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