The idea of a dome covering the entirety of the University’s campus may seem controversial, but one former student body presidential candidate used it to define his platform.
The spring 2017 general election on Feb. 14 will bring about a fresh set of faces looking to represent their fellow students for the next year. Looking back on student presidential elections of the past reveals a few unusual tactics campaigns have used to attract voters.
According to an April 1972 edition of the University Report, a tabloid newspaper that used to circulate in Chapel Hill, student Pitt Dickey ran for the Blue Sky Party with his dog Sage as a running mate. Dickey proposed “the construction of a huge dome over the campus to keep out the rain, the public hanging of a bicycle thief in the Pit ... every week, and a horse for every student in order to rid Chapel Hill of automobile pollution.”
Dickey’s radical reform plans are not alone in terms of unconventional campaigning platforms. A candidate with proposals just as controversial threw his hat in the ring in the election seven years ago.
Nash Keune, a junior economics and history major from Maryland at the time, ran in the 2010 election with a platform that included converting Davis Library’s first floor into a narwhal tank and renaming the town.
“We believe that the name ‘Chapel Hill’ carries too much of a normative connotation of Christianity,” Keune said in a 2010 article in The Daily Tar Heel. “We will correct this by advocating to the city government that the name be changed to ‘Unaffiliated House of Worship and Secular Community Temple Mosque Center Hill.’”
These candidates’ uncommon platforms grabbed the attention of their fellow students. Looking at the regulations campaigns face at UNC today, they may have had the right idea.
“Now, you cannot campaign inside of any University building,” Sam Green, current student body vice president, said. “You can’t go in a library and tell 50 people to go vote for you; you can’t go into a classroom and tell people to go vote for the candidate you want to endorse.”