Maurice Grier and Elizabeth Adkins are the two candidates on the ballot, and several people are running write-in campaigns.
UNC Board of Elections chairperson Paul Kushner said the board met Wednesday night and decided it would be better to have the election before spring break.
“It was supposed to have already happened twice,” he said. “I think the overriding notion was it was supposed to have already happened, so we should do our best to get this done as close to when it was supposed to happen as possible.”
Adkins said she was relieved when she found out the election would be held Friday.
“I think that I speak for a lot of people when I say that we’re ready to get this show on the road and ready to get the ball rolling and ready to finally have an election that is about a month overdue,” she said.
Adkins said she will be in Chapel Hill to hear the election results.
“I think even if I did have spring break plans, I would probably have to postpone them, because I wouldn’t want to miss hearing those long, long awaited election results,” she said.
Grier said he will also be in Chapel Hill for the election.
“(The election) is definitely happening at a time that none of us expected it to, so I’m just rolling with the punches,” he said.
He said he is a little nervous that the election is so soon.
“There’s nothing I can do but just hope that the rest of campus and the student body understand and really want to move forward with this concept of LOVE,” he said.
Cara Pugh, a junior public policy major, said she decided to run as a write-in candidate Thursday morning.
Pugh, who is running on a platform of transparency, said she sees the opportunity to give power to the student voice with the write-in option.
“I think that I’m disappointed with how long it’s taken, how much work has been put into campaigning,” she said.
Travis Broadhurst, who did not get enough signatures to be on the ballot but is still running as a write-in candidate, said he is excited to see who the student body decides is the best person to lead them.
“Although each candidate has done their own respective things to try to prepare themselves to win, the power really lies with students,” he said.
Some students are confused about the process and who is on the ballot.
Garrett Thompson, a senior economics and management and society major, said his friend is on Travis Broadhurst’s campaign team.
“He’s been telling us to vote for him, and he talked to us about his platform a little bit,” Thompson said.
Thompson said he will probably vote for Broadhurst — but didn’t know when election day is or that Broadhurst isn’t on the ballot.
Seth Newkirk, a sophomore political science major, said he originally supported Matthew McKnight because of his plan to update the Student Code. He said this election is proof that the Student Code needs to be updated.
“When the code is so complex and so confusing that candidates are regularly being disqualified because either they can’t understand it or it’s being misapplied ... I think at that point it’s too convoluted, and it needs to be updated,” Newkirk said.
Shavanda Rountre, a junior political science and public policy major, said she knew about the campaigns of Grier and Pugh and would decide which candidate to vote for on Thursday night.
She said inclusivity for all students is the most important issue to her.
Emily McGuirt, a sophomore environmental science major, said Joe Nail was the only candidate she knew of — but did not know he was disqualified.
Jack Agres, a senior clinical lab science major, said he will vote for Adkins because safe spaces for minority groups are important to him.
“I have a bunch of friends who are on her campaign and have talked to me about it, and she seems like she’ll actively make a difference,” he said.