Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Changing the nature of the debate -- to the call of nature

Just when I thought USG elections couldn’t be more of a joke, toilet paper managed to become the most covered platform issue of the entire election.
The USG elections process is no stranger to absurdity. Compared to the squirrel burning, miscounted or uncounted votes, elections manager resignations and suspect endorsements, this year, where the biggest controversy seems to be the printing of note cards, is relatively tame.

But the real shame of this year’s election is in the issues. A year and a half ago, then-USG president Josh Weinstein wrote in a guest column in the 'Prince' that “to suggest that toilet paper is at the top of the USG's holistic focus … is to promote a gross misconception.” That, unfortunately, seems to be changing. I remain convinced that this was a brilliant hijacking of the election on the part of Brian Edwards '11 and Jack Lindeman '11, but the joke, apparently like the toilet paper on campus, is wearing thin. In a year when the USG has actually, finally accomplished something with a meaningful affect on student life – P/D/F reform – all three presidential candidates have made toilet paper one of the most prominent election issues.

Maybe it’s time for the candidates, and the USG as a whole, to focus on issues that can’t be solved by individual students shelling out a few bucks at CVS. P/D/F reform was a good start, but let’s not stop there. How many of us really want to spend break with the specter of exams hanging over our heads?

Oh, and seriously? Whoever keeps posting those toilet paper FMLs on PrincetonFML really needs to stop. The attempt at a viral campaign isn’t cute. Its just annoying.