"I think you should run for President of the Student Government," he told me, his warm brown eyes holding mine.
Sophomore year in college, E. was my crush. I looked for his car whenever I drove onto campus, and when I saw it parked in the familiar spot, my heart would beat faster knowing he was around and I might bump into him. Molloy was totally a commuter college at the time, but E. worked on campus in the fitness center and often parked near it. He was older than me, although I didn't exactly know how much older. He was a social work major and had that kind, caring heart that goes along with that job. My crush was totally unrequited.
But, here he sat across from me, imploring me to run for President of the MSG. I was sophomore class co-president and the current Vice President was slated to run, unopposed, for President, which was usually how elections worked at Molloy. No one ran against anyone else. People floated into positions of power and promptly did.. not much. If I were to run for President, it would be shocking. Well, at least among the 10 current members of the Student Government.
E. explained he thought I would make positive changes, and he would help me with my campaign. The guy I dreamed about was asking me to run for President, believed in ME as a person who would do a good job?! Could I really say no?
I recall going out to lunch with him, to a local Chinese restaurant, several times to discuss campaign ideas and strategies. I would waltz in late to one of my communications classes, so unlike me, but lunch with E. was too irresistible, and I found it hard to cut it short to get back in time. For my campaign, I color coordinated my posters and I made pins for people to wear. (Did anyone wear one? I don't remember now, but somehow doubt it.) On the day of the election, E. helped decorate my Saturn with signs and the color-coordinated balloons. I had lots of flyers and a table where I sat with my information. My campaign included many ideas on ways to get students more involved in campus life. I spelled out several specific ideas. My opponent didn't name any ideas and based her slogan on the popular commercial "Gotta Go To Mo's" (substitute "go" for "vote").
The day of the election, there was some funny business with ballots being handed out to the baseball team. I'll never know for sure, but I suspect there ws some cheating. When I got the phone call, after all the ballots were counted, I just knew I lost, and I had. These were the days before text messages, so I think I emailed E. to tell him the news. I felt so awful that I had let him down.
He reassured me I hadn't. I ran a good campaign and gave it my best try. It wasn't to be. I stepped away from Student Government after that. I probably never would have run without E.'s encouragement and that remains the best part of my memory of running for office.