The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday January 29th

Candidates Must Follow Posting, Chalking Policies

But with the Board of Elections and University officials calling for stricter enforcement of the University's facilities use policy, the misplacement of just a few such fliers could lead to fines that could financially hinder a campaign.

Early this month, Sue Kitchen, vice chancellor for student affairs, sent a letter to student leaders on campus asking for an increased effort to uphold the University's facilities use policy during student elections.

The policy prohibits chalking on campus and states that only general purpose bulletin boards can be used to post campaign fliers. "By telling student leaders the rules ahead of time, we hope that they won't be broken in the student elections," Kitchen said.

The board has followed up Kitchen's letter with e-mails to candidates reminding them of the policy and also the detailed restrictions pertaining to posting fliers inside campus buildings.

"Anything that violates the facilities use policy also violates the Board of Elections rule books," said Jeremy Tuchmayer, board chairman. "We would take action."

Tuchmayer said such action would be in the form of fines credited against the finances for a candidate's campaign.

Although these fines are small, some candidates for student body president said they were concerned about having to pay because of the $500 limit they are allowed to spend on their campaigns. "When you only have a $500 budget, a series of $1 fines can actually be substantial," said student body president candidate Eric Johnson.

With each building on campus having different regulations for interior posting, some candidates expressed concern about informing their many campaign volunteers of all the regulations. "You can't let every single volunteer know every detail of the policy because the policy is so big," said student body president candidate Dustyn Baker.

Johnson said he was making sure a core volunteer who is well-informed about the entire policy always accompanies new volunteers when they post fliers.

Other candidates are taking a more hands-on approach to tackle the problem, like putting up fliers themselves.

But Annie Peirce, a student body president candidate who worked on Brad Matthews' successful campaign last year for student body president, said violations of posting policy are common in every student election. "Even Brad Matthews had trouble (with fines) because the rules are so ambiguous," she said. "Everyone takes their fines and moves on."

Despite the challenges of adhering to policy, candidates said they were in favor of the rules. "With only one posting allowed per candidate in a residence hall, you see a hodgepodge of faces," said student body president candidate Caleb Ritter. "No one really stands out."

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