campus housing, retrofitting buildings for earthquakes and increasing transparency within the ASUC — have been on its mind throughout its extended time on campus and, according to Foote, come from its extensive knowledge about student needs.
“For Ghost, the key is to listen and to be a sounding board for what students are feeling,” Foote said. “Ghost is a very quiet entity … but he’s a very hard worker (and) very committed to students on campus.”
Former SQUELCH! presidential candidates Jake Fineman, who is also a former Daily Californian writer, and Kira the Husky have both publicly endorsed Ghost on its Facebook page and both agreed that Ghost will be not only a transparent candidate, but also one of the most “qualified.”
Although Ghost’s Sproul campaigning has proven to be difficult, Schlatter noted that Ghost is running a strong social media campaign, complete with witty Facebook posts and “strong campaign morals.”
According to the Elections Council Master Candidate List, Schlatter’s name will be on the ballot to represent Ghost. Schlatter, however, emphasized the fact that he is not running as a presidential candidate.
“As the human proxy, I would simply be there to cheer it on,” Schlatter said.