The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday June 10th

Campaign signs to be regulated

Officials have imposed new rules regarding the size and number of signs candidates can use. DTH File
Buy Photos Officials have imposed new rules regarding the size and number of signs candidates can use. DTH File

They’re inconvenient, unsightly and one of the most popular ways to campaign for student government. And they’re threatening students’ health.

Campaign signs, often referred to as “A-frames” because of their shape, have grown taller than candidates (more than 8 feet), flown through the air because of a stiff breeze and distributed more than their fair share of splinters and cuts.

That’s why the Student Union stepped in.

Officials have imposed new rules regarding the size and number of signs candidates can use during this campaign season — a game changer in the world of campus elections.

Candidates for student body president and Carolina Athletic Association president can have only two signs in the area around the Pit that do not exceed 42 inches tall by 30 inches wide. The policy does not limit the number of signs placed in other areas of campus.

Before this year, there had been no limit on sign size or amount, aside from budgets.

With six student body president candidates and three CAA president candidates last year, signs cluttered the area in front of Lenoir Hall. One particularly pointy sign even spurred a kvetch to The Daily Tar Heel.

“As the number and size of A-frames has increased, there have been issues related to pedestrian flow, in particular in relation to our vision-impaired and other disabled members of the University community,” said Jon Curtis, associate director for student activities and student organizations.

“Additionally, we have received complaints regarding the placement of A-frames and objects sticking out from them, as well as dealt with flying or tumbling A-frames when there have been strong winds or gusty winds.”

Union staff members have been working to address these concerns for more than a year, Curtis said.

Student body president candidate Joe Levin-Manning said the new regulations will force him to change his campaign strategy.

“It definitely means I have to regroup and think of the two most effective spots to put my A-frames, as well as think of more creative ways to get my name out there,” he said.

Monique Hardin, Nash Keune, Hogan Medlin, Shruti Shah and Gregory Strompolos are also running for student body president.

“Considering last year, things did get out of hand,” Levin-Manning said. “But these policies should have taken more student input into account.”

Board of Elections Chairman Peter Gillooly said the board will discuss penalties for disobeying sign regulations at its meeting Thursday. He said that any sign not meeting the specifications will be thrown out.

The regulations are part of an updated Union policy that limits signs to one per organization per event on the day of the event.

Curtis said he plans to help enforce the policy by educating candidates about the regulations.

“This is a new policy and while it would be great if everyone followed it exactly, there’s bound to be a learning curve,” he said. “I also don’t expect that anyone will go out with a tape measure.”

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