By Zach Marks

The room was rank with the scent of awkward tension and eager anticipation. Friends made uncomfortable small talk about final papers and how great the weather was today (to be fair, it was pretty awesome). But were they still friends? Sure, they were. But were they really? No.

Tonight was the all-important election orientation meeting where YCC candidates learned it was time to stop being polite and start getting real. Election committee members Karan Arakotaram ’10 (who gets props for helping me with my prob set today) Geoff Buller ’09, and Aniket Shah ’09 were explaining the rules and regulations to ensure a clean race, but the candidates weren’t listening. They were thinking of one thing and one thing only: winning. Well maybe not YSAC Chair hopefuls Kristian Henderson ’09, Colin Leatherbury ’09, and Jon Terenzetti ’10. They all asked some pretty thoughtful questions. (Hands down the best comment of the night was Henderson’s: “So what rules can we break?”) But the rest of the candidates didn’t flinch. Not even when Taber started sippin that haterade and callin me out completely unprovoked. (I mean, I’m just sitting there, taking notes, checking out Katrina Landeta’s pretty campaign posters and she smears me like I’m running against her.)

The candidates do seem poised for an intense campaign, but I also have a feeling we won’t be hearing about many violations this year, if any at all. The election committee has done an impressive job streamlining the previously bloated election guidelines, clarifying overly complicated rules and nixing some ill-conceived ones. “If it didn’t really make sense why they were there in the first place, we got rid of them,” Buller said. The committee stands to benefit from the expertise of Aniket Shah ’09, who spent winter break monitoring Kenya’s chaotic presidential elections. “Let’s just hope that the YCC election is safer for Yale than the Kenyan election was for Kenya,” Shah said. Amen.

Stay tuned for more on tonight’s meeting. I have mad video footage. I just need to figure out how to upload it.