Eric Plow describes his campaign for student body president in spring 1970. Plow won the initial election, however the Elections Board ruled the election results invalid. He later lost the election to Cathy Sterling, NC State's first female student body president.
It started out as a complete joke.
I don't know, I just thought student government was a farce.
There was a lot of debate about student fees,
and I wasn't poor but I wasn't wealthy either
and student fees back then, as I'm sure they are now, was a significant part of your budget
and I objected to my student fees going to support athletics, which I had no interest in,
and a lot of other causes and I felt that it was kind of robbery
to take money from someone and give it to people they had no interest in.
So student government was always fighting about this, right,
and I just saw a lot of wheels turning and not much getting done,
so I figured it would be fun to just run for president on a completely ridiculous campaign.
So me and a couple of guys came up with a platform
which involved cutting down Harrelson Hall, moving Winston Hall,
putting parking gates on every parking spot on campus,
changing the school colors to black and white,
just crazy stuff.
They had a candidates' forum where people who wanted to run got up there and announced what they wanted to do,
so one guy got up there and he wanted to do this, that, improve the cafeteria food,
which, you know, that never happened.
I got up there and started giving my little spiel [Laughs]
and the whole room cracked up. I mean my reception was better than I ever expected.
After I gave my little speech people came up to me and said,
"This is great! You're going to win!"
and I said, "No, I don't even want to run." They said, "No, you got to run. This is great. This is the best thing that's ever happened."
So, you know, I don't have any time to do this.
few students, one of whom was a real serious politician-
he became a state senator from Mecklenburg Co.-but he became my campaign manager.
He said, "We'll take care of everything for you. All you got to do is make an appearance."
I said okay, as long as it doesn't take much time.
So it just got from bad to worse,
you know, we just did crazy stuff.
It hit the Technician paper and got write ups on the front page
and the big coup was when
my campaign staff somehow went out in Wake County and got a mule and a wagon
and they brought it on campus and they got me a set of suspenders
and I wore suspender overalls and a straw hat and rode around campus in my wagon with the mule,
campaigning for "Plow Power," or "Plow Now" and got a lot of attention. It was great. We had a lot of fun.