Candidates for Student Association, Program Board and Marvin Center Governing Board leadership positions are waiting for Student Judicial Services approval before they officially begin to campaign for the Feb. 27-28 elections. But Joint Election Committee members said poor publicity has prevented many would-be candidates from finding out about the application deadlines.
Sophomore Daniel Greenspan and juniors Phil Robinson and Josh Singer are running for SA President, while sophomore Eric Daleo will run unopposed for SA executive vice president.
Juniors Josh Bhatti, Bryan Gless and Ben Posner are vying for the PB
executive chair position.
The MCGB was another victim of this year’s low candidate turnout. No graduates students petitions for the one graduate seat, and five undergraduates are running for the four undergraduate positions.
Juniors Christian Berle, Zach Beyer, Alice Lingo and Raj Parekh and sophomore Blythe Purdin will compete for the four MCGB spots.
JEC Chair Scott Sheffler, a senior, said the committee was disappointed with the publicity but said he is happy with the turnout.
“It was not publicized well,” Sheffler said. “We should have realized that The Hatchet advertisement and posters wouldn’t be enough.” Election organizes took out one quarter-page Hatchet ad.
Sheffler said the committee realized the low turnout by midweek but said it was too late to increase advertising.
“It was partially our fault, but we could have corrected it if we had more time,” Sheffler said.
The candidates said they are expecting a smoother election process than last year, even though candidate spending limits were cut 25 percent from last year.
The campaign limit for presidential candidates was cut from $1,000 to $750 this year.
Last year, SA President Roger Kapoor’s election was contested in
Student Judicial Court for exceeding spending limits.
Greenspan, the only SA candidate who is not a member of the SA, said he is glad the requirement was tightened.
“It is silly to spend all of that money on elections,” he said.
SA Sen. Phil Robinson (U-SBPM), said there are both positives and negatives to the cuts.
“It’s good, and it’s bad. It can be difficult to reach out to 15,000 students, but overall it is good because the average student can run, and people are not swayed by the toys but listen to the message,” he said.
Kapoor said he is expecting a better election process than the problems he faced last year.
“I hope the voting process is cleaner and efficient, which improves voter turnout,” Kapoor said. “Hopefully the students will hear the voices and vote accordingly.”
Though Kapoor confirmed that he has been approached for his support, he would not comment about backing any candidates and said he plans to stay in the background of the election.
“My primary focus during the election will be to complete the job that I was elected to do,” Kapoor said.
Kapoor said he hopes to finish his term by focusing on the Freshman Block Party, Commencement, security on the Mount Vernon campus and relations with the administration.