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Gaggle Cops 118th Tech Managing Board Elections

Special to The Tech

Over the summer, soon after I took up my duties as Middlesex County notary public, my predecessor stopped by my office for a chat. After making some small talk about how I was enjoying the job, the Old Man began spinning stories from when he was in my place.

"The worst part of the job, as I recall," he said, "is witnessing The Tech's annual managing board elections. 'Pon my word, you've never met a rougher bunch of liars, hacks, and low-grade scoundrels. Their annual contests are more like barroom brawls than elections."

After hearing this, I looked forward to The Tech's elections with a good deal of trepidation. This year's polling was slated for high noon, Dec. 6. When the day finally rolled around, I pulled on my holster and slipped in a couple of Colt-45s. I didn't want to leave anything to chance.

The Tech's offices, I learned, are on the 33rd storey of the Bay Tower. Emerging from the elevator, I was shocked to find myself at the periphery of one of the most magnificently appointed meeting halls I'd ever seen. The room was packed to capacity with elegantly-attired men and women.

"Good day, Monsieur," said a tall man, "you must be the notary public. Welcome to our informal society. You will find your seat at the end of the table."

I sank my body into the huge, plush leather chair. I had entered a state of shock. These were not the rough-riders I had been warned about. Had I come to the wrong place?

The meeting would not wait for my confused mullings. The chairman announced that, once she had taken the traditional swallow of water from the ancient ceremonial drinking vessel, the elections would begin. And so they did.

The first election was for chairman and CEO of The Tech's noble society. Shang-Lin Chuang the Loquacious '98 eked out a narrow victory, restoring her to the halls of power. The Artful Dodger, Dan McGuire '99, having promised to initiate a reign of civility and normalcy, was acclaimed editor in chief.

Getting down to business, the board named Uncle Moneybags Joey Dieckhans '00 ticketmaster and business manager. A South American gentleman, Seor Cristin Gonzalez '99, announced plans to return to Chile to directly supervise his expansive system of fisheries. Prince of Prod, Josh Bittker '98 went into reruns as managing editor, and the Duchess of Squeam, Jennifer Lane '98, was appointed executive editor and campus optometrist.

As the board paused for a brief break to discuss political science theories, I took a sip from my flask. How could my friend have been so wrong about these people? They were a model of civility. After a series of preferential ballots, Brett "Mad Scientist" Altschul '99, Frank "The Tank" Dabek '00, Douglas E. "Admin-type" Heimburger '00, and May K. "Tickle Me" Tse '99 were named news editors. Erica S. "Mia" Pfister '00 knelt before the board, and was dubbed knight. Russell S. "RS" Light '98 traded in his knight-hood for the relative peace of retirement.

Pfister's knight-hood was followed by the meeting's most singular event: A simply-attired young man launched into a brief but brilliant operatic aria, to the accompanying strains of an orchestra, followed by terrific applause. The performer, none other than Anders Hove G, Lord Bembo, declared his intention to continue to act as a thorn in the side of editors in chief. Stacey E. Blau '98, Lady Bembo, retired to her secret lair in Langley, Virginia.

Although the board members present regretted their own lack of sporting ability, there was still the issue of the sports editor. Daniel C. "The Gimper" Stevenson G consented to his own re-election to the post, thus making him "athlete of the week." Promising to integrate the prestigious Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity into The Tech's organization, Joel M. "Riot in the Streets" Rosenberg '99 gracefully accepted election to the post of arts editor. His mentor, Our Man Friday, David V. Rodriguez '97 slinked off to Buzzy's Fabulous Roast Beef.

The elections were marred by only one incivility. Two arrogant individuals announced their intention to retain command of The Tech's black box. The King of Hungary, Gbor Csnyi G and the Artist Formerly Known as Gregory F. Kuhnen '00 were appointed photography editors; Indranath "Darkroom Supplies" Neogy '98 was named editor of color.

Returning to civility, the board named Jennifer "Kookie" Koo '00 advertising manager. Satwiksai "The Faxman" Seshasai '01 was appointed head accountant. The board also instructed several old hands to contribute, including Lord of the Fonts Saul Blumenthal '98, David D. "Gorilla" Hsu '98, Zareena "Veggie" Hussain '00, "My Cousin" Venkatesh Satish '98, and Jason C. "Elmo" Yang '99.

The board concluded by listing an honor roll of elderly emeriti: V. Michael "Junior" Bove '83, Robert E. "Hired Gun" Malchman '85, Thomas T. "Tex" Huang '86, Deborah A. "Admin-mole" Levinson '91, Reuven M. "Haifa" Lerner '92, Jeremy "Reston" Hylton '94, and Garlen C. "Merlin" Leung '95.

The polling completed, I was politely asked to certify the election, serve as a witness to the propriety of its conduct, and enter it duly into the public record. Once my job was done, I left the building the way I had come, stroking my beard in wonderment. My pistols had been entirely unnecessary, as had my worried anticipation. Indeed, I found myself wondering if I was not fit for admission into The Tech's genteel society. Next year, perhaps, the friends I had made that day could enter my name on the ballot for the prestigious and important position of senior editor?