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Monday March 27th

Carolina Athletic Association presidential election heads to runoff

Luke Hines (left) and Kade Sutton (right) are the Carolina Athletic Association's presidential candidates. Photos courtesy of Hines and Sutton.
Buy Photos Luke Hines (left) and Kade Sutton (right) are the Carolina Athletic Association's presidential candidates. Photos courtesy of Hines and Sutton.

CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Luke Hines' class year. The article has been updated to reflect the appropriate class of Hines. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this error. 

The Carolina Athletic Association will host its presidential runoff election between candidates Luke Hines and Kade Sutton on Tuesday. 

The president's role is to represent student athletes within CAA and serve as a liaison between UNC athletics and student sports fans.   

Hines and Kade Sutton were not originally registered to run, but no other candidates emerged for the position. Originally, both candidates would be required to create petitions and garner signatures from students. The candidate with the most signatures would have their name on the final ballot. 

But voting students wrote Kade Sutton's and Hines' names in, resulting in a runoff. 

Hines, a sophomore majoring in economics and statistics and analytics, said he has focused his campaign on ticket distribution, athlete advocacy and working together with UNC students and athletes. 

“I’m not a part of CAA currently — I saw it as a call to action when I saw no one was running for it,” Hines said. “I saw that there were things that needed to be changed. I wanted CAA to get more involved, see them reach out to more people. I want them to be the best that they can because at the end, they’re representing the students, they’re representing the athletes and they’re a symbol of Carolina.”

He also has plans to continue the partnership with Carolina Fever, a rewards-based program that promotes attendance for all UNC sporting events. 

“I want to give people different opportunities to obtain their tickets so their needs can be met regardless of their situation. You can’t do that if you have only one way of obtaining a ticket,” Hines said, referring to the current lottery ticket system. 

Kade Sutton, a junior majoring in public policy, said he has based his campaign in boosting attendance for all sports events, as well as bringing back special events that occurred before the COVID-19 pandemic, such as Bosh Bash, dance marathons and Beat Duke Week, and keeping graduate students involved in the sports scene. 

“We want to get students excited and involved in the Olympics sports and the non-revenue sports. Obviously, everybody is really excited to go to football games and men’s basketball games, but the attendance at lacrosse games, volleyball games, gymnastics, softball, tennis, swimming — the attendance is just not there,” Kade Sutton said.  

“I’ve been involved in Carolina Athletic Association for three years. It’s one of the first organizations I’ve been involved in at UNC,” Kade Sutton said. “I want to make sure students get an improved and great experience, especially coming off of this COVID stint.” 

The CAA president will oversee all chairpersons and committees of the association, including campus relations, sports marketing, special projects and ticketing. The president oversees all positions while serving as the main voice to the athletics department.

Kensley Sutton, a graduate student and the current president of CAA, said she will strive to smooth the transition and help the next president be as successful as possible. 

“I want CAA to continue to support our entire student body and share excitement behind our teams for years to come,” she said. 

During the time in her position, she has also added the role of a graduate and professional student representative to the cabinet. She hopes to educate the next president on who they represent, how the organization works and what their job will be for the next year.

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