Campaigning in full swing

By By Rochelle McConkie

By Rochelle McConkie

As students make their way to classes this week, many have to dodge colored shirts and food-covered tables manned with ASUU candidates competing for their votes.

For the small commitments of “Maybe I’ll vote for you” or “I’ll listen to what you have to say,” students can receive free hot dogs, nachos, fortune cookies and even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from a plethora of campaign tables scattered across campus.

Although candidates say “tabling” is not the best way to secure votes, most agree it is a good way to start a conversation with students.

“The most effective way (of campaigning) is walking and chatting with people–usually not being behind a table,” said FUSE presidential candidate Spencer Pearson.

Pearson added, however, that having booths and food makes candidates more visible and helps convey his or her party’s ideas.

Handing out food has become one of the more popular ways for parties to reel in prospective voters.

Parties competing in this year’s elections are generally spending several hundred dollars on food alone. The FUSE party estimates spending more than $500.

Pehrson and Activate Party presidential candidate Cameron Beech said giving out free food does not buy votes, however.

“It’s a good forum, but not the most important,” Beech said. “Pancakes don’t have an effect on who a person votes for.”

Students can make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the Forward Party’s tables, a tactic Pehrson said convinces students to stay and talk with candidates.

While most parties limit their campaigning to handing out food and fliers, the More 4 U party is giving away a car.

Students can enter their names into the car raffle at More 4 U’s tables. The car will be given away at Rock the U, a 26.2-hour dance marathon benefit for the Huntsman Cancer Institute, held March 15 through 16.

Craig Hammond, the vice-presidential candidate for More 4 U, said several hundred students have already entered to win the car, a 2001 Daewoo that was donated by a Larry H. Miller car dealership.

“It’s been a real crowd-draw,” he said.

For some students, though, the constant campaigning is a bother.

“It’s annoying, but it’s what they have to do,” said Natasha Bell, a senior history major. “But free food is always nice — I can get a hot dog and not have to buy lunch.”

While Bell said she is uninterested in elections, Beech said many of the students he talks to are not.

“Ninety-nine out of 100 students are legitimately interested and want to talk to you,” Beech said.