Our first meeting, scheduled with the aid of a poll on the Facebook page, was surprisingly well-attended for a Thursday night meeting that unfortunately coincided with a Dayglow event and the beginning of the final exam study frenzy. About 20 people came up to the little corner of the student union building that I staked out. I suppressed the urge to kiss all of them, and handed out cookies instead. One student I had never met before thanked me earnestly for buying the starter kit. "Thank you for doing this; buying the fun pack," he said. "I really wanted to when I saw that episode, but I didn't really have the money, and I didn't really know if anyone else was interested, so... " he trailed off.
"Yeah," chimed in another student, a girl, that I had not met before, but I was pretty sure I recognized from the LGBTQ Alliance protest of a gay conversion preacher that showed up on campus toward the end of last semester. "Thank you so much. I didn't think anyone else would wanna do it either."
I thought I might burst with happiness, and I wished I were articulate enough to really express how happy their showing up had made me. I just went with stating the truth, though, and said:
I honestly didn't think anyone else would be interested, either. I was resigned to doing it on my own. But, now that I think about it, of course there are other people here who want to do this. I mean, college campuses are sort of Colbert's demographic, I guess. I just didn't really know anyone. But I'm really, really happy you guys are all here, and that you're in, and you don't have to thank me. Thank you.
For about an hour and a half, we talked goals, we voted on questions that came up, we saw a preliminary t-shirt design (hint: if turtles don't like peanut butter, and I think we can safely assume they don't, then what do they like?). And we all left feeling like we had made new friends, and resolved to meet again as soon as the Super Fun Pack arrived.
Word began to spread, and fast. Reporters from Onward State and the Daily Collegian called, and I gave my first real interviews. They felt like friendly discussions, and I was almost surprised to see them in print later. I knew when the first article had been posted, because the number of "likes" on the Facebook page began to skyrocket.
I was asked a lot of questions-about super PACs in general, about Colbert's super PAC, about the one I intended to start -- and I answered them all carefully and happily. Because in this way, before we had officially registered, our PAC was fulfilling part of its mission. We were educating people about campaign finance law (or lack thereof). Each time I spoke to someone who had never heard of a super PAC, or didn't really know how they worked, was a rewarding experience.
So, with the groundwork laid, and word beginning to spread, it was time to wait for the Super Fun Pack. We were still terribly busy, though, in retrospect, with what I'm not entirely sure, administering the Facebook page and Twitter, recruiting, and explaining ourselves at every turn. It was also the final innings of the semester, and we all had numerous assignments and exams being lobbed at us in addition to the clubs and work we were all juggling.
So we waited. Not patiently, really, but eagerly.
For Part I of this series, click here.