While MIT in the '70s had plenty of unusual characters, I still had to invent Ralph. He was not as back-to-nature as Grogo, he was not as venomous as the Batterfiend and he really wasn't the pinball-playing, Springsteen-adoring Marvel Comix character that The Rat was. Unlike the denizens of Bexley, he really didn't have a political viewpoint.
His perception of reality came from a slightly different perspective.
He could be quite a shocking eyeful sometimes.
Everyone had their own theories about him.
But they were just theories. He could have fit in at Bexley, except Bexley was too political. He was at once nihilistic, capitalistic, boisterous, sullen, laid-back and manic, with his feet on the ground yet floating through life. You just couldn't pin him down...
Incidentally, the word "random" was used to refer to somebody of little importance or interest. In the theater or the movies, they would be the "extras" - people who just fill up space behind the main characters. MIT had a large number of randoms. When they get out in the working world, they end up as assistance vice presidents.