If you are reading this, you undoubtedly know that a fellow going by the alias ‘The Pirate Captain’ won the NC State Student Body President this week.
I’m a staff member at NCSU, in computing, and I have nothing to do with Student Development, Student Government, or really any student organization at all (I interact with the PackMUG and provide a webserver for Engineering student groups — but that’s it), so I have no influence or role or anything else in student elections. And besides, the election is said and done. I also don’t know Whil at all.
But I think what he did was great. I’m sure those that know me at NC State would not be surprised. I’m a big fan of those that epitomize the words from Apple Computer’s late 90’s “Think Different” marketing campaign:
Here’s to the crazy ones,
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules
and they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them,
disagree with them,
glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do
is ignore them,
because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to
think they can change the world
are the ones who do.
He energized the student population, creating a student voter turnout that was higher (26-27%) than it has been in years. He created a ongoing debate and discussion about the role of student government. And he showed that one guy, even with a merry band of followers, can change things. I think NC State is much the better for students (and faculty/staff) like Whil.
I’m excited to see how he’ll work through what undoubtedly will be a tough road in some places ahead. An awful lot of people don’t like to see the status quo messed with. But I think he’ll do great.
Good Luck Captain.