The countdown began Tuesday at 7:58 a.m.
“Two minutes left,” yelled a member of the Joint Elections Committee. A little later, a second countdown began.
“Five, four, three, two, one.”
Promptly at 8 a.m., Student Association and Program Board candidates and campaign workers, some of whom camped out all night to reserve a postering spot, began peeling masking tape off the roll to tape up their signs.
In past years, candidates marked off their postering territory through the night and into the day, when they were allowed to begin postering Friday afternoon. But in an attempt to give candidates a full week for postering, the JEC set the starting date for 8 a.m. the Tuesday before elections.
JEC member Kristen-Marie Kaczynski said the timetable was changed because palmcarding is limited this year, and because students slept out all night regardless of what time postering began.
While the earlier time made waiting out on the sidewalk in front of the Marvin Center or the Quad a less appealing option, many candidates were not deterred from camping out with blankets and hot chocolate.
“I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to have it on a school night, but . I still came out at 11 p.m., and we’ve been out here all night,” said executive vice presidential candidate Cat Sadler. “It was fun actually. We had hot chocolate and pizza, and we all hung out. We are all absolutely frozen, though.”
Other students who waited outside said they found ways to keep active, which helped fight the cold.
“We’ve been out here all night, braving the cold,” said Columbian School undergraduate Senate candidate Khalid Jaboori. “We’ve been keeping warm by eating pizza, goldfish and cold hot chocolate. We also had some tents with us, so we played football with the tents.”
Some other candidates, however, said they did not feel the need to wait out all night.
“We have been up all night making posters, but we haven’t been out here waiting and none of our volunteers have been either,” said SA presidential candidate Alexis Rice. “We came out earlier this morning, but we just didn’t think it was worth it to make all our volunteers sick.”
“Posters aren’t what win an election anyway,” said Caity Leu, a candidate for SA executive vice president.
While many students complained about problems with the cold, some volunteers had other problems.
“There was a guy who was waiting out there before, but he went in a little while ago because he was like a human popsicle,” said Elliott School undergraduate senatorial candidate Wilson Vorn Dick. “But before he went in, he had fallen asleep and the cops didn’t know about the postering thing this morning, so they thought he was some vagrant and they woke him up.”
Despite the cold and other problems students encountered, many students who waited outside said they had fun.
“I’m very happy this is all coming to fruition,” ESIA undergraduate senatorial candidate Alli DeSevo said. “As my first postering event, I have to say this has been really cool.”
-Francesca Di Meglio contributed to this report.