Party Politics

Being a teenager is all about being up to date on what the haps in the world of poli-sci. I'm talking watching hours of the amazing network that is CSPAN with corrupt politicians, and complete with gavels and voting. Hell to the no, but it is important to be informed and knowledgeable about what's going on in our country. I like my news to be from ABC News with George Stefanopoulos, CNN or USA Today - they just keep it classy. For all the Joe the Plumbers, Sarah Palin fans, and Arnold Schwarzenegger lovers out there this one's for you. This is party politics, covering my campaign journey for an on campus presidency, and navigating a new friendship. Ticker tape, bull horns, and benefits galore activate ... now.

President Oteng, or proteng (as my fraternity brothers like to refer to me as) - I most definitely like the sound of that. You know that organization, IRA, I'm always talking about? Well it's election time for executive board positions and I threw my plaid patterned hat into the ring to become president. IRA is the Inter-Residence Association and we work in conjunction with Hall Councils to make residence life better in any way possible for on campus students. It's a big role, like the little brother position to SGA (Student Government Association) President, but I'm sure I can handle it. It all started with me writing up my platform with my three main points, character, experience and unity. I'm one of those people who refuses to change who they are for anyone, and that's what makes a good leader. The amount of experience I have working with other people in groups is immeasurable. You all know the amount of clubs I'm heavily involved in, it's like my life. That's like asking Anderson Cooper how much time he spends on the news, irrelevant question. Then there's my biggest point of unity. I want to unite my campus and liven things up. Everyone is all about being free and individual, but you can still be an individual and be linked together in a large way. We're lacking the school spirit, and we need some pep in our lives. Also with unity I want to work with other on campus groups like the ASC, LGBQTA, Greek Life, Women's Center, Active Minds etcetera to get more people involved in all our events. I want to create an inclusive campus where everyone is comfortable. Friday, I started campaigning my ass off, to put it lightly. I was like President Obama only younger, less serious, but just as handsome walking around. I made posters on picnik (this photo editing website) and glossed up my most photogenic (as in all of them - ridiculously photogenic guy meme activate) pictures and made my journey to the library. Mind you, this is a Friday evening, as in the place was literally empty. I go to the copy machines and it's like I-Robot up in there as I struggled to figure out the darn contraption. Like what the eff is this thing, why won't you accept my money, I don't need change, and why is everything two-sided. Just stood there for 20 minutes looking ridiculous and shouting political terms at the machine like "mud-slinger & I'm no dark-horse" - it was that kind of day. I spend $3.50 on like 16 posters and armor up with a stapler and take to the Davis Student Center to hang up my beautiful face all over. It's nerve racking but I get it done. I take to the interwebs of facebook and do some heavy campaigning and I think I've got this thing on lock. This is nothing more than party politics.

Party politics is also applicable to friendship, that's for sure. One of the weirdest things about college is that a lot of the times to become "real friends" with people you have to go out of your way to hang out with them. I'm talking set "play-dates", hang out sessions, and chill time to just talk and get to know one another. The random acquaintance conversations aren't going to get you elected second in command or bestie anytime soon. This week I put my best charming friendship efforts towards pursuing bro-hood with Nic, the hilariously funny kid from last weekends dance madness. Monday we met up for ice cream and did some bro-bonding. Oh you know me just slyly slipping in the basic questions like what do you do for fun, do you have siblings, what do your parents do and what are you aspirations for your life. I was like Scarlett Johansson in the Nanny Diaries setting up the spying teddy bear good right there. The dude is easy to talk to, I feel an immediate connection and we get along really well. A good hour goes by before it's time for more meetings and we must part ways. Later that night I'm walking back from a fraternity meeting, and I'm in the underground railroad tunnel and I'm pretty sure no one is around, and the song playing from above is good so I just while out and start dancing. I walk out and who tackles me from behind, Nicky-Nick himself, especially because he saw the whole thing. Supes awk. We walk back to the Heights and the South (our residence halls) laughing and pushing each other (oh he's a pusher alright) until we're home. Friday afternoon is our next hang out session, and it's time for him to meet the family - oh rather some of my friends. Sam and I meet Dzenan in the Davis Center and Nicky-Nick is running a bit late, so I let them head over to the dining hall on central campus where Emily and her friend Tyler are already waiting. I stick it out until Nic shows his goofy face, and walk over there, being awkward, yelling, pointing at people, and geeking out. Seriously, how were we not friends before this. We all sit down and it's like my favorite people all congregated for some intense storytelling. The laughter was deafening as demonstrated by everyone staring at us in the cafeteria. Sorry we're laugh out loud funny, it's what we do. Just two hours spent dying laughing like a One Direction laughterfest. We all walk back to athletic campus and our resident joker heads to EMT class, and we're just infatuated with friendship. The dude gets rave reviews from all of us. Party politics are a success. So glad, I checked the ballot box of friendship with that one.

You would think the politics would be done for the night, but hell to naw. You've got be persistent and down for the cause if you really want to be friends with the people. The school year is almost over, and you'd best convert those random strangers into good friends ASAP of you could lose their vote ... of confidence for the summer. Sam, Emily, and I hop on the uptown bus and get off at the University Mall. We walk over to the grocery store, Hannaford, and shop til we drop. I just need some shampoo/body wash/conditioner in my life. I get some juice, oatmeal, candy, normal toilet paper (what is one ply?) and Dum-Dums. We've got to speed up our process and we check out before the bus comes. It was like an episode of Supermarket Sweep. We board the bus and get off back at our place. It's officially movie night, and I tidy up my room a bit (you know, the first time your friends come over how crazy you are with making things perfect) before inviting over Dzenan and Nic for round 2 of hanging out for the day. We browse through hilarious YouTube videos, make random noises, order pizza and get our movie, Hot Tub Time Machine, set up. According to Nic, we've all got 4 abdominals and a good sense of humor. Lights off, Netflix movie ready to go, and food passed around. We enjoy each other's company more than the movie. It like brought all the rules of time travel. You can't change the past, that's like the only rule there is and what do you they do, change damn history and drastically alter the present. Like no bueno chicos. It's just before midnight when we're all sleepy and ready to call it a night. Bro hugs for Nic, Dzenan and I, and normal hugs for Emily and Sam. What an awesome day. Campaigning for friendship is definitely worth it. These are just are just some more party politics.

Being a teenager is all about winning the popular vote. Just kidding, popularity is overrated - it's more important for you to like who you are, and then people just so happen to like you to. In the game of politics it's important to stay truthful, genuine, and lay it all out there, just like when forming new friendships. What you have to hide can be the thing that comes back as a major scandal bent on destroying your political run and budding friendship. Keep calm and carry on. This is party politics.

My blog post question for the day is ... do you identify as a Republican, Democrat or something else? I guess I would say I'm a Democrat, but I lean to more moderate. Cincinnati is a super conservative area and I agree with some of the Republican ideals. Who knows, I'm in the middle, and I'm cool with that.


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