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Seven juniors declared their candidacy for student body president Tuesday night, expressing a desire to avoid the sort of controversy that defined the race last year.

“I want to keep it clean and fair,” said Brian Min, a psychology and women’s studies double-major. “I know every candidate, and they are all brilliant and represent Carolina well.”

Nico Garces, an interpersonal and organizational communications studies major, said he learned from last year not to get on anybody’s bad side.

“Stay as far away from bad blood as you can,” he said. “It was just like one giant catfight.”

Last year’s campaign saw a slew of Student Code violations, insults and eventually a disciplinary hearing before the Board of Elections.
Candidates will begin collecting petition signatures this week. To appear on the ballot, each must collect 1,250 by Jan. 31 — either online or by paper.

The candidates shared the highlights of their platforms Tuesday.
Leigh Fairley, a sociology and political science double major, said she will focus on expanding the FixMyCampus initiative, which fosters communication between students and student government, and creating a better three-year graduation track.

Min said he also wants to improve communication in student government, among other issues.

“I saw communication flaws in student government,” he said. “I’m the one who can reflect the students’ voices and reach out to them.”

Garces said he plans to increase multicultural competency if elected.

“There are so many diverse groups here on campus, but because people self-segregate so much, it almost serves as blinders to what’s available to them,” he said.

Tim Longest, an economics and philosophy double major, said he is focusing on three values as opposed to projects. They include reclaiming community, refining student government and renewing the Carolina Way, he said.

Will Leimenstoll, an environmental studies and geography double major, said he plans to focus on the environment, efficiency and equity. His campaign slogan is “Together We Will.”

Warche Downing, a public policy major minoring in social and economic justice, said he wants to focus on tuition, academic support and visibility of resources.

Calvin Lewis Jr. said he plans to focus on ownership, transparency and partnership within student government.

“I really want to leave the best footprint that I can at Carolina,” he said.

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