Elections Analysis: Campaign paper trail has begun

Correction: A previous version of this article contained incorrect information about the start date permitted for SGA presidential campaigning.

I hardly slept Monday night, although it’s tough to say whether the excitement of a turbulent Student Government Association (SGA) Joint Senate earlier that evening was to blame or not.

That’s not to say it wasn’t a factor. After getting up for some water in the middle of the night, my attention was drawn to a piece of paper that had been slipped under my residence hall door.

Was it an eviction notice? A death threat, perhaps?

But as I walked closer, I began to get the message, noticing a familiar student leader’s name typed across the middle, hidden amid a website address. On a full sheet of white paper, the address of an SGA’s candidate’s campaign website was printed in large black lettering. Campaign season was apparently upon me.

Two candidates, neither bringing executive board experience, emerged this week as candidates for the first directly-elected student body president.

Chris Bourne, a sophomore political science and psychology major whose literature is already under my door, has long been considered a likely candidate for the position. Bourne will be jockeying against Joey Fiore, a middler geology and history major whose nomination was permitted only after senators wrangled for nearly an hour about reducing eligibility requirements by five weeks of senate membership.

Proponents of the measure argued the change was necessary to accomodate the Direct Elections process, since the nomination process occurred sooner than in years past.

Krystal Beaulieu, Student Government Association (SGA) vice president for administration and public relations, also accepted a nomination for the presidency Monday, emerging as a dark horse among a lineup of candidates whose names had been echoing as possibilities around campus for weeks.

SGA President Rogan O’Handley, who received a “goodwill” nomination himself, appeared taken aback when Beaulieu accepted her nomination.

But, the junior journalism and political science major withdrew her candidacy yesterday. In an e-mail to O’Handley, Beaulieu said she is “better able to serve [her] current position … with responsibilities that include promoting the election as a whole, without running myself.”

On the other hand, throughout the proceedings, as the senate was divided on an amendment many considered hand-crafted for his candidacy, Fiore sat expressionless, his hands folded as he waited for his fate to be deliberated.

Now, days removed from the meeting, several questions remain unanswered.

Did Bourne personally slip that paper under my door? Or is there the chance that it was actually some rogue political action committee?

As I left my apartment in the morning, one thing was certain: I wasn’t the only person in my building to receive a notice.

And it struck me as odd that, Monday during Campus Invasion, the SGA Student Services Committee created a pyramid of paper boxes outside the library to represent the 792 trees worth of paper that students used in the library last semester.

Interestingly, Bourne serves as the assistant vice president for student services.

The campaign season is officially underway, and so far, Mother Earth is already behind in the polls.

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