The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Wednesday, May 22, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Lower turnout this year for optional potential candidates meeting

Zach De Larosa speaks at a meeting for potential student body president candidates.  Students interested in running for office met in the Union for the first optional candidates meeting for student government elections for next term.
Zach De Larosa speaks at a meeting for potential student body president candidates. Students interested in running for office met in the Union for the first optional candidates meeting for student government elections for next term.

The turnout for an optional potential candidates meeting held Tuesday — the unofficial kickoff of spring elections — was only half of what it was last year.

Twenty-five students attended the meeting, designed to inform those interested in running for offices in student government next year of the process.

Shruthi Sundaram, chairwoman of the Board of Elections, said about 50 students attended last year, which was a prelude to the most venomous election season in recent memory.

Warche Downing, Will Leimenstoll and Tim Longest wrote their names down expressing interest in running for student body president.

One of the biggest changes from last year’s campaign season is the transition from a monetary system to a point system to address violations.

“We’re hoping that (the election) will run a lot more smoothly than last year,” Sundaram said. “I think a lot of the changes to Title VI (of the Student Code) will make things better.”

Another major change includes students’ right to an attorney. In the case that a complaint is filed, both the plaintiff and the defendant will have access to a student attorney if they choose.

“If either party decides that they don’t like the final decision, they have the possibility of appealing it to the Student Supreme Court,” Sundaram said.

Another subject of interest was the requirement that students collect a certain number of signatures in order to be put on the ballot.

Students seeking signatures are prohibited from visiting classrooms, computer labs, libraries and dining halls to gain standing for a position on the ballot.

Cody Poplin, a student in attendance, asked a question about specific rules concerning website hosting and domains.

According to revised election law in the Student Code, students are allowed to launch websites promoting themselves after the mandatory candidates meeting Jan. 24.

“The emphasis is that you cannot go in the Pit or have grand displays promoting your campaign until Jan. 31,” said Zach De La Rosa, speaker of Student Congress.

Student Body Vice President Zealan Hoover also spoke to students about the upcoming elections.

“The (campaign season) is going to be respectful, and it’s going to reflect everything that is important about student self-governance.”

Contact the University Editor at university@dailytarheel.com.

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.