Ryan Chartrand

Many people say that Arnold Schwarzenegger has failed his duty to the CSU system – keeping tuition low. Around this time of election year, TV channels start showing advertisements for or against the current governor. What if students got a chance to put one out? What if students were allowed to speak out to millions of people? With the Flunk Arnold contest they can.

Flunk Arnold is a contest put on by the California Faculty Association (CFA). Students can make a 30 second anti-Arnold video that focuses on his increasing of fees, said Brian Purchia, campaign manager for the contest. “We want to get students involved in the political process,” he said.

The winner of the contest gets one year of tuition paid for at the CSU of their choice and their video put on TV as an ad during “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” two weeks before the election, Purchia said. The CFA will buy the ad placement all over California.

The CFA is a union for CSU faculty on all 23 campuses, said Alice Sunshine, the communications director for CFA. The idea did not come from one person, but was a group effort by the CFA, she said.

“We wanted to try and get CSU students creative,” Sunshine said.

“We thought about ways to get students involved,” Purchia said. “We wanted to use things like YouTube and MySpace to reach college age students.”

One of the rules of the competition is not to submit any video that is pro-Angelides, the other candidate for the election, according the official Web site for the campaign, www.flunkarnold.com. This is due to the CFA’s connection to the Political Action Committee (PAC), Purchia said. “We cannot endorse any candidates,” he said.

There are not too many guidelines and creativity is strongly encouraged, said Purchia. “We are looking for funny stuff,” he said. “Nothing obscene, homophobic or racist will be posted because that is not the point of this ad,” Purchia said.

Recently, people have decreased their TV watching. Now networking sites are the more popular methods of communication and the CFA wants to use that to “put the power in the hands of the students,” Purchia said.

The videos will be posted on flunkarnold.com and people will be able to vote on them. First, people can vote one time for each video and rate it from one to ten, said Purchia. The second round of voting will start on Oct. 23. Voters will choose from the top-ranked videos and Web sites.

There will be one video and one Web site that wins, Purchia said. All of the submissions are due by Oct. 18.

“We got one on Friday and we expect to get a bunch more this week,” Purchia said. “It’s tough to make a video like this.”

For more information on the contest, go to www.flunkarnold.com. It is easy to navigate, has answers to frequently asked questions, and gives all the contest rules.

“The most important thing to know is that the students have a say in who wins,” Purchia said. “This is all about students getting involved.”

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