Status Positive


So let’s be real: as a college student in 2012, I celebrated my first official election in the only reasonable way — liking every exuberant status that popped up on my newsfeed.

I have to say, Obama has some baller graphics. Political alliances aside, the probama prof pics and cover photos (my favorites: Obama with labradoodle, college Obama smoking (for all intents and purposes) weed) were astronomically catchier than the over-pixelated promney ones (vote for love of country?). Give me Mittens making a sassy face, maybe throw in a baby animal, and I’ll like that prof pic, too.

You know, some of the best statuses were those of my friends’ parents. Mostly this one: “Our President is re-elected and I have power to do the laundry after 8 days. So happy.” Right? Laundry + Obama = victory.

And then just the next morning, we get something even better than long-awaited laundry: snow. New equation: Snow + Obama = Delight.

And the memes — the memes! I saw some of Queen Elizabeth circling around, some more bad lip readings and plenty of sassy Barack.

But mostly, sitting in my college dorm room at 2 a.m. after an election shindig with 20 buddies, and after watching the victory and concession speeches on my laptop with my roommate, there was one set of statuses that trumped them all. Friends, cousins, siblings of classmates and those random contacts I hadn’t seen since fourth grade were posting statuses about how proud — and relieved — they feel to be Americans accepted for who they are: gay, straight, male, female and anything and everything in between. That, there, was a college moment if I’ve ever known one, and one I felt privileged to be a part of.

Status Negative


Usually I can’t keep Facebook closed for more than five minutes. But on Tuesday night, I deactivated my account, threw my laptop under my bed and disowned all my friends. I’m not cynical or apathetic about politics — Gobama! But the election flooded my news feed with so much self-congratulation from all my closest Facebook friends, more than I ever knew existed. And I freaked out a little. Here are the worst offenders:

The “It’s Casual” ­— “Legit drunk on Obama love” or “So high on Obamarijuana.”

The PSA — “I’d like to take this moment to remind us that we shouldn’t celebrate anything. Birds are dying as we speak, and Bangladesh is trafficking women against their will.” OK…

The Instagrammer — “#Democracy #ReadytoMoveFoward” The caffeinated early poller who Instagrams herself voting at 6 a.m. on the “Rise” filter.

The Guy-Who-Offhandedly-References-Something-Unsexy-To-Show-Off-His-Knowledge — “Glad I can breathe easy — the JAJWJC won’t get cut tomorrow.” “Thank god we’ll get tax code reform!” We get it.

The Guy-Who-Tries-To-Be-The-Guy-Above, But-Is-Not-Obscure-Enough — “Woohoo!! Take that, 47 percent!” “Big Bird is vindicated!” Om nom nom, too many memes.

The Deeply Affected Voice of Our Generation — “Winning Ohio made me realize how much I, just like the U.S., have come such a long way in four years.” A true American.

The Self-Congratulatory Volunteer — “Thank you, America, for fulfilling your civic duty and fighting for what you believe in. It’s gonna be a fantastic four years.” Freudian projection at its finest.

The “Apathetic” “Ironist” — “Insert election status here” or worse, “Hey guys, so who won the election?” She thinks she’s above it all, but still participates.

The GOP — “‘I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.’ — Muhammad Ali” Quotes from Shawshank Redemption, or any sports movie, also apply.

And then, the next day:

“SNOW!!!” (x1000)

“[Instagrammed photo of snow on Gothic buildings at Yale]”


And here are four of the best statuses of all time, posted last night:

The Beyoncé — “Take That Mitches” on a sheet of looseleaf. Brilliant.

The Marriage Equality/Tammy Baldwin — “We elected our first openly lesbian senator!!” “Marriage equality in Maine, Maryland and Washington!!” Yes, actual progress!

The Asian-American Immigrant Senator — OK, I may have liked every status that talked about the Japanese immigrant senator from Hawaii. Asian-American women, represent.

Nicholas Kristof — Because. Nicholas Kristof: “So Todd Akin, who made the notoriously stupid comments about rape, is projected to lose the Senate race in Missouri. I guess the body politic has a biological mechanism to shut down rather than allow a nut to win.”

H, O, V and A Enjoy a Low-Key Election


V: A, who’s going to win? Like, really?

A: I’d say Obama, but I don’t make predictions, because everything is uncertain. But since you asked, Obama.

V: Oh! Phew.

(12 hours later)

A: O, did you vote?

O: I did in fact cast my vote for Barack Hussein Obama (O often refers to himself as O. Hussein B, that his initials might reverse those of the POTUS).

V: (Starts to zone out in front of election; gives a start and switches to physics)

A: H?

H: I think I voted Johnson.

A: And some Republicans?

H: Johnson.

A: Did you vote to have Connecticut unilaterally decrease military spending?

H: … Johnson. (Goes to bed. It’s almost 11 and H hates excitement).

V: (Starts to zone out in front of physics; gives a start and switches to election)

O: It looks like Obama’s starting to wrap it up.

A: That’s nice. (Works.)

O: And Nate Silver is getting every state right.

A: WHAT? YES! GO NATE GO! (Glues eyeballs to

V: Should we tell H?

A: Let’s tie an Obama sign to the doorway so it hits him in the face when he walks out.

O: Let’s tape it to his laptop! (This did not happen).

(A & O check to see whether Johnson was a spoiler in any swing states. Apparently not. Poor H.)

V: (Has finished his election food and appears paralyzed as Obama walks onstage. Might or might not be conscious.)

A: And I found that jacket I was looking for. Today was a good day.

On the Other Election: Yale’s Dedication to the Status Quo


It took the Yale Corporation 10 weeks to select a new University President. On August 30th, Richard Levin announced his decision to step down. This was followed by a declaration of the prescribed process for the selection of his successor. Then there was a brief period in which the Presidential Search Committee solicited student opinions, which ended with an open forum at which students criticized a process designed to leave them out. After this point, the doors were shut and the blinds were drawn, and the Yale community heard nothing from the Corporation or the Search Committee until yesterday, when they announced their selection of Provost Peter Salovey.

Salovey was selected by the Yale Corporation (and a small number of advisors handpicked by the Senior Fellow) without any input from or accountability to the wider Yale community. Now, as a result, in everything our new president does, he is beholden to no one but the Corporation.

If we want to change that, if we want to have a real, substantive student voice in what happens at this institution, we have to demand that the decision-makers relate to students in a different way. This means treating us as important stakeholders with unique points of view that should be meaningfully incorporated into the decision-making process even, and especially, when they differ from those of the Corporation and the administration.

Everything about Salovey’s selection — from the process to the outcome — represents a dedication to the status quo. In order for Yale to progress, to become a better, more open, more just institution, there must be a more meaningful student voice. And we won’t earn that voice unless we demand it.

On the Other Election Not Much of an Election


As students, we half-heartedly endorse the über-enthusiastic Yale Politburo’s number one draft pick of President-select Peter Salovey. Though they call themselves a corporation and say that it was an election, it is tough to see how shareholder and democratic values were represented when only the Corporation Fellows are allowed to vote.

But as far as choosing between straight white males from the academy, Eddie Bass seems to have done all right. Salovey had a pretty sweet mustache (he would score more points and probably babes as well if he didn’t shave it) though we are unsure how popular bluegrass music is at Yale-NUS (or if American bluegrass music is even allowed under “academic freedom”). He is an esteemed scholar of emotional intelligence, which is more humanizing than studying economic models, and we do sincerely hope he puts the emotional well-being of the Yale student first. We also applaud his Yale-like ladder-climbing abilities, from graduate student to professor to academic chair of the Psychology Department to dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to dean of Yale College to provost and now to president of Yale. Can he strive any further? Perhaps President-re-elect Obama will tap him for the Cabinet. Lord knows the United States could use a Department of Emotional Intelligence.

That being said, we do wonder what his competition was ­— where was Hillary? Where was Dubya? Where was Comrade Miller? We’re deeply impressed with the efficiency of the Corporation, narrowing down over 150 people to the man in the office next door in only two months. Perhaps this presidential search process was a sham all along, stringing along students, alumni, staff, professors, community members and Woodbridge Fellows in a wild presidential-goose chase. Why even orchestrate a pseudo-search when you’re just making Number Two into Number One? Whatever. Here’s to 20 more bright college years — don’t let Yale down, Sal-baby.