3 candidates meet SBP petition requirement by first deadline

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Three of the five declared candidates for student body president were able to collect close to 5,000 signatures and officially enter the race Tuesday night.

Andrew Powell, Nikita Shamdasani and Emilio Vicente all acquired— and exceeded — the 1,250 required signatures.

Manoj Mirchandani and Winston Howes did not gather enough to qualify Tuesday, but they will have until Wednesday at 5 p.m. to gain the required amount.

Board of Elections Chairman Robert Windsor said the two submitted their signatures in the wrong format, which meant the board would not be able to cross-check names with other lists to ensure there are no duplicates.

If a name shows up on more than one list, it will not be counted for either candidate. But due to the circumstances, if currently certified candidates have duplicate names on their petitions removed that take them below 1,250, they will not be penalized.

Howes, whose platform aims to improve campus technology, said he and his team would be continue to collect signatures to ensure that his name will be on the ballot.

“We’re technically over the 1,250 mark, but if we have too many duplicate signatures we’ll fall below,” he said. “I’d hate to see that happen.”

Mirchandani, who said he wants to work on topics such as the shortened drop-add period, said he met more than 1,000 students in the past week. He said he was eager to get back to Lenoir Dining Hall today for more signatures.

“We’re going to do the same thing we’ve always been doing — standing out there talking to people, getting the word out,” he said.

The election is set to take place on Feb. 11, and, if none of the candidates receives a majority of the votes, a runoff election will be held Feb. 18.

Powell said the first week of campaigning gave him the chance to engage with students. His platform emphasizes increasing the effectiveness of student government.

Powell spoke with several people currently in student government who he said called his ideas refreshing.

“Seeing that level of engagement is incredible,” he said.

Vicente said his success came from a core staff of about 20 people who are helping run his campaign. He said he has noticed that the other candidates have very strong teams as well.

His platform includes creating a way for the student body to speak with the UNC Board of Trustees.

“I’m just hoping my team will continue doing what it has been doing — talking to students,” he said.

Shamdasani said she has been able to give people an idea of what her administration would be like if elected.

She said the team started out as a small group of friends, but it has grown since she has reached out to students from all classes.

“This has been a learning week for everyone.”

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