Candidates consider short campaign

This year’s candidates for student government had less than a month to convince students they were right for the job.

After several months of debate about specifics for a new Joint Elections Committee charter, the decision was made to keep elections before spring break. But by the time the charter was passed, the campaign season was about to begin.

The deadline for students to declare their candidacy was Feb. 13, marking the official beginning of the campaign season, which culminated with elections last Tuesday and Wednesday.

Carrie Potter, a Student Association presidential candidate in this week’s runoff with Patrick Macmanus, said the runoff might have been avoided by giving candidates more time to talk to more groups of voters.

“Whenever you get out and talk to more groups you have the opportunity to gain more support,” Potter said. “I don’t know if it is a question of needing more time or better time management.”

Cat Sadler, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for an undergraduate at-large Senate seat, said she did not do much campaigning outside of postering and palmcarding. She said the shortened campaign schedule did not affect her campaign tactics, but that she understood some candidates felt rushed.

“Time was a problem – a lot of people wished they had a couple of days more,” Sadler said. “Some of the races were really close and they would have liked a little more time to campaign.”

Potter said in some ways the campaign season was the perfect amount of time.

“It was a short amount of time to get things done, but for the sake of the GW students who find campaigning annoying, I think the shorter the better,” she said.

Alexis Rice, who won a Senate seat for the Columbian School of Arts and Sciences, said the timing of the race created a problem because candidates were forced to campaign during midterms.

“A lot of my volunteers couldn’t campaign last week because they had midterms, whereas last year (when elections were) in mid-February it wasn’t as much of a problem,” Rice said.

Presidential candidate Sabina Siddiqui said it was difficult to find a balance between running a campaign and keeping up with her studies.

“The way that campaigns are run here, you have to make it a top priority to even make a decent showing,” Siddiqui said.

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