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Worst Case Scenario: Climbing to the top of the heap

Kyle Niemi

Issue date: 10/10/08 Section: Focus
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It hurts me to say this, dear reader, but you are an unpopular, lazy bum who lacks even a modicum of influence on this campus. However, it's time for all of that to change. It's time for you to throw off your sordid, disreputable ways and become the man or woman (or whatever!) that you've always wanted to be.
It's time for you to take control of one of Case's student groups.
Whether you're gunning for USG, the film society, or one of the many degenerate fraternities on campus, it's time to topple the opposition and become a leader. As someone at the very top of the Observer food chain (copy editor), I feel that I am in a unique position to give out advice on the subject. Following is a short guide on how you can claw your way to power.
The first thing you need to do is devise some kind of election campaign. Gone are the good old days when you could just "dispose of" the president of your desired organization and assume their position. Now most organizations cling to some kind of attempt at democracy. The unfortunate result of all this is that you have to be elected and, unless you plan on rigging the election (note: look into this!), you're going to have to get the voters on your side. This is where the most important part of your campaign comes in: smear tactics. Be sure to attack the incumbent over even the smallest things; no subject is taboo. There's nothing wrong with spending your days digging up dirt and printing the horribly embarrassing material on colorful posters to distribute around campus.
Of course, since there is most likely someone currently in the position you desire, you'll need to come up with a dastardly, sexy plan to oust him or her. This is where a cleverly devised scandal can do wonders for your ambitions. If you didn't uncover a possible scandal when you were digging for dirt, you're going to have to invent one. Go for something creative as well as incendiary; tell people that your opponent eats kittens or loves to collect Hummel figurines. Both activities are unimaginably evil, yet just believable enough to cause panic.
As the election draws closer, your best friend will become voter intimidation. Try out some threats on members of the electorate! Of course, if you aren't an intimidating person, you'll need some backup. Try hiring a bouncer or out-of-work stockbroker as your personal thug. Call him Knuckles. He'll keep voters in line, and you can always pay him out of organization funds once you're elected. It's a win-win!
Once you're in office, don't think that your job is over. You should immediately start planning for the next election: namely, how to stop it. Now that you hold the power, it's time to get rid of all those unfortunate bylaws. Start solidifying your power and establishing your new position: that of a despot. Be sure to keep the title of president, however, feigning a still-democratic organization. Your subordinates will know the truth though; but they'll know not to cross you and, more importantly, Knuckles. He's scary!
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