Freshmen run write-in campaign of fun, cougars
March 30, 2007
While Zach Pilchen, Valerie Hopkins, Brad Potter and Brett Philips were all talking about pass/fail options, two other Student Assembly candidates were asking students, “Do you enjoy a good track suit and/or head band?”
p. After overhearing other students disillusioned with the SA campaign process, freshmen Peter Cabrera and John Donehey started a write-in campaign for the SA presidency and vice presidency.
p. “We wanted to show people a light-hearted approach,” Donehey said. “You don’t have to have $400 to run a campaign.”
p. In order to campaign for the office, the candidates started a Facebook group that listed their campaign platform as: “College. No parents.” With listed campaign goals including: track suits for professors/food service employees, mandatory recess, a new mandolin major and a YouTube video about cougars, the group reached 127 members.
p. On Election Day, the two candidates sat outside the UC Terrace with a sign advertising a free back flip from a gymnast friend to anyone who voted on a laptop they had set up.
p. “We explained [our campaign] to people. We were just trying to get people to vote,” Donehey said. The gymnast performed a back flip regardless of their ticket choice.
p. “Who doesn’t like back flips?” Cabrera added.
p. The two said they thought that they were able to talk about their campaign platform with several individuals who passed by.
p. “I voted for them because they are light-hearted and not as faux-serious as anyone else,” freshman Andrew Diantonio said.
If elected, they said they would read the constitution. Donehey and Cabrera added they would want to survey students to see what the whole campus wanted.
p. “Also, at our first SA meeting, everyone would have to wear a William and Mary headband,” Cabrera said.
p. When the two candidates found out about the SIN mishap over lost election results they asked, “So we tied?”
p. Both Donehey and Cabrera said that they didn’t think the other candidates took them seriously but still enjoyed the campaign experience.
p. “A lot of people who said, ‘I hate the SA’ seemed to think that we made it fun,” Donehey said.
p. The two added they would consider running again in later elections.
p. “We enjoyed making elections into something beautiful,” Cabrera said. “It was a win-win situation for us. … We wish it wish was a positive experience for all of the candidates involved.”
p. Donehey echoed the sentiment, hoping that the campaign experience can become more positive in the future.
p. “I hope outlook in SA is more of a chance to enjoy the opportunity,” he said. “Maybe they will take it down a notch so it’s relevant to the student body.”