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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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PAUL closes in Western Market
By Ella Mitchell, Staff Writer • April 22, 2024

A whole new ball game: Slates are up, violations are down

With more candidates, more slates and fewer campaign rules violations, this year’s Student Association election has been a whole new ballgame. Seven presidential candidates are running instead of last year’s nine; three slates have formed instead of one; and about 85 fewer violations of election rules have been filed so far compared to last year.

Last year’s election featured more controversy, as the campaign was inundated by more than 100 violations of rules. SA officials had been gearing up for the election months before the late March election date.

But this year the election’s oversight body, the Joint Elections Committee, was appointed later than usual in February and the undergraduate spring break fell two weeks before the election. SA members said these timing issues are at the root of the differences between the elections.

The biggest difference this year is the increased number of students running on slates, student government’s answer to political parties. Though it’s difficult to discern what policy differences divide the different slates, their proliferation in many people’s minds was due to the success of the Coalition for Reform last year.

“The concept of the slate is one in which all candidates are committed to working together to accomplish their goals,” said former SA presidential candidate Ben Traverse, a senior. “This concept is dearly needed in our student government.”

Traverse, a senior, led the Coalition for Reform to almost sweeping the Senate despite his loss to current SA President Audai Shakour in the presidential run-off.

This year’s election will feature three different slates: The College Party, GWUnited and Real GW. These are led by SA presidential candidates sophomore Nick D’Addario, sophomore Elliot Rozenberg and junior Morgan Corr, respectively.

“I think the reason that so many slates exist is because people want to work and run with people who share their ideals, and slates accomplish that,” Corr said. By October 2005, however, many of the Coalition for Reform’s members no longer associated with the slate. Among them is D’Addario, who is running against Corr, also a member of last year’s Coalition for Reform.

SA presidential candidates junior Nate Hayward, junior Daniel Mittelberger, sophomore Casey Pond and junior Lamar Thorpe have decided to run without slates this year. Both Pond and Thorpe have had their reservations about the use of slates; Pond said the use of such groups is an attempt to gain votes on election day.

“I believe most candidates are running on slates to gather a wide support,” Pond said.

He said not running on a slate can have its advantages as well.

One of the major differences from last year’s election that several of the candidates have noted is the relative smoothness of this year’s election and lack of controversy, though Corr is being investigated for possibly illegally transferring funds to a student organization (see p. 1).

Campaign violations overshadowed the 2005 election. This was largely the product of the rules governing Internet campaigning, said 2005 JEC chair Justin Neidig, a junior. The 2006 JEC Charter does not call for the regulation of campaign Web sites and groups on the social networking site www.facebook.com. As a result, violations have been almost a non-issue.

Last year, by the end of the election there were more than 100 violations, Niedig said. This year about 15 have been filed.

“I am really glad to see that there have been practically no violations filed this year,” Pond said. “This is indicative of both the fact that candidates are breaking less rules, and filing less pointless violations.”

However, JEC chair junior Liz Fox believes that this relative calm will not stay for the remainder of campaigning. she said, “We’re expecting the number of complaints filed to increase significantly this week as things become much more heated as the election approaches.”

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