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The GW Hatchet

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The GW Hatchet

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SA candidates launch campaigns

Student campaigns officially started Friday in a less feverish fashion than years past. Following tradition, some candidates camped out overnight to stake out prime poster locations, but gone was the tense battling for positions.

The campus walls are now lined with red, blue and neon posters touting Student Association, Program Board and Marvin Center Governing Board candidates, but signs do not cover every inch like memorable elections between 2000 candidates Jeff Marootian and David Burt. Beyond that, spending limits have been tamed considerably since Phil Meisner handed out Coke cans to win the presidency in 1999.

SA candidates and campaigners under the “Working for Us” slate, including presidential candidate Josh Singer and executive vice president hopeful Eric Daleo, were at the Marvin Center as early as 2 a.m. Friday morning.

Singer said he has hung posters for the last three elections and said he had to get out early to out the competition so that his name is recognized for voting, which takes place Wednesday and Thursday.

“Camping out the night before is part of the tradition of running for SA president,” Singer said. “I didn’t go to sleep all night, because I was up talking to people about my campaign.”

Robinson said he was “disappointed” at the campaign start.

“Postering is not addressing issues. Candidates are just getting in the way of the Marvin Center steps, rather than talking to the students about the issues,” Robinson said, describing the scene. “They should take themselves lightly and their job seriously.”

Robinson said he spent his morning calling supporters and explaining how he was not going to be a part of what he called a “charade.”

“It is more about the message, and though advertising is important, it’s not the basis for being SA president or a senator,” Robinson said. “We’re going to have smaller posters, more of a grassroots, door-to-door campaign.”

Singer said postering is an important part of the process.

“I don’t know why other candidates didn’t poster, but I think students enjoy seeing the posters because they get to observe who’s running,” he said.

Candidates were also allowed to hang posters on the 21st Street side of Funger Hall, parts of the Academic Center and Monroe Hall.

“This is what it’s all about. The candidate that is most dedicated is the candidate that deserves the office,” Daleo said.

Other candidates were baffled by opponents’ efforts.

“It’s a little out of control, but I’m having fun with it,” said sophomore Blythe Purdin, a candidate for Marvin Center Governing Board. She joked, “I didn’t know you were supposed to stake out your spot a week in advance.”

Last year’s campaigning turned ugly as arguments over space broke out between current SA President Roger Kapoor’s supporters and challenger Bob Simon’s staffers.

This year, no accidents or fights were reported, Joint Election Committee Chairman Scott Sheffler said.

“Last year there were way too many violations. We shouldn’t have that many problems this year,” said Columbian School Senatorial candidate sophomore Mohammed Ali. “I’m just looking forward to campaigning and hopefully getting elected.”

Ali is one of 12 Senate hopefuls campaigning under the “Working for Us” slate.

SA presidential candidate Phil Robinson received the first campaign violations Sunday for oversized posters. He received three points. If a candidate receives eight points, the candidate can be thrown off the ballot.

Candidates new to the campaigning process said candidates and the JEC have handled the process well so far.

“It seems like there will be less problems because of the fewer candidates,” Business School Senate candidate and sophomore Aaron Binstock said. “Everybody has been getting along better this year.”

After the first half-hour blitz of postering completed at the Marvin Center, one candidate looked shockingly around at the walls.

“All the signage seems extreme; I feel bad for the trees,” Purdin said. “The way the campaigning is set up, who has all of that money to spend on a campaign? My limit is $30.”

Singer and Daleo said they will further depart from past years by only palm-carding on voting days. Robinson said he will continue to hand out fliers until he runs out, and Greenspan will hand out palm cards to encourage students to vote.

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