Maxwell Kappes was a candidate for ASUCD Senate in the Fall 2012 ASUCD Election running on the S.L.A.T.E. slate, so basically an independent. He won the sixth seat in the election in the thirteenth round because of the elimination of all other remaining candidates, being shy of threshold by a little more than one vote. Needless to say, his father could be a little more proud.
Following his Senate term and suffering from a massive case of not giving a fuck about student government Max decided to run for the ASUCD Vice Presidency with Armando Figueroa in the Winter 2014 ASUCD Election. The two ran on a fusion SMART/Independent ticket, with a goal to actually bring diverse opinions not just to ASUCD as a whole but to the executive office in particular. This time he has been endorsed by The Aggie and KDVS, making him an oddly legitimate candidate given he still hasn't taken the squid off of his head. He also won, which he found very disappointing.
Given Max was a transfer student and was major in Statistics, that all is pretty impressive.
While serving in ASUCD Max made sure to keep him sane by being a member of way too many clubs. He was the president of the Davis Urban Gaming Group (DUGG) and head administrator of Humans vs. Zombies, along with being a founding organizer for Davis Cards and Games. In addition to these organizations he was a member of American's Elect, Davis College Democrats, Davis Anime Club, and Davis Swing Dancers.
Under his guidance DUGG (or Davis Nerf Club if you want to acknowledge the name change) went from a club that didn't exist to seeing an average of 40 weekly members (with peaks as high as 120). Given Max wasn't actually allowed to own NERF Blasters until he was 18 he doesn't seem like the most likely person to helm one of these clubs, but through tireless effort and advertising and pretending to be a real human being he was able to help build a community that has so far lasted the campus longer than he has.
When Max came to Davis he was determined to start Humans vs. Zombies on campus, but luckily someone beat him to it. During his first quarter playing the moderators saw something in him or something, and at the end of the week approached him asking if he wanted to assist in heading the organization. Max consented, and by the end of the year was co-president along with other transfer student Max Wilt. While leading the organization Max was frequently bothered by how slow it was at actually planning the event along with the number of people that had moderator status, so he took advantage of the utter lack of organized structure. By convincing enough players that he was in charge, Max became in charge. He then created a series of bylaws and practices for the organization and went about hiring a new set of moderators, removing almost everyone else from power in the process. While the newer, more organized HvZ didn't see an uptick in membership, it was far more efficient at planning and implementing the games. Max was succeeded by two members who muscled him out of the hiring process for the following years moderators, therefore continuing his proud tradition of a bloodied transition of power.
Wow, that was all pretty political. Guess it makes sense that he went for student government...
Campaigns and Tenure
Max started his senate campaign as something of a joke, but a joke that was coming from someone who actually had an idea as to what ASUCD did. Before his campaign he was a member of Internal Affairs Commission and had previously worked for the Elections Committee, ASUCD Senator Justin Goss, and KDVS. During his campaign he gained support from an increasing number of senators along with the chair of the Internal Affairs Commission and the ASUCD Controller along with some form of support from The Aggie (even if they didn't endorse him). His increasing support from the institution, along with his friends seemingly undying loyalty towards him motivated him to actually try.
While Max ran on actual issues (increasing the number of ASUCD sponsored events on campus and increasing support for clubs), he mostly focused on his attitude towards ASUCD (skeptical) and a general cult of personality. Using the squid hat for increased visibility he was able to win the votes of large swaths of students who happened to see him on campus that one time (the "apathetic vote" is a thing) along with one of the largest and most aggressive campaign organizations he was able to win a senate seat, becoming the first transfer student to win a senate seat in 5 years.
Ideologically Max was generally against Senate Resolutions (a waste of time), fiscally conservative, and generally sided with SMART over NOW on hot-button issues (though not always). He was the joker of the table, giving joke speeches' responding to arguments sarcastically, and submitting parody legislation. He worked closely with Miles Thomas, as they were ideologically fairly similar (with Miles being more optimistic and Max being more pessimistic). They would often provide a united front on issues, and occasionally fall into a good-cop bad-cop routine. Max would also occasionally work with senators Armando Figueroa, Ryan Wonders, and Liam Burke from issue to issue.
Max was seen inconsistently by many people on the table. He was generally taken seriously by members of SMART and fellow independents, while NOW ultimately believed he didn't know what he was doing (with the exception of Ryan Wonders and Tal Topf). This was enforced by much of Max's work being done off the table, where he would approach bill authors when he disagreed with them ahead of time to tell them his problems with a bill and make sure they either addressed those problems immediately or addressed them during authors comments.
As a senator Max worked primarily on increasing the number of senators (believing that a larger number of representatives would lead to more voices that weren't coming from greek and social justice spaces), working with The Aggie to ensure long-term viability, and creating a commission for clubs. This last platform put him at direct odds with the Outreach Assembly, whom he believed wasn't doing much in line with it's constitutional duties (a feeling he had towards most commissions, seeing all but EAC, IAC, BnF, and AAC as pointless). None of these platforms were accomplished, primarily because of wide-spread political opposition.
Max was frequently infuriated with the party system and would mock it constantly, making up his own slates or joining defunct slates at the drop of the hat. He formed S.L.A.T.E., joined FUCK, and probably tried to join GO or some other past slate as well. He was a co-founder of BEST and made an effort to keep the slate organized, but following their crushing defeat in the debut election and their struggle to keep candidates in the following election it had collapsed and been replaced (at least in Max's mind) as a string of senators Max would give exclusive advice to.
Initially Max considered running for a second term in Senate, believe it would allow him to dominate the discussion at the table because of his seniority and experience, but towards the tail-end of his term he grew increasingly frustrated with what he was as the "general incompetence" of people in the association, and instead opted to quit. That was, until he was roped into running with Armando Figueroa for Vice President. Max was also scouted for the Vice Presidency by Kabir Kapur and, to a lesser extent, Ryan Wonders. Most people in the association who wanted to run for the executive office wanted to be President, but Max actually preferred the role of VP. Max decided to run with Armando because he felt as though Armando would give him the most autonomy in the position, fearing that Kabir and Ryan would try to limit his ability to, as he would put it, "have fun with the whole thing."
Armando and Max ran on a lot of platforms, from Max's senate platforms of increasing club presence in the association and increasing the number of campus events to newer ones like creating a graduation photo unit and creating a 24-hour computer lab on campus. During the election SMART (Armando's party) fielded 5 candidate to NOW's 6, but the Figueroa/Kappes ticket was also endorsed by Artem Senchev, Gloria Chen, and Diana Lopez Solorzano, along with being supported by independent senators Gareth Smythe and Shehzad Lokhandwalla. In addition, Max assisted in getting a fee referendum on the ballot for The Aggie, which helped drive up voter turnout. The final tally of the election was close, with Figueroa/Kappes winning 45% to 40% against Ryan Wonders.
During their tenure, Max and Armando managed to complete almost none of their platforms, and found a large portion of their priorities tied into fixing problems with the current units over a remodel of the Memorial Union (there was an attempt to remodel the third floor in this time, but they squashed it in an effort to save money). They also found themselves inheriting a large structural deficit, giving Max some autonomy over being allowed to cut (but not remove) many ASUCD services he deemed unnecessary. This lead to a rather controversial budget hearing, but many of the cuts were let through on account of a lack of funding.
This was the time that Israeli Divestment crested in ASUCD. The issue had been running around the association for a little over a year now, but had failed to make it to the Senate table. It had been alienating a lot of people from the association as it's prominence increased, and was leading to the election of more candidates whose motivations for running were largely based on this issue (both for and against). Max tried to broken a deal with the commission chairs to send the resolution straight to the Senate table (feeling it had nothing to do with ASUCD and believing that it's damage would be minimized if it only had one meeting instead of four) but he was opposed by both sides. The bill ultimately made it the the table, where after an 8 hour hearing the final vote tally was 5-5-2, with Max refusing to break the tie (abstaining), causing the bill to fail. Max spent most of the meeting solving ken-ken puzzles, drawing caterpillar brand tractors, and pretending to get drunk.
Another one of Max's larger pushes was for the abolition of Cal Aggie Camp, a student run camp in the Sierra's for foster children. Many students believed that Cal Aggie Camp provides a beneficial camp experience for the students running it along with the children that go. Max believes those people are foolish. During budget hearings Armando asked Cal Aggie Camp to make cuts of 15%, the same amount that had to be cut from the budget as a whole. When they refused, Max told them he would be sanctioned to cut them to $0 if they didn't cooperate. They responded to Armando by delivering a 20-minute presentation to senate urging for more funding. They were cut 17%. Later in the term Max, along with the controller Rylan Schaeffer, made a push to retroactively remove all funding granted to Cal Aggie Camp, a fight which ended with Rylan's resignation due to frustration with the short-sightedness of the association.
Max also pushed heavily for budget reforms late in his term. Due to the dwindling reserves of the association unless strict budget reforms were initiated Max and the Business Manager feared that the association would become financially insolvent. Max then pushed for long-term payroll changes, definitions of how and when reserves can be spent, and mandatory reserve requirements.
Max also helped push against joining UCSA (waste of money) while trying to reign in advocacy to limit it to campus and city/county only. He, along with Alex Lee, helped re-make AggieTV to focus more on profit and less on zombie movies. He saved the ICEE machine during the campus remodel, bringing it from the CoHo To Go to the CoHo proper. He worked with Entertainment Council to start campus Open-Mic Nights (while simultaneously trying to destroy Entertainment Council's ability to fund concerts and other large events, believing they had poor student-to-dollar ratios, believeing numerous smaller events would be more beneficial to campus). Max also got his signature legislation through after it's third introduction, finally letting Berkeley know that it was too pretentious.
Following the election of Kappes/Figueroa, NOW retired as a slate. SMART then collapsed quickly afterwards, only existing following their election as a vehicle for to elect Mariah Kala Watson to the presidency. So basically Max helped destroy party cohesion and slate politics in ASUCD, just like he dreamed he would.
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