Each year, the Collegian editorial board convenes to analyze and choose a candidate to endorse for the Associated Students of CSU presidential and vice presidential election.
However, for at least the last six years, this endorsement has come to mean more than just your campus media showing their faith in a candidate; it has come to predict the imminent failure of whatever candidate it has endorsed, a metaphorical stake into the heart of an otherwise thriving campaign.
Fondly known as the “Collegian Curse,” this trend has become a sort of “most likely to lose” award for ASCSU candidates, with each campaign crossing their fingers not to get picked.
“On one hand, I love the publicity from being endorsed,” said Wendy Bowling, a presidential candidate in this year’s campaign, as well as this year’s Collegian endorsement for president. “Yet, on the other hand, it does make me really apprehensive of the results.”
The reason, however, for the Collegian’s misplaced faith is only hearsay.
“I think it’s a mixed bag,” said Kirsten Silveira, a former news editor for the Collegian, who has seen the curse play out firsthand. “We have to ask ourselves, ‘Do we just look for different things in a candidate, or are we really less intuitive than the rest of the student body?’ I think we just see different things as being important.”
Bowling added that oftentimes the things students consider may not be what the Collegian thinks about.
“I think sometimes the Collegian can live in a bubble,” Bowling said. “They look strictly at the candidates’ platforms or plans and maybe don’t look at what the student body might see in the candidates themselves or any outside opinions like that.”
Although the last six years have not been great years for the Collegian in terms of predicting election outcomes, Mike Stratton, a former Collegian editor and student body president, says that was not always the case.
“I don’t think six years is a very long track record,” said Stratton, who was endorsed by the Collegian in his successful 1977 campaign for president. “When I was in school the Collegian endorsement was always very important and very influential … I won in large or small part because of it.”
Although Bowling is willing to admit her endorsement for president is a double-edged sword, she still expresses hope for her campaign.
“I’m still hoping to break the curse,” said Bowling. “Everyone is nervous, including us. You can never really see where things are going no matter who you are.”
ASCSU Beat Reporter Carrie Mobley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.