Friday, April 1, 2011

Student Elections are for LOSERS

No Green Flags

No to Division, covered with factional flags harhar

Hello. It's that time of year again. Instead of sounding like mechanical robots and not wanting to repeat everything, we direct you to here and here.

Monday we walk in to Birzeit the Circus Fair Campus, where flags filled every square inch on the ground, the sky, the trees, the buildings, etc. The posters this year were absolutely huge, humongous coverings that almost wrapped entire buildings. How many thousands of shekels are spent on one poster? Imagine using that money for more useful means, such as paying the tuitions for those who can't afford it. Or using it to create some academic activity that the nerds will love. Or to blackmail the cafeterias into lowering their food prices. Or to invest in some high tech surveillance system to be put in the deans' offices. But no, these posters are more important. Put them up, next day take them down, store them away, never to be used again. Because the next year, there will be even larger and shinier posters.

Tuesday the Circus Fair Campus left town, with only a few flags out of reach on the trees remained. The big debate, or munathara, between the various parties and groups was set at 11am, and we edged through the crowd to the taxis without looking up once. Usually the place-the parking lot once inside the main gates- is so packed we have to squeeze through. This time the sea of students parted for us and we paid the price for turning a blind eye to the surroundings when this lovely video showed us that later on there was only a meager crowd. How glorious!

Imagine that on fire. Wowzers.
Wednesday was Election Day. Thing is, not everyone was voting. Desperate, the Fateh group ash-Shabiba hounded students into voting but that only succeeded in putting the other students off. We were pressed with papers and leaflets and booklets wherever we went and this time we threw them in the trash cans or crumpled them up right in front of their eyes, as opposed to passively accepting them and then emptying out our bags once we got home. A different group from ash-Shabiba, all guys wearing their precious kuffiyeh draped on their shoulders, made their way into building after building, singing, chanting, braying. Outside, their leader stood tall and yelled, "Those who haven't voted, this is a serious offense. Those who don't want to vote, that is haram." We snorted with laughter, and we weren't the only ones either.

This year a campaign to boycott the elections was put to use, since the elections are politicized and the student council does not represent students. God, what is it with Palestinians and representations? PA, Hamas, etc all filter down to even university elections. This delightful little video below expresses the demands and needs of the students themselves, and what they would like to see the student council undertake in representing them. Although that cute little remark at the end "I want to graduate" is out of place. Sorry, we're a bit sour because through sheer nepotism or via middleman there are students who can get away with murder just because someone in the higher position is looking out for them. Failing your class? No worries, your end of the semester average will be an 80.

101 Knowledge
Yellow flags=ash-Shabiba/Fateh
Red flags= qutb iil-tulabi/PFLP
Green flags= il-kutla il-islamiya/Hamas, who the for the second year running are not involved/welcome in the student body.

This makes elections even more stupid, since the rivalry is always between ash-Shabiba and il-il-kutla il-Islamiyah. Disregard all the other groups who participate, the election is essentially between these two power horses. And since il-kutla il-Islamiyah is out, then obviously it is ash-Shabiba's to win. A one party election, befit of true Arab countries (pre-revolutionary times).

So why all the posturing? Why all the desperate attempts by ash-Shabiba who heckle students into voting? We'll tell you why. You see, students have become disillusioned with the whole concept of "student elections" since it clearly serves the political party's needs and ignores the students'. ash-Shabiba can wallow around in their little building, smoking themselves to an early death, playing cards, skipping classes, exploiting "favoritism", and once in a while get out the expensive loudspeakers to hurl abuse on Hamas or whatever. This time around, with the boycott campaign, they are clinging at straws. Because if less than half of the student population vote, then the student council will be dissolved for the year and instead the deanship of student affairs will take over. The bad side to this is that things will get more bureaucratic.

Results came in Wednesday night, and of course ash-Shabiba came in with the majority vote (1784) which wins in 29 seats. il-Qutb al-tulabi had 652 votes and 10 seats, blah blah blah. But the good news is, only 49 percent of the student population voted, which means that the elections are annulled! So why, in the name of all things good and holy, did the goons of ash-Shabiba take to their cars at night causing a ruckus with their honking and screaming? Perhaps they do not quite get that there is no need for celebration, since their "win" technically does not count. That didn't stop them from going to the Manara square, beat up the poor hunger strikers, and attempt to pull down their tent. WTF? Excess XL? Impenetrable thick skulls? IDF soldiers masquerading as BZU students? (Just kidding about the last one, duh.)


  1. I wonder whose agenda you people are carrying?
    This is nonsense. Do you think you would ever succeed in building Palestine with these dirty minds of yours?

  2. Um, dirty minds how?
    And the fact that you automatically assume we have an "agenda" is quite telling of your belligerence and ignorance.