Saif Jedidi, candidate for Carnegie Mellon student body president, gave readme an exclusive interview this weekend. Although you are probably reading this after elections have concluded, it offers valuable insights into the campaign and how to live under Jedidi, long may he reign (we have to say that in case he wins). Learn about why he runs, what he hopes to get out of it, and more, below.
emdaer: What inspired you to run for student government?
Saif Jedidi: My biggest inspiration has always been little sea turtle babies. They hatch out of their cute little eggs, and right from the beginning of their lives they have to get to the ocean. Just as there is no room for excuses for those little turtles, so too is there no room for excuses in my life.
ed: Can you explain your motto, “Corruption is a process,” in a little more detail?
SJ: So glad you asked! Its not really a motto, its more of a hashtag. It’s fine that you messed up in that question, just don’t ever let it happen again.
#CorruptionisaProcess is just trying to say that corruption isn’t an event. It’s not a person. Corruption isn’t an animal, or a plant, or a rock formation. It’s not a disease, or a flat head screwdriver, or even a Philips head screwdriver.
Honestly, it is a very simple four word sentence, and I am so sick of explaining it on the campaign trail that I can’t even type it out again. Interpret it however you want.
ed: What problems (if any) have you faced in your campaign? Has running for student government gone as you expected?
SJ: Our biggest issue has been silencing people aware of my shady and violent past. We haven’t had any issues with funneling money to offshore accounts this year, which is a pleasant surprise. Subra Suresh was also hesitant to give me the launch codes to the nuclear football, but overall things have run pretty smoothly. Overall, things have pretty much gone just as my psychic predicted.
ed: How would you respond to the claims that your campaign is not entirely serious?
SJ: Claims by who? Specifically where do these people live/sleep? Are their guards, security systems, live animals, or dreamcatchers?
ed: Are you raising awareness of any larger issues, beyond your three major goals?
SJ: Honestly, I think the biggest thing I was raising awareness about was the election itself. Voter participation is pretty low at CMU, and I think I did a good job at getting the average student more involved in the democratic process.
ed: What sort of student are you trying to reach out to with your campaign? Who do you expect to vote for you?
SJ: I think there is something for everyone in my campaign, but I understand if not all voters feel the same way. I want to earn every CMU student’s vote. As we say in my campaign headquarters “you may not matter, but your vote does.”