Super PACs invade Greek life

Megumi Rierson, staff writer

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The most recent Greek election cycle brought with it the addition of student-operated super political action committees (super PACs). You may have heard the term “super PAC” thrown around by the 2016 presidential candidates and that kid who read one New York Times op-ed and now won’t stop bringing up establishment politics in the frat basements. Essentially, it’s an unrestricted pool of money used to support the campaign of a candidate or special interest. Because Whitman students are famously politically active, ASWC voted to approve the use of super PACs in an effort to model the honest and morally robust system of American politics within the ivory tower.

Because super PACs do not restrict donation amounts in the way that official campaigns do, students have been free to donate all 10 of their guest swipes and unlimited quarters from the burgeoning house alcohol fund. “Our biggest target demographics for fundraising are parents and those kids at Whitman who intentionally live in squalor to fool us into thinking they’re not rich,” said the head of the Fraters for a Better Tomorrow super PAC. “Admittedly, it’s been a little difficult getting parents to donate because they just call it ‘tuition.’”

Super PACs at Whitman have been using the student-run media organizations as platforms for creative advertising. More Than Our Recruitment Video, a prominent sorority super PAC, purchased over 5 hours of KWCW air time to run ads in support of their candidate, resulting in a surge in poll numbers as well as the formation of a new special interest super PAC, Keep Big Money out of Soft Indie Folk Rock.

Super PACs are technically not allowed to work directly with the candidate they endorse, so any interaction between the super PAC head and the candidate must either appear to be a chance encounter or must be heavily mediated by several middlemen. An anonymous source from the Make Our Masculinity Great Again super PAC admitted to running slogans by a candidate who was upside down in a keg stand and forcing pledges to play an intricate game of telephone across campus to approve a poster design.

The future of super PACs at Whitman appears bright, as more and more special interest groups form in preparation for next year’s Greek elections. The overwhelming success of these groups is largely due to the lack of paperwork and actual commitment it takes for students to start a super PAC and then defensively claim that they are politically active at the Thanksgiving dinner table. When reached for comment, head of school Kathleen Murray said, “I’m just glad that students are getting excited about machine politics—I mean, civic engagement.”

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