Maxwell Kappes was a candidate for ASUCD Senate in the Fall 2012 ASUCD Election running on the S.L.A.T.E. slate, narrowly winning the final seat. Following his senate term, he ran for ASUCD Vice President with Armando Figueroa in the Winter 2014 ASUCD Election. Outside of ASUCD he was the founder of the Davis Urban Gaming Group (now the Davis NERF Club) and head administrator of Humans vs. Zombies.
AUTHORS NOTE: This article is being edited in 2023. It was a pretty cringe, in the moment take on my time at UC Davis. I left the article as is, feeling it was a good in-the-moment representation of my take on student government that would be a fun discovery for future students who really didn't have anything better to do (so you). Regretfully someone came by sometime in 2021 and heavily vandalized the article with some pretty personal attacks, so I've decided to edit it to make my digital footprint less off-putting . If you want to see the article in its former glory, or in its vandalized hostility, just check out the revisions log.
Campaigns and Tenure
Before being elected to the Senate, Max served on the Internal Affairs Commission, volunteered with the Elections Committee, and interned for ASUCD Senator Justin Goss. His campaign focused on club representation, focusing on the fiscal health of the institution, and being kind of a joke. In a closely contested election he was able to win the sixth seat in a 14 candidate election, making him the first transfer student to win a senate seat in five years.
Max often worked with other independents and the progressive SMART slate. He frequently voted against the governing NOW slate, even on bipartisan issues. Despite being serious about the role of student government, his farcical approach often left him isolated politically and unable to accomplish his larger goals.
During the Winter 2013 ASUCD Election Max worked with senator Liam Burke and future senator Miles Thomas to form the BEST slate. Of the five candidates the slate ran, only Miles Thomas managed to win a seat. The presidential ticket they endorsed, Paul Min & Sergio Cano, lost as well.
Following the failure of the BEST slate, Max began working more closely with Miles Thomas and SMART while fellow independent, Liam Burke, began working more closely with NOW. This created an evenly split 6-6 senate, with NOW holding the presidency and tie-breaking power.
Max considered running for a second term, but instead supported Gareth Smythe and Mariah Kala Watson in the Fall 2013 ASUCD Election. Throughout the fall he was approached but multiple people to gauge his interest in running for Vice President before ultimately deciding to run with Armando Figueroa.
Armando and Max's platforms included implementing a graduation photo unit, a 24-hour computer lab, increasing the size of the senate, and creating a roommate arbitration program. They supported the referendum that would increase student fees to fund The Aggie. The main issues facing their administration were addressing a large budget shortfall, an attempt to rejoin UCSA, and the BDS movement, which was pushing forward resolutions at all UC campuses.
During the budget crisis Armando and Max found they needed to cut approximately 15% of the student government budget. The main camp of thought to address this issue was to cut each unit by 15%, though Max and controller Rylan Schaefer preferred to make larger cuts to high-cost units and create more profit-earning potential in some units to spare the budget of other shoestring units. This involved two controversial positions: the cutting of CalAggie camp and repurposing a large portion of the funds for Entertainment Council. CalAggie Camp, a camp run by ASUCD for local foster youth, was not accredited and had recently suffered from a ringworm outbreak among the campers. Seeing the program as a large cost with high liability, Max advocated for defunding the program to spare other units. Instead, CalAggie Camp saw a 15% as with most units. Entertainment Council was addressed by attempting to repurpose how the unit was run by moving much of its concert funding to either other units or to a new line item that would encourage them to run numerous small events like campus trivia or open mic nights. Ultimately Entertainment Council threaded the needle, maintaining a small concert fund but also diversifying their role to help run smaller events as well.
UC Davis left UCSA something in the 2000s, creating their own state lobbying program instead. The cost of the program was high, and while the proximity of UC Davis to the capitol allowed for convenient lobbying efforts, Max felt the program was more of a way for political science majors to have fun instead of a meaningful program and instead wanted student lobbying efforts to be directed more at the city and county level.
Though Max ran as an ally to the SMART slate, who supported the BDS movement, he did not believe that a senate resolution narrowly passed by a deeply divided senate was the best way to go about it. The legislation was seen by ASUCD three times: Spring 2013 (where it failed in committee), Spring 2014 (where it failed in the senate), and ultimately passing in Winter 2015. As Vice President Max tried to push the legislation past the committee process directly to the senate, seeing it as an issue that was best left to the discretion of the senate. In spring 2014 the bill passed through the committee process and after an eight hour senate hearing on the issue the vote was left to a 5-5-2 tie. Arguing the bill had failed due to abstentions acting as procedural "no" votes, Max refused to break the tie after spending most of the meeting solving Sudoku puzzles while presiding. In winter 2015, following a successful election result for the progressive groups on campus, the legislation easily passed 8-2-2.
Since I'm stuck here editing this article eight years later I figure I might as well give some takes on this. I do not stand by my decision on the divestment vote, while the bill did fail as per the ASUCD constitution I should have been in support of the legislation: as a white man with no investment in the issue it is not my place to debate tactics with the people who are being effected by the issues. I also think my opposition to rejoining UCSA was short-sighted. It was a good program and between Lobbycorp and UCSA, which were the only real options, UCSA was the better choice. I stand by my position on CalAggie Camp and Entertainment Council.
My biggest regret though is not getting Aaron Carter to headline the 2015 Buzz event. Administration didn't take me seriously when I said people would enjoy the concert, which to be fair I thought people would primarily enjoy ironically. I still think my biggest success was getting a resolution urging ASUC to change their name to ASUCB passed. I wish I made a DavisWiki article for the passed version of the resolution, but instead I guess you get to read the article I wrote about the first failed version of the bill.
2013-01-21 12:23:41 As a campaign manager of the Friends Urging Campus Kindness, I'm happy to designate you as an Official Candidate of our slate. Despite the fact that you were elected. And because essentially anyone who asked could be a member of our slate, and all members of our slate are Official Candidates by tradition.
Besides, you have the perfect pedigree to join the Friends anyway: gamer, IAC, Elections Committee, KDVS. —BrentLaabs
2013-03-17 15:53:47 You WISH you were any where NEAR as cool as I am! —DylanSchaefer
2013-03-18 20:43:01 No Dylan, you wish you were half the cool I am. —MaxwellKappes
2013-03-18 23:34:36 Max is a pretty cool guy. he represents students and doesnt afraid of anything —RyanMeyerhoff
2013-08-09 03:09:38 two thumbs up !!! —JeffersonChau
2013-08-09 09:48:26 fight the good fight —StevenDaubert
2013-09-27 17:16:58 Keep f.u.c.k.ing the good fuck, Maxwell. —RobRoy
2013-09-30 01:26:02 re: the piece of shit speech he gave.
lol nothing changes —RyanMeyerhoff
2013-11-17 14:48:39 I can't wait for you to apply to med school in 5 years and then realize the monster you have created —StevenDaubert
2023-01-11 18:56:55 God someone hated me enough in 2021 to redo this whole article. Check the edits if you want to see the page in full cringe (half mine, half theirs). —MaxK