“Come in. Mind the carton boxes”.
When we first met face-to-face with President Yoav Rabinovich for our interview, he seemed almost like a regular student procrastinating in his room. It’s easy to forget that just a few days ago, he reigned as class president over two cohorts. He sat in a mess of oily paper plates, half-opened flavor packets and plastic pizza savers, like tiny tables strewn over his actual table. Clearly, the past few days were hard on our former commander-in-cheese.
“Why did I do it? Why do we sprinkle cheese and tomato sauce on dough and put it in an oven? For the people. All my effort was always in order to improve the lives of my fellow students. We each deserve a slice of the pie. I never lost sight of that”, he said, before we could get a word in.
President Rabinovich started his career in politics in 2017 in San Francisco, when the first ever ASM elections where held for the class of 2020. His revolutionary platform inspired many, recognizing those student needs that are more fundamental than coherent academic policies and mental health: namely, the need for free pizza. He delivered a hot, fresh message, in 30 minutes or less. His determination to run for the imaginary title of Class President was received favorably by his voter base, a subsection of the population that— as analysts often point out— is disproportionately fond of recreational use of cannabinoids and internet memes.
The tenure following President Rabinovich’s first victory was productive and promising. He unilaterally claimed to have officially sponsored numerous events that happened to include free pizza, and made it his personal mission to deliver leftover pizza from HQ to 1412 on two distinct Mondays. His contributions were recognized by foreign authorities, notably when he was gifted a free pizza coupon that SXP President Mike Wang found online. No one was surprised, therefore, when in Seoul he won the coveted title of President of the Unified Cohorts (POTUC).
But since then, our president faded in prominence, and many were disheartened when he did not run for a third tenure. Some attributed this disappearance to the poor state of pizza quality in South Korea, while others suspected he might have been assassinated by Vegan terrorist cells. We reached out to Kalia Ruth Barkai, Rabinovich’s former Campaign Manager for her comment on the fall in his popularity: “In the end, the joke died. We tried to convince him to run under a different flag: mandatory weed breaks, nerf-gun control… But it was clear that we wouldn’t get the laughs we needed for a worthwhile boost to our egos. It was over.”
But was the presidency really just a joke? Nothing but a reference to a trope in election-themed episodes of American sitcoms? We think Rabinovich might actually have been making a poignant commentary on the state of Minerva politics. On this, President Rabinovich commented: “You mean, that I was emphasizing the absurdity of the ASM? That fulfilling any of their goals with the meager power they possess is as unlikely as any outlandish promise I choose to make? That the entire enterprise is a glorified model UN, and that it’s not taken seriously enough by either the staff or the students to have an impact? Nah.”
Speculation and garlic bread aside, whether he is topping your president charts with extra-ease, or he has left you with a burn on the roof of your mouth, Rabinovich earned our trust by earning his crust. But whichever way you slice it, no amount of pizza savers could keep the lid from closing on this man’s presidency.
Disclaimer: Any similarity between the author of this article and its subject is purely coincidental, and no conflict of interest worth noting was involved.