As the sounds of bells from University Yard chimed at 7 a.m. Friday, more than 50 Student Association candidates and their supporters rushed the Marvin Center to begin putting up their campaign posters.
Friday was the first day that candidates were allowed to display campaign material at the student union, along with the Academic Center, the Law School and other locations around campus. Candidates tried to obtain the best locations for their posters within the guidelines set by the Joint Election Committee, which will oversee this week’s elections.
Mohammed Ali, a graduate student running for School of Medicine and Health Sciences senator said, “I think it shows a sense of urgency in the whole election.”
Candidates are permitted to post a certain number of posters, which vary between 100 for at-large Senator positions to 150 for presidential candidates. They are allowed to place 20 percent of those posters each at the Marvin Center and the Academic Center.
Many SA hopefuls seeking the best spot for posters found it at the top of the stairs leading into the Marvin Center. Some candidates said they tried to combine good positioning with eye-catching graphics to grab student attention.
“You want the brightest posters, not the most,” said junior C.J. Calloway, a presidential hopeful who created bright red posters with his picture on them.
Amid the rush and single injury, JEC officials had their hands busy trying to enforce postering rules. One rule stating that flyers may be placed no higher than seven feet proved a problem for many candidates who were threatened with a violation after they placed them above the restricted height. Posters are also not permitted to overlap.
Katie Lux, a sophomore member of the five-person JEC, said she expected a lot of problems with posters.
“It’s going to be violation-palooza today,” she said.
Lux added, “It was intense when everyone rushed the building. It shows how dedicated people are.”
Candidates are required to pay for their own posters, and some went all out. Calloway said he had spent nearly $600 on posters, and added that they had been planned for over a month.
Another presidential candidate, Jon Ostrower, said that he spent nearly $200 on posters with a theme similar to the marketing campaign of Metro, the District’s subway system.
“I think what we need in … the SA is accessibility and flexibility. Metro is the symbol of accessibility and flexibility,” he said, referring to the company whose slogan is “Metro opens doors.”
Freshman Matt Alderman, a candidate for a Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Senate seat who spent $90 on posters, said he was not ready to justify his expenses yet.
“I’ll tell you if it was worth it after the election,” he said.
Despite a bit of early-morning stress, some candidates said they enjoyed the postering process.
“It was fun,” Alderman said. “The whole race is fun, even if you don’t win, it’s still fun.”