The Campaign Trail

Raj Mirchandani recalls various campaign tactics such as approaching student voters on the bus, and wearing an Easter Bunny costume. He also describes the invention of the late-night Wolfline Campus Bus Service, known as the Werewolf.

Interview on 2012-02-17

Transcript

00:00:00.000 Running for student body president at NC State,
00:00:04.058 I mean it's a full-on campaign. It's like running for the mayor of a small town.
00:00:09.368 But the thing that set us apart was our visibility.
00:00:14.834 A lot of people feel like maybe
00:00:19.417 their participation in this part of campus life will help them achieve the position.
00:00:24.995 That's not the case. It's just like politics in today's world,
00:00:30.007 you have to be visible, and that's one thing our campaign did.
00:00:33.379 We were out talking to people one on one. One of the things that
00:00:38.043 I came up with was I wanted to shake as many hands as I could and talk to as many people as I could
00:00:45.688 because if they had a concern I wanted them to voice it to me right then and there,
00:00:50.579 not in a town hall meeting, not in a meeting where they would feel intimidated.
00:00:54.298 They could talk to me, and the best place I did it was on the Wolfline.
00:01:00.701 Basically what I did was I got on at Dan Allen [Drive]
00:01:07.166 and I rode it down Hillsborough St. and basically I would talk to everybody on the bus
00:01:14.937 that I could and get off at the end of the street and I'd run back up the street,
00:01:20.052 get on again, and I would do that as much as I could in between classes.
00:01:23.764 I shook people's hands and I told them who I was and I told them what I was doing and I asked them if they had any questions and they responded.
00:01:30.807 They told me what they were wanting to do. Of course that was just one aspect of it,
00:01:36.770 but we did a lot of different things. We were very creative.
00:01:40.031 We did some cheesy things. It was around Easter the campaign was going on so we got an Easter Bunny outfit
00:01:45.043 and we stood in the Brickyard. One of my friends wore it and he passed out flyers with my name on it
00:01:50.997 and people were like, what is the Easter Bunny doing here?
00:01:53.562 So just anything we could do to get people's attention
00:01:56.695 that's what we did, but the biggest thing was people saw there was
00:02:02.474 a fire in not just myself but in the people surrounding me, that we wanted to make a difference.
00:02:07.503 One of the things that they really, really were excited about was our idea of something we had done before I had gotten elected,
00:02:19.324 and that was-no, that was right after we got elected we were able to push it through.
00:02:23.825 It was the idea of the late night busing system, similar to what Chapel Hill had at the time, the P2P.
00:02:30.169 That was something that I was very determined to make happen and people really responded to that.
00:02:35.881 Whether you were out late night studying at the library
00:02:39.765 or if you were in a social setting and you needed a safe way home,
00:02:44.305 this was a very realistic way to approach that problem and it worked.
00:02:49.989 When we got elected [not only were we] able to get it through but we were able to do it at the cost of two dollars per student for the semester,
00:02:57.881 which no one can argue that [wasn't] money well spent, and the program is still going 'til today.
00:03:04.256 [Yeah, it's the Werewolf, right?] Yeah. [The Werewolf Line?]
00:03:05.770 And I have to give a shout out to Angus Kelly, which is still one of my closest friends today.
00:03:12.198 He named it the Werewolf and that's what we called it.