One of the most amusing aspects of both Greek life and college student governments is how certain people get all up their own asses about the politics of it all, and treat every little thing like it’s some clandestine, world shaking decision. You’re managing what amounts to a philanthropic social club populated by gifted alcoholics with poor decision making skills, or, if it’s a student government, a worthless entity. This isn’t House of Cards. This isn’t even Parks and Rec. Chill out.
With that in mind, the news out of the University of Oregon’s student government presidential race is a sad and riotously hilarious slapstick act, like two naked clowns in a fistfight. There are two go-getters (to put it nicely) running for president at Oregon who REALLY want to add a useless footnote to their résumé. According to a story in The Daily Emerald, Delta Upsilon member and ASUO presidential candidate Thomas Tullis is accusing his rival candidate, FIJI member Ben Bowman, of attempting to bribe and intimidate Tullis out of the race. The accusations are awesome.
Tullis said in his grievance that Bowman and fellow members on his executive staff have been intimidating and attempting to bribe Tullis so that he can withdraw from the elections.
“I filed a grievance based on the intimidation that was coming from Bowman and some of his supporters,” Tullis said over a phone interview. “Me, my girlfriend, my fraternity and friends in my hall were being intimidated by them.”
I hope Bowman and his associates who were implicated in the grievance, Marshall Kosloff and Alex Titus, intimidated a kid living in a dorm the best way possible, which is to put the handlebars and front wheel of a bicycle in his bed while he’s sleeping. Sadly, most of the threats and bribes were simply done over the phone.
In a recorded phone call between Kosloff and Tullis that was sent to the Emerald, Kosloff said that Tullis will be blacklisted from student organizations if he were to continue his campaign.
“You’re blacklisted. From Greek life, ASUO. People won’t want to work with you. It’ll just be bad — it’s not the way you want it to be,” Kosloff said in the recorded phone call. “Take the year. We will literally give you everything you want.”
“We will put you on the finance committee you want to be on,” Kosloff said in the phone call. “You’ll get the experience you need to get, you’ll learn everything you need to learn about the ASUO. Then you could run next year as the libertarian who actually knows what the fuck he’s talking about.”
The threats and bribes went beyond Tullis, however. According to the candidate, his girlfriend’s attempt at rushing Gamma Phi Beta was also in jeopardy as long as Tullis continued to run.
Tullis mentioned that he was concerned that his girlfriend — Emily Doyen — would not be able to rush at Gamma Phi Beta in the spring if he ran for president. According to Tullis, his girlfriend was told that she would not be allowed to rush if Tullis would still run.
“As far as my girlfriend rushing, as far as that goes can they block that on these grounds?” Tullis said in the phone call.
“Yes,” Kosloff said. “People are blacklisted all the time.”
Gamma Phi Beta denies any blacklisting.
“I don’t think you understand, Mr. Tullis. Mr. Bowman’s hands are everywhere. Those hands can be gentle, or they can be, not so gentle. It’s up to you, Mr. Tullis, whether you’d like a soft, moisturized hand job, or a hard, dry fisting,” said Kosloff, in the fictional world in which I wish I lived.
In reality, if there’s anyone Tullis should feel okay about selling down the river, it’s his freshman year college girlfriend. Whatever man, you aren’t going to marry her. You’re probably going to cheat on her at some point. Fuck it. Do you.
Gamma Phi Beta denied blacklisting anyone, ever, to which I give a hearty “Yeah fuckin’ right.” Though I also don’t believe that they were involved in this, because God I hope they have better things to do.
Another associate of Bowman, Senate Seat 12 candidate Emily Wu, also implied that the recently recolonized Delta Upsilon, Tullis’ fraternity, would be hurt if Tullis won the election. She supposedly said as much to DU’s president.
According to Tullis, Wu allegedly approached Delta Upsilon President McCormick and told him that Tullis was running a “smear” campaign against Bowman that would have implications on Delta Upsilon’s reputation.
Tullis has since dropped from DU.
This is pretty intricate stuff. There’s a whole world of intrigue in this. I mean, it’s all useless and leads nowhere, so essentially it’s like a LARP game, except instead of playing medieval knights they’re playing politics, but the result is the same, in that nothing at all results from this one way or the other.
Bowman and Kolsoff have of course denied the allegations, claiming they are either untrue or simple miscommunications.
In response to the phone call, Kosloff said that it wasn’t that Bowman and company would try and blacklist Tullis. It’s that Tullis would end up doing it to himself.
“The reality is that if no one likes you, then nobody will hire you,” Kosloff told the Emerald. “That’s what I mean in reference to him being blacklisted. During the phone call he was asking for advice, and I told him that it’s not that we would make him no longer relevant — he would do that himself by running a campaign with no slate.”
When Tullis asked Kosloff if this was a bribe Kosloff stated that this was not, but that this is an offer that has always been on the table.
“This isn’t just some freshman that we picked up randomly on the street. We’ve been in contact with him since November and we’ve been offering him a position with us ever since then,” Kosloff told the Emerald. “There was never no bribing. The offer that we gave him has been the offer that we’ve been giving him since the very beginning in November.”
“We never made a threat about his girlfriend and the possibility of her rushing,” Kosloff told the Emerald. “That isn’t something that the executive has any control over. To contextualize it, this is us saying that him running will hurt a lot of people. He’s the only one that controls what happens.”
In response, Bowman said that he was not worried about being removed from the ballot.
“Every year dozens of ridiculous grievances get filed,” Bowman said. “I can’t see being removed from the ballot by any means. It’s an example of amateur politics.”
Amateur politics? All of this is amateur politics. Quite literally. That’s like scolding someone for not being professional enough during a beer league softball game.
If the allegations are true, I respect Bowman’s game. While I obviously think the whole thing is stupid, at least Bowman is going in with reckless abandon. Might as well have some fun. At least, I hope that’s what he’s doing, if he’s doing it at all, because this is being done in seriousness then it’s all just so, so lame.
[via The Daily Emerald]