Meet the ASG Candidates: David Harris

17 Apr

Earlier this week, Sherman Ave reached out to the four ASG presidential tickets asking to interview them. All four tickets were gracious enough to accept; this is part two of four. Look for the other two to come later in the day.

Pictured: Harris, who had a weird obsession with The Music Man and struggles with hot Thai peppers.

What’s your favorite movie?

Favorite movie?  I always  go with, like, three different movies at the same time so you can get a sense of different tastes.  So I would say “The Truman Show,” because that movie kind of blew my mind.  If I were more narcissistic, I would think my life was The Truman Show, but I’m not quite that interesting.   Second would probably be Zoolander, because, in a word, it’s awesome.  And third is Silence of the Lambs.

Oh wow.

Because that movie also blew my mind.  I like most every movie but I don’t like horror movies, so Silence of the Lambs is the closest I could get.  It’s more of a psychological thriller than slasher.

Okay.  Do you have a favorite musical?

Hmm.  I had this weird obsession with The Music Man when I was eight-ish.

The Matthew Broderick version or the Robert Redford version?

The actual, uh, theatre-y…

Oh, just the show.

Yeah.  But now I just watched, a couple weeks ago, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  Have you seen that?


It’s pretty hilarious.  It’s about a couple of conmen.  It’s got Steve Martin in it.  The movie’s not a musical, but I’ve also seen the musical.

Are you sure you’re not thinking of The Pink Panther?

Yeah, no I’m sure.

So, what’s your favorite song?

I have terribly unsophisticated music tastes and I’m always relying on other people to give me good music, because I just don’t know what’s going on in the world of music.  I also don’t listen to lyrics ever.  If I’m interested in words I’ll read them.  When I listen to music, I just straight up listen to it.  So I’m going to look on my phone for what’s at the top of my purchased list and go with that.

The last three songs I’ve downloaded are all from DM.  So it’s Turn Up The Music, which was the 30-hour song, Anything Could Happen by Ellie Goulding, and Feel This Moment, which is just catchy.  So how was that as a non-answer answer?

That’s legit.  Yeah.  So which character would you be if you were in Harry Potter?

Hmm.  Probably Neville.

Why do you say that?

I’m a litte bit of a goon, I think.  And Neville’s kind of a goon.  But he’s good-hearted, ya know?  I aspire to be Neville.

Cool.  So I have a question…I actually heard from a friend of mine in The Daily this morning that there was an updog leak in the basement of Swift.  I don’t know if you know anything about this.  In the future, how can you prevent dangerous chemicals like updog from threatening the safety of the student body?  

Should I give you the answer you want?  What’s up, dog?!  Umm, yeah. That’s a serious issue.  I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this with Josephine.  We’ve had roundtables and have met over this and have created action plans.  And after thorough analysis of data that has been presented to us by an intersection of a huge number of parties and with a synthesis of conversations we’ve had with students of all affiliations, temperaments, talents, and convictions, we think that’s the answer.

Awesome.  So who are you voting for in the election?

I can say firmly that we are voting for us.  I’m pretty confident in who we are.  Yeah, it’s pretty strange, isn’t it?  To make a bold statement like that?

It’s a little conceited.

No, I get that.  I get that.  And I think this whole is kind of like that, which is very strange.  But, you know, we just kind of swallow the pride a little bit and go out and say that we think we are the best students on this campus to run this student government.

Okay.  So how much money do you want to put towards CAPS next year?

The actual figures that we want dedicated to CAPS are up to the Division of Student Affairs.  We’ve looked at what needs CAPS has that haven’t been met.  So, I don’t know what the going rate for a psychologist on a campus is, but I do know that we only have one psychologist for every 1,196 students, and that is not enough.  We’re well below the average of students-per-psychologist if you look at CoFHE, which is the Consortium on Financing Higher Education at the 30 most selective private universities in the country, and we are not a below-average school in terms of stress, so whatever it takes, we need to dedicate.

Okay.  Um, I was talking about CAPS, like…bottlecaps.

Oh.  Well that’s a valuable question, too.  I’m pretty proud of our collection.  It’s robust and diverse.  Because, when it comes to bottle caps, inclusion is the utmost priority.

So what specific things are you going to do next year to make sure that the caps community continues to be diverse and inclusive?

Good question.  I think we can’t just throw away caps just because we think they’re somehow, quote on quote, less good.  No matter the quality or the color of the liquid that was once protected by said cap, we need to stand by its unique asset that it provides to us as a #OneNorthwestern.

Okay, great.  So, a lot of students think that ASG doesn’t really do anything on campus.  Umm…I don’t have a question about that.  Just wanted to take you down a peg.

ASG kinda sucks sometimes!  It really does.  If you ask most people what they believe ASG does, they won’t have a good answer.  If you ask most people in ASG what they think of their experience, most people won’t say the best things.  And before we start listing off any number of projects we have to ensure that we’re developing a culture that’s going to make people enjoy their experience as they do in so many other student groups.

Could you describe your first power trip?

Yeah.  It was back in the day in 5th grade.  I was the student body secretary/treasurer, the slashie, giving a nod to Zoolander.  We put on a multicultural food day and I got to miss math to help set up.

What do you have against math?  What’s your problem with math?

No, please don’t twist my words.  I’m very upset that you did that.  I don’t have anything against math but I do stand by the value of multicultural food day.  And yeah, I felt pretty swaggy, if you will.

Swaggy.  Nice.  That was a bold word choice.


So could you bring multicultural food day from your 5th grade class to Northwestern?  Not like spatially or physically but like…have another one?

Temporally, we can’t move it.

Yet.  Science is amazing.

It is.  But yes, we could do something of that nature.  I mean, actually, Norris kinda does bring in chefs from all around the world.  I was recently enjoying the Thai food until I ate what is unequivocally the hottest pepper of my life and was brought to tears.

Do  you think that someone so easily brought to tears might be unfit for the seat of ASG president?

It’s true that ASG can be a little spicy.  But I think I’ve grown a thicker skin since that momentous occasion.  That pepper was a building block that has prepared me for the office.

While we’re on the topic of tears, how much did you cry the first time you sat naked in a corner and listened to Someone Like You eighteen times in a row?

I would say it was probably 2 blocks worth.

2 blocks?

In Dance Marathon speak.

Oh, so like 6 hours.  Not like 2 city blocks filled.

You’re not making sense.

The pot is calling the kettle silver.

You know what they say about that?  They…they certainly say it.

What do you plan to name your 8th child?


And why is that?

No explanation needed.

What about explanation desired?  How would you respond to allegations that you plan to put your 8th child in a tower?

I would take them seriously.

Alright.  Which 18th century dictator would you say had the biggest impact on your adolescence?

I would go with Napoleon.  I would say we were on the same level when I was an adolescent.  Height wise.  But we worked hard to take my height to the next level.

I mean, Napoleon crowned himself emperor technically in the 18th century, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt because you missed math class that one time.

I appreciate the benefit.  Less so the doubt.

So what’s the best number?


Do you have a reason for that?

Well 3 has been my favorite number, but saying 3 would be too simplistic, and in ASG we like to overcomplicate by adding superfluous numbers.

I love it.  So what is your favorite Chet Haze song and what does it suggest about you?

Do It Better, I’d say.  I think that’s my motto for…the things.

For all of the things.

All of them.

I think that’s Chet Haze just kind of ripping off your “Next Level” motto, just adapted to whatever kind of genre you’d call that.  So on a more serious note, how would you twerk with NU administrators to bring about your proposals?

Well we’re all about collaboration, and we believe that twerking with administrators is a good way to bring the various parties into one.  And since you’ve been taking things so literally, I mean parties as an organization and an asset, not the…

Not like the rager.

Right, thank you.  So I think we did this effectively during Dance Marathon, when we asked everyone to twerk, specifically in their jorts.  So perhaps we can make that a tradition.  I now have images of President Morton Owen Schapiro twerking in jorts.

Did that actually happen?

I plead the 5th.

Okay.  If you have images, I suppose it doesn’t mean it actually happened.

Pics or it didn’t happen.

So could you describe a Sherman Ave headline about your presidential tenure eight months after your election?

“Harris concedes that Josephine Lee is, in fact, his boss.”

Alright.  So we’re just going to ask you to fill in the blank:  Rack City Bitch, Rack Rack City Bitch, Ten ten ten twenties on ya ____

I definitely agree.

You agree?  


So:  Rack City Bitch, Rack Rack City Bitch, Ten ten ten twenties on ya I definitely agree?

Well, I would just say that when you think about it, the answer is yes.

Okay.   That’s kind of meta.  I respect that.  So Ke$ha once said, “I like your beard.”  Respond.

About yours?  I wouldn’t call it a beard, per se, as much as scruff.  It’s approaching bearddom but not quite there.

Touche.  Turned the tables on that one.

The tables have been turned.

So, quick word problem: John walks from the Foster El stop to Norris at 5 miles per hour.  Jane walks from Deering Library to Hillel at 3 miles per hour.  If their paths cross outside Kellogg, how much does it cost to buy one goddamn potsticker?

Is this a fundraiser?

Yeah.  Outside Kellogg.


So…the last time I exposed myself to grad students on the Intercampus, I was asked to leave the bus.  How could you change these policies to be more inclusive of people like me?

No, they made the right decision.  With due respect to you and your natural state, I also think that’s very strange that you did that.  I don’t know why you would have thought that was appropriate.

As someone who says they’re willing to foster diversity on campus, you wouldn’t say you’re willing to accommodate my religious and cultural beliefs?

Is it religious and cultural?

So to speak.

I stand by my original statement, that it’s very weird that you did that.

Alright.  I have a quick joke for you.  Knock knock.

Who’s there?


Boo who?

This is the third time that crying has come up in this interview.  

Ugh, you’re going to make me cry. [breathes heavily]

So we just have a couple questions that were tailored specifically toward you.

That’s nice.

Chips and Guac from Frontera is delicious and I want to know why you won’t let me eat it.

It’s definitely bold that we’re asking you to give up one serving of Chips and Guac.  How often do you visit Frontera Fresco?

Maybe every two or three weeks, just to get Chips and Guac and nothing else, because I don’t want to go broke.

Right.  Are you in an a cappella group?

Are you in an a cappella group?

I am not.


But, in the hypothetical, if you were in an a cappella group, and we could double your budget, and all it took was you going to Frontera Fresco in four weeks instead of in two, on this one occasion only, it is my intuition that you would make that trade.

Is Big Brother the one who gets to eat the Chips and Guac?

Who is Big Brother?

I mean, ASG.

Right.  I was thinking more literally, my younger brother who is 9 inches taller than me is here, and at this moment, I think he’s eating Chips and Guac.

Okay.  So I understand you’re from California.  Correct?  So when NU makes the Rose Bowl, can I crash at your house and bring like 900 friends?  They’re all strippers.

Right, right.  Well I live a good 6 or 7 hours away from the Rose Bowl, driving with no traffic.

Driving with a Hot Wheels?  But like, how far apart are SoCal and NorCal really?  Like half an hour?

You’re incorrect again.  There are so many things you’ve said in this interview that are nonsensical or incorrect.

Well FactCheck rates it mostly correct.  I have FactCheck pulled up.

Well touche, once again.  The answer to that question is definitely, maybe.

Definitely, Maybe?  Is that in your top 5 favorite movies?

Top 500.  Ish.

What do you think of Ryan Reynolds?

I respect what he’s done for cinema.

Wow.  I don’t think anyone’s ever said that about him before.

Well I’m a politician for now.

So you say you’re going to take things to the Next Level.  That’s your campaign slogan.  By fall quarter, can I expect to see study pandas brought to Norris?

Is that how you define Next Level?


You should submit that to the 10k initiative.  And if it turns out that acquiring pandas is less than 10,000 dollars, we could probably make that happen.

Why would I submit to the 10k initiative when we could have a glorious Willie the Wildcat statue?

Well, we could make a compromise solution.

A Willie the Panda statue?

Yeah, that’s exactly where I was going.

Great.  Really taking things to the Next Level.  Okay, last question here.  I understand there’s another David Harris on campus.  Do you ever get him mixed up with yourself?  You’re like ,”Hey David Harris!” and then you’re like “What? Am I talking to myself? Lol!”

He’s a very handsome man.  I look at him and I wish that I looked like that sometimes.

Are you two like the guys in The Prestige though?

Right.  Well….

Do you want us to kill him for you, is what I’m asking.

No, I’m really anti-murder.

Okay.  I think that’s good.  That really is taking things to the Next Level.  Thanks for your time, David.

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