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The Daily Tar Heel

SBP Squabbles Not Addressing Real Problems

I didn't think I'd have to touch student elections until January.

Apparently, I have miscalculated.

Things started a bit earlier this year. Usually around this time, various chumps in Suite C or other student groups start resigning their posts with much pomp and pageantry to pursue the highest office on campus, student body president. Under normal circumstances, you don't hear much from these characters until next semester -that's when Hamilton 100 gets plastered with fluorescent signs featuring cute slogans and pictures.

I received an early holiday treat when two candidates started in November the SBP squabbling they usually save for mid-January.

Bharath Parthasarathy, the pointman for junior Eric Johnson's SBP campaign, claimed that SBP candidate Annie Peirce violated Title VI, Article VII, Section 171 (A) (4) of the Student Code.

I'm not sure what handbook Bharath was checking out, but in my handy Student Code, a Title VI, Article VII, Section 171 (A) (4) involves two bungee cords, some Country Crock butter and a Rainbow Brite doll.

At first glance, all those Roman numerals and parentheses make Peirce out to be a pretty nefarious character, like Gargamel from the Smurfs. Turns out she was hanging with some student groups to let them know about a December meeting she's having where students can voice their concerns. (I give kudos to the Elections Board for not taking the bait and for clearing Peirce of the whole thing.)

There are two crimes here:

1.) Roman numerals are only acceptable when found in the title of the Rocky movies.

2.) Such nit-picking on the part of Johnson and his pointman is fruitless and earns them a "G" for ghetto.

During student elections, you learn all these rules you didn't know existed. There are certain times that candidates can call students at home, certain times when they can knock on residence hall rooms, certain ways they can send out mass e-mails.

There are also lots of special rules about where campaign signs can be placed, when they can be put up, when they must be taken down, and so on and so on. I think there are also rules about coming from the same fraternity as all other SBPs and having a catchy sign that looks like a beer ad.

It's dizzying. And retarded. Elections Board people would tell me that these rules exist for a reason, except I don't really care what that reason is.

Come January when things really heat up, or December if things continue the way they started, the political mudslinging between candidate think tanks will revolve around the rules I discussed above.

You won't know candidate Chatty Cathy's platform, but you will know that the bitch put her posters up too damn early.

This is how it goes every year.

I think our candidates need to remember that this is the same student body that came damn close to putting Brian Bersticker in Suite C instead of Brad Matthews. And many moons ago, a mystery candidate name Hugh G. Rection almost ousted a real candidate from the race.

Students don't give a damn about these rules. Most of them don't give a damn about the election - and that's what candidates should be targeting when they get all hyped and indignant.

They should be fighting apathy.

It's not like Peirce set fire to all of Johnson's campaign materials, or better yet, engaged in some type of espionage that would have stolen Johnson's campaign secrets - like how "Vote for Eric" is much more appealing to the average voter when it's written in blue chalk, not pink.

Here's a reminder to all candidates, one which I hope they will take to heart with the election season almost upon us: It's a student election, gang - not mud wrestling (which would be a much better determinant of who should lead our campus.)

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Keep it clean, and screw the rules, not each other.

Columnist Ashley Stephenson can be reached at

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