It was a quiet week on Eastern Avenue, with the return of in-person campaigning failing to bring back the bustle of past Board elections. Attempts at activation, such as Isla Mowbray’s Dua Lipa flash mobs and Nick Comino’s perilous cheerleading routines, flopped. It was those two candidates who were most prominent on the campaign trail, with only occasional sightings of David Zhu, Telita Goile, Yiman Jiang, Du Du, and Pablo Avaria-Jimenez campaigners. Cole Scott-Curwood didn’t stray from his base at PNR, while Ruiqi Jia was unseen. On some days, evangelicals outnumbered campaigners — a sad time for stupol.
The soapbox was truly the week’s highlight though. With Telita, Du, and Rachel all absent (for various reasons), the event was charged from the beginning. While most questions and answers were reasonably uncontroversial, Comino’s exasperated “I was so nice to all of you!” following a question about his membership with the Liberal party was a bright spot. Pablo stumbled in his response to a question about in-camera transparency, appearing to suggest that in-camera meetings are filmed. To top it all off, audiences were treated to some political theatre from the Fidler campaign. Someone who definitely wasn’t Fidler manager James Wiley made an attempt on the decency candidate’s young life as he pummelled the stage with nerf darts. Truly gripping stuff.
This week has been about more than just campaigning though. Across campus, preference negotiations have been abundant. Tucked into the corner seats of cozy cafes, candidates have been hammering out backroom deals to secure victory. Telita, Isla, and Cole have worked out a three way preference deal, with Telita preferencing Cole second and Isla third, Cole preferencing Isla second and Telita third, and Isla preferencing Telita second and Cole third. Comino will be preferencing fellow Liberal, Zhu second, Yiman third, and Pablo fourth and last. Pablo leaves Zhu off his preferences entirely though, electing to preference Yiman second, Comino third, and Du fourth. There are still more how-to-vote cards to come, and they’re sure to be telling.