Buddy the Elf Wins Cornell Student Assembly Election

A day in the life of student politics: Peter Scelfo (pictured right) handily won a seat as a freshman representative on Cornell’s Student Assembly this week, scoring 146 more votes than his nearest competitor. His performance is largely attributed to a strong campaign platform, namely: “Vote for me. I’m dressed like a Christmas Elf.”

Scelfo’s victory is also a win for any Cornell student desperately searching for some reason — any reason – to actually care about the S.A.; though a bitter defeat for those who would ask that student governance be taken seriously, for fuck’s sake. (That is, other members of the S.A.)

An editorial from today’s Cornell Sun.:

Scelfo’s campaign — and victory — continued a recent trend in campus elections away from the issues and toward theatrics. Flashy campaign videos, Facebook groups and, now, even costumes have become the featured aspects in successful student campaigns. Name recognition matters above all else. While this has generated more interest in student elections, it has also reduced their legitimacy.

The big mistake here — assuming they had much legitimacy to begin with — betrays the starry-eyed naivety of someone not very well acquainted with how these things go.

Note: This post originally stated that the aforementioned Cornell Sun editorial was a letter to the editor from freshman Ross Gitlin, who finished second to Scelfo in the election, and also earned a seat on the S.A. What looked very much like Gitlin’s sign off was actually just a disclosure, by way of the Sun’s staff, that his brother is Ben Gitlin, the paper’s editor-in-chief. A third brother, Adam Gitlin, is the S.A.’s executive vice president. The Gitlins, it turns out, are Cornell’s answer to the Emanuels.

  • http://twitter.com/corzak89 Corey Brezak

    Good thing these types of gimmicks don’t happen in the real world of politics, right? http://www.aoltv.com/2011/08/16/colbert-michele-bachmann-randy-travis-petting-zoo-video/

  • Thl35

    This is so lame. 

  • http://twitter.com/CitizenWhy Jon Mack

    Perhaps some students see student government as a puppet regime. Or they’re lonely and want to feel the old Christmas spirit.

  • tt503

    I’m just going to put this here…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bhv3ydFLQww

  • Cornell $A

    Give this guy some credit, he kept his campaign video under 2 minutes.

  • Cornell $A

    Give this guy some credit, he kept his campaign video under 2 minutes.