Who gets to kiss the babies?

Lesa Jarding

Lesa Jarding

A lack of clear communication has created confusion about who can participate in Saturday’s Hobo Day parade.

In an election year, two campus political groups say they have been given different rules for parade participation, and one candidate said he has been turned away.

Larry Rudebusch, Libertarian candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, was told he could not participate in the parade unless a student organization on campus sponsored him.

College Democrats say they’ve been told they cannot walk along the parade route, and need to remain on the float. College Republicans say they’ve been told they cannot have more than 10 people on the float at anytime, but can have people walking alongside the float.

Parade policy states political candidates and organizations cannot pass out literature during the parade, and must stay in their vehicles or floats at all times.

Grand Pooba Sarah French said each year the Hobo Day Committee, University Program Council adviser and the Grand Pooba review the policies from previous years and make changes as needed.

“In the end, I make all the final decisions,” she said.

According to student organizations on campus, those decisions have all been different.

“Last year, Stephanie Herseth walked the entire parade route. And there were only four of us holding a banner behind her. We didn’t even have a float,” said Donni Anderson, president of the College Democrats.

“It’s just a confusing story.”

“We have policies in place. They are meant to be followed, but with so many people on the committee and they are all focused on their areas, it’s easy for students to give out the wrong information,” French said.

The Grand Pooba said ten people is the maximum number allowed to ride on a float at one time, but people can walk beside it for safety reasons. She said if candidates cannot find a student organization to sponsor them, they can enter the parade as special entries, as long as they have floats.

Rudebusch said he wasn’t told that was even possible.

“They are making it pretty difficult to get in the parade; they shouldn’t even have these policies anyway. I’m kind of disappointed now. I haven’t made up my mind yet on whether I’ll participate in the Hobo Days at all, not just as a candidate for political office, but as an SDSU alumni.”

Both Herseth (D) and democratic candidate for governor Jack Billion plan to have a presence in the parade, Anderson said.

She said her group plans to let Herseth participate however the representative chooses.

“We’ll probably just go and hand out stickers before the parade. But not after it starts,” Anderson said.