Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Change We Can't Believe In

A close friend of mine is running for the student body elections in Bilkent this year and thanks to his not-so-humble vision in life, I have been hearing his plans about it nearly every day; trying to assure him that his peers will tick the box under his picture, while he determinedly whines about how he will fail miserably.
So the constant and patient repetition of the "You will be victorious and take me to a fancy dinner to celebrate" made me question not only my selfish motives of benefiting from a free-fettucine but also the student council elections held in Bilkent.
You should know, a guy probably had stopped you on your way to class- and you grinned widely at the fact of getting late to the boring lecture and having less minutes to bear- and asked you whom you have voted for, and why you should vote for this other guy who would be a much more better candidate than the others. Some of you guys, like me, pretended to have listened to him while planning the rest of the day -study for the exam, meet friends, do NOT log on to facebook and solve one of the countless stupid tests- but some of you, which I might refer as the idealist and not-so-cynic ones, listened or maybe even put forward some thoughts and questions.
Still, maybe, and I hope not, you failed to ask the most important of all: Why?
Why is this such a big deal? Why am I being stopped on my way to meet a friend- and this I don't like, this I surely cannot tolerate- just to listen your unceasing mumbling of cliches? Why do this ambitiously vicious guy insist on being in the student council?

Please, if you respond as "because we want to change the way things move around Bilkent" or "because I want to be the solution to your problems", well, step back because I might just puke.

First of all, have you guys ever seen anything change in Bilkent? Seriously, I have been a student for four years now, I've listened to different candidates promising Obama-ian alteration promises, and well, I just lived the same life, waited hours for the Bilkent bus to come, paid incredible amounts of money for lunch, pressed my ID in the entrance of the B-building but not in the A-building -because, well, we don't care much about the social science-students to suffer from an attack, do we?- and, nothing changed.
One might argue that change is not something easily achieved, after all, it is just a plain student body, and there is so much more to Bilkent hierarchy then a bunch of pupils- and oh yes, my friend, who ambitiously uttered this reply to me- you pass the Cliched Answers 101 with a remarkable grade of A. And I didn't even made a curve.
Bilkent may not help for the change, but excuse me, where is the effort? Have you seen any- or was I too involved with my own little humble world that I missed it? Because sorry, I haven't heard or seen any of those people make an effort for a change. Cause I would have, the ideological change balloon would diffuse in the air, and I would have heard it somewhere, maybe in a B-building queue or one of the classes that I show up on time because a random guy didn't stop me to beg for a vote.
No. No change at all. No opposition. No disturbance for the problems of Bilkenters.
It feels like the people just gather around for a tea, talking about their midterms, having a quick laugh, a guy eyeing the girl with uggs, the alternatives exchanging Muse songs, and then calling it a day and returning back to their respective lives.
In my vision, and that's a cruel, cynic but a very realistic vision, that the only real thing they do is to choose performers for Mayfest, whom, to be entirely honest, are not that entertaining anyways.
My hopes for these, being entirely wrong are not proven with solid facts- and just reassures my cynic view of people enrolling in the council for the mighty old sake of the long CVs.
Let's face the truth, companies are more likely to hire people with loads of certificates, knowledge of 5 different languages including a basic understanding of the Swahili and being a part of the student council. That shows your leadership skills, eh?
If I was the owner of a company, I would also choose that achievement CV and appreciate the person for spending too much time on trying to impress people rather than "achieving" something for the benefit of people. But after all, we live in exponential times and expecting a collective benefit from a self-interest-individual would amount to expecting Johnny Depp to come visit me between my classes- which is a promise I expected from a candidate and he failed to make one-

So, yes. I hope, I do, that this year proves me wrong. That someone, out of the dark, will appear and shine her efforts of change on the glorious mounts of Bilkent. That even though not much can be achieved, she will do his best. She will try and oppose and not just talk about how cruel the professors are but also how we can deal with a problem that is commonly addressed in the chatty corridors of our university.
This is probably one of the rare times that my huge ego wants to be proven wrong, so I say someone should take advantage of it. You can even write it in your CV though I cannot guarantee your entrance to the fancy company apart from my humble humble greetings or maybe a cup of tea in Mozart.

Have fun, and do not, entirely, without any cynical and rational questions, believe in change.

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