Plow Power: Campaigning for Student Body President

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.

Interview on 2012-04-19


00:00:00.000 It started out as a complete joke.
00:00:02.251 I don't know, I just thought student government was a farce.
00:00:10.057 There was a lot of debate about student fees,
00:00:16.080 and I wasn't poor but I wasn't wealthy either
00:00:19.411 and student fees back then, as I'm sure they are now, was a significant part of your budget
00:00:24.757 and I objected to my student fees going to support athletics, which I had no interest in,
00:00:30.561 and a lot of other causes and I felt that it was kind of robbery
00:00:35.918 to take money from someone and give it to people they had no interest in.
00:00:40.836 So student government was always fighting about this, right,
00:00:45.180 and I just saw a lot of wheels turning and not much getting done,
00:00:49.776 so I figured it would be fun to just run for president on a completely ridiculous campaign.
00:00:54.810 So me and a couple of guys came up with a platform
00:00:58.980 which involved cutting down Harrelson Hall, moving Winston Hall,
00:01:04.528 putting parking gates on every parking spot on campus,
00:01:07.605 changing the school colors to black and white,
00:01:10.836 just crazy stuff.
00:01:13.158 They had a candidates' forum where people who wanted to run got up there and announced what they wanted to do,
00:01:20.630 so one guy got up there and he wanted to do this, that, improve the cafeteria food,
00:01:25.983 which, you know, that never happened.
00:01:27.962 I got up there and started giving my little spiel [Laughs]
00:01:32.323 and the whole room cracked up. I mean my reception was better than I ever expected.
00:01:36.883 After I gave my little speech people came up to me and said,
00:01:40.972 "This is great! You're going to win!"
00:01:43.485 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."
00:01:49.652 So, you know, I don't have any time to do this.
00:01:55.646 few students, one of whom was a real serious politician-
00:02:00.075 he became a state senator from Mecklenburg Co.-but he became my campaign manager.
00:02:05.337 He said, "We'll take care of everything for you. All you got to do is make an appearance."
00:02:09.567 I said okay, as long as it doesn't take much time.
00:02:13.208 So it just got from bad to worse,
00:02:15.908 you know, we just did crazy stuff.
00:02:17.874 It hit the Technician paper and got write ups on the front page
00:02:22.765 and the big coup was when
00:02:27.013 my campaign staff somehow went out in Wake County and got a mule and a wagon
00:02:31.216 and they brought it on campus and they got me a set of suspenders
00:02:34.867 and I wore suspender overalls and a straw hat and rode around campus in my wagon with the mule,
00:02:42.393 campaigning for "Plow Power," or "Plow Now" and got a lot of attention. It was great. We had a lot of fun.