The Cat That Nearly Became a Student Senator

PHOTO COURTESY | JACOB LYNCH Professor X, pictured, poses in front of the American flag. The cat won over 50 votes during the student body elections this spring.
PHOTO COURTESY | JACOB LYNCH
Professor X, pictured, poses in front of the American flag. The cat won over 50 votes during the student body elections this spring.

The 13 percent of North Dakota State students who voted last week were tasked with filling the 11 off-campus student senator spots with prospective leaders.

Only five candidates were officially listed, meaning seven write-in hopefuls would claim the remaining openings.

Preston Gilderhus led the pack for write-ins, garnering 62 votes.

Then, with 50 unofficial votes: Professor X, a black cat rescued from the streets of Fargo.

Touted by his Facebook campaign page as the best off-campus candidate for Student Senate “because he has never actually been on the campus,” the cat found his way to the ballot.

Chief Justice Mathew Warsocki said during Friday’s results announcement the feline brought in 38 official votes; however, the vote count was raised because some students struggled to spell “Professor X” correctly.

Regardless of spelling, Professor X’s vote total placed him seventh on the ballot.

Although his chances to student senate are slim – apparently, people/animals who run for student body elections must be a student – history has been made.

Here’s his story, as told by his press secretary, Jacob Lynch, a sophomore communication management student:

The Spectrum: Who is Professor X? What’s his back story? 

Jacob Lynch: Professor X is a cat that my roommates and I decided to adopt at the beginning of the school year. His back story is largely a mystery. He was found on the streets when he was brought to the shelter.

And your relationship with the cat?

I currently serve as Professor X’s press secretary. My roommates and I also manage the task of feeding him. He’s a good boss.

What’s the message behind X’s campaign, if any? What did you take away from it?

​Well, the main message behind his campaign was democracy. Professor X has always valued the democratic ideals that the student body elections represent. He knew going into this election that he may not get all of the votes; his priority was encouraging the students of NDSU to get out and have their voices heard.

Will he be running again in the near future?

X’s time in the political scene is far from over. His goals of seeking office again are questionable but he has mentioned getting involved in political news writing. He said something about Twitter but I cannot confirm nor deny his plans to obtain a Twitter handle.

Anything else? Perhaps anything you think the cat would want to add?

I know that the professor appreciates all of the support. The most important thing to take away from all of this is that voting is important. Whether it is a school, state or national election, make sure you get out and vote to make sure your voice is heard.

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