Long before a Joint Elections Committee member banged a spoon against a giant kitchen pot at 7 a.m. Friday morning, a crowd of election candidates and their friends were buzzing around Kogan Plaza, eager for the morning’s events to start.
Marking the official start of the campaigning period, postering day is an opportunity for the candidates for the Student Association, Program Board and Marvin Center Governing Board to introduce themselves to the student body with a variety of high gloss colors and candidate logos. Putting up posters before the official start date is strictly prohibited.
“We don’t have a whistle this year,” Tom Luley, the Joint Elections Committee vice chair said, explaining his use of the pot to signal the start of postering.
Dressed warmly against the patches of ice and heaps of snow still piled along H Street, the campaigning parties lined up behind the yellow JEC tape that separated them from the rest of still-dark, still-sleeping GW.
“10 minutes!” someone called down the line. “Stretching time, people, stretching time!”
When the JEC gave the signal, the solid wall of supporters finally descended into sprinting chaos toward the Marvin Center, Academic Building and University Yard.
SA freshman senator Amanda Galonek said her strategy was to send her “strongest and fastest friends to attack the Marvin Center.”
“The two cross-country runners are going to the Academic Building,” she said. Galonek, who is running for a Columbian College senate seat, taped four of her posters together to form a sheet and taped the backs of them ahead of time to put them up easier.
Although the prime spots on the Marvin Center were claimed within minutes, many students stayed for more than half an hour afterward, taping and re-taping to make sure their handiwork was secure. By the time they were done, the building’s brick façade had been overtaken by bright colors and bold names.
SA Sen. Dylan Pyne, running for CCAS reelection, was there with one crucial thing missing- his posters. Due to a “postering mishap,” he was armed only with “rudimentary placeholders”—several big pieces of white paper handwritten with his name—that he will swap for real ones over the weekend.
A few steps away, freshman Min Kyu Kim had his foot on top of the handrail to boost himself above the surrounding posters to hang one of his own for Elliott School senator.
Kim, who brought five helpers with him, called his first postering day “very interesting.”
“I’m from South Korea, and we don’t have these kinds of morning events,” Kim said. “I’m kind of amazed.”
Presidential candidate Xochitl Sanchez estimated that she had close to 40 people helping her out, the largest group by far. She opted to stand back on the sidewalk and check her posters—some with her portrait, and some with pictures other students—and make sure her supporters followed the JEC’s regulations.
“My posters signify what I’m about,” Sanchez said. “They have a couple different people on them because it’s good to represent the University.”
After most of the excitement had subsided, JEC Vice Chair Luley said, “No one died, and we haven’t had any fights or populist rebellion.” With only one reported fall, he said he didn’t believe the icy conditions affected anyone’s performance.
By 7:30 a.m., Rob Maxim’s black EVP posters largely dominated the brick wall beneath the H St. terrace, and stood out against the other colorful ones around them. Fellow EVP candidate Jon Binetti could not contain his excitement over the “real estate” he scored at the top of the Marvin Center steps.
“If postering is Monopoly, [I’m] sitting on Boardwalk right now,” Binetti wrote on his Twitter page.
Logan Dobson, also running for EVP, shared his strategy as he taped a poster to one of the last remaining spots leading into J Street.
“You have to be smart, it’s not about being fast,” Dobson said. “I may not be faster than the other candidates, but damn if I can’t see a good place for a poster.”
The election will be held next Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 24 and 25.