“Yeah,” Maats says. “Experience at doing a bad job.”
Neither Maats nor Fox has served on the council. But the two Mather residents think this lack of experience would be their biggest asset as council president and vice president.
Being the outsider ticket, they say, will allow them to take more risks and gain new respect for the council from the student body.
Whether it is the Victorian-era style of their Mather common room, Maats’ turn in drag at the Miss Harvard pageant or his running in gold paint with angel wings at primal scream, Maats likes to rebel against the conventional.
“This is not part of his resumé,” says Daniel C. Craig ’04, Maats’ first-year roommate and a campaign worker. “He’ll take a bolder stand against the administration.”
For them, accepting the council’s weakness is the key to increasing its power.
“We appreciate the limitations of our power, and we’re willing to be honest about that,” Maats says.
Instead of relying only on council representatives to lobby for change, Maats and Fox plan to use alumni and negative publicity to pressure the administration to back council causes.
The issues they are campaigning for—better teaching, a student center, 24-hour universal key card access, longer party hours, greater student group funding and cable television—are not new.
It is their strategy that distinguishes them from the pack of candidates, they say.
“We dream the same dream...the difference is that we are going to do it—or at least try to,” Maats says. “Our feeling is if we can’t do it, no one can.”
One substantive issue the pair plans to use their unconventional strategy to address is the quality of teaching at Harvard.
So far, Maats and Fox have showcased their radical style with a campaign of humorous posters and wacky tactics.
“I think there is a lack of a sense of humor on the campaign trail,” Maats says. “I challenged one [opponent] to a walk-off, and he was mortally offended.”
If they should win, Maats and Fox say they would try to eradicate the council of the stodginess that they have avoided in their campaign.
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