QotD: Happy President's Day!

Ever run for office?  (School, club, organization, politics, etc.)  Did you get elected?

When I was in London doing my year abroad in college, I lived in the international hall — the lovely and antequated Connaught Hall in Tavistock Square. Aside: You can always spot a recently-returned study abroad student by their use of the term "halls" instead of "dorm". Nobody calls them dorms over there and it's beaten into your skull to call them halls of residence.

In that same building, there was a bar, almost entirely operated by the students. More specifically, it was operated by the elected student officers of the hall. No one really cared how much money it made, as long as it paid for itself and for the incoming orders of Newcastle Brown and Stella. The rumor was, officers drank there on a sliding scale from severely discounted to free depending on who was behind the bar on any particular occasion. I don't remember how it came about that I ran, but I'd heard that there was no incumbent and no clear frontrunner in the Librarian race, so I threw my hat in the ring.

The only requirements for a campaign there were that you let people know you were running, and that you gave a speech on election night. My opponent ran on a populist/nativist platform, expecting me to fold under the weight of his Yankee jokes. Not on my watch. America, hell yeah. I gave a rousing speech wherein I proved that American students could be every bit as cutting, cruel, and sarcastic as our British counterparts, and won in a landslide.

I earned a spot on the bar steering committee. By majority rule we decided to name the bar "9 Bar," which sounds SoHo-hip but is really a clever reference to a standard measurement of hash. Not my idea but who am I to stand in the way of post-teenage rebellion. I also got to carry the sole key to the hall library. This wouldn't be a big deal except that students are required to completely vacate their rooms during school vacations, and if you ain't from around there you end up with nowhere to put all of the crap you've amassed while you head off on your European adventures. The library became my massive closet, and in December and April everyone was suddenly my best friend. If I had been more enterprising I could have earned some cash as a storage place, but I mostly just let people who hadn't been icy cold to me stash their stuff for free.

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