Laptops in tow, USS candidates compete for last votes

Jackie Valley

The soggy March weather did not stop the candidates vying for the nine Undergraduate Student Senate positions from last-minute campaigning to ensure student votes.

“It’s a long day of trying to get people to vote and getting your name out there,” said John Wetmore, senator for governmental affairs candidate.

For the I.O.U. – Improve Our University – ticket, that campaigning began at 8 a.m. today.

Kali Price, senator for academic affairs candidate and former Daily Kent Stater assistant forum editor, said candidates running on the I.O.U. ticket made visits to off-campus apartments followed by stops near food destinations on campus.

However, Elizabeth Eisaman, forums commissioner in the USS Election Commission, said candidates are prohibited from campaigning within 50 feet of the official voting center located in the lobby of the Student Center.

So far, Eisaman said the voter turnout seems to be positive.

“We have had 20 to 30 people vote here,” she said, adding that many students walking by said they had already voted on their own computers.

Some candidates decided to bring voting to the students – walking around campus inviting students to vote on their laptops.

Preston Mitchum, executive director candidate, said he began walking around campus with laptops at 9 a.m. and has been campaigning ever since.

“When students walk past, I’ve just been talking to students and trying to get them to vote,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bethany Taylor, senator for research and development candidate, camped out in Bowman Hall with her laptop, and near the M.A.C. Center, supporters of the I.O.U. ticket sat with three laptops for the same purpose.

Taylor said she thinks students seem better informed about the election.

“I think the students that are running for these positions were getting the message out there more than other years,” she said.

Even so, Matt Critean, sophomore pre-medicine major, said due to his lack of knowledge about USS, he does not plan on voting.

“I don’t know anyone,” he said. “I don’t have any business voting.”

Tara Bletsch, freshman exploratory major, said she plans to vote based on face recognition.

“I think I’m going to vote for Hale just because she’s the one I’ve seen most advertised,” she said.

Although busy with classes, Scott Miller, sophomore visual communication design major, said he plans to vote based on principle.

“It’s a democracy for a reason,” he said.

The online polls opened at 8 a.m. and will close at 6 p.m. Election results will be announced around 6:30 p.m. in the Student Center lobby near the USS office.

Contact student politics reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].