POPULAR PLACES FOR STUDENTS TO HANG OUT-Deez Nuts, the independent presidential candidate from Iowa, recently withdrew his name from the presidential ballot to officially endorse Bernie Sanders. Many have speculated that the underlying reason for his decision was his realization of the difficulty a third party faces in our severely gridlocked two-party political system. It thus came as no surprise to see the announced candidacy of “Deez Nuts” in the Smounker cluster senate race.

Fortunately for Nuts, Grinnell has a pluralist approach to its elections and campaigns. In many ways, Nuts has found a space and public through which he can showcase his skills as a political leader. Nuts shaped his Smounker platform to highlight this, including items to benefit the Grinnell community as a whole. In an effort to bring people together, Deez Nuts has created a unifying theme throughout his Grinnell campaign - the nut. The simple nut, a lowly legume that can be manipulated into many a form, is an underlying element in all Nuts’ goals for his senate term.

Not only does Nuts strive to eliminate the stigmas and barriers nuts face as allergens in the Grinnell Dining Hall (expanding nuts to be an integral ingredient in every d-hall meal), but Nuts hopes to emphasize Grinnell’s commitment to nutty causes by supporting the movement to change the mascot to a squirrel (an infamous nut-lover).

Many Smounkerians have expressed their support of Deez Nuts and his nut-liberation aims. “I think nuts face a huge freedom problem in our nation at the moment,” says Younker Pit resident Cassy Shoe ‘17. “Nuts face obstacles everywhere - they have to be marked on food labels and are stigmatized within their culinary community for their occasional cause of death. I am supporting Deez Nuts in his effort to reframe our mindsets and end the discrimination facing the nut in the modern world.”

Despite coming in as an underdog, Deez Nuts has seen his popularity rising in the polls and now poses a serious challenge to the more traditional Smounker candidates. Whether Nuts will be able to enact serious and actual change or be crushed by the bureaucratic institutions that be, only time will tell.