SA elections take planning, funds

Darcie Walkes

Darcie Walkes

You’ve seen the flyers, the sidewalk chalk messages, some car windows painted with slogans and candidate names, and maybe even found a lollipop in your dorm mailbox with a campaign note attached. But have you ever stopped to wonder just how much time and money the candidates commit to an election?

With the upcoming Student Association president/vice president elections, four groups of candidates are busy making their campaigning worth the effort.

Jeff Nolz and Justin Lessman believe their campaigning style is financially efficient.

“A lot of people use a lot of money, but we’re using the grass root style,” Nolz said.

They plan to spend a maximum of $300 to 400. This is low compared to previous candidates whose budgets range closer to $900 to $1000.

Nolz believes that campaigning consumes a great amount of time and dedication. “In my mind, every second you are on campus, you are campaigning.”

Nolz and his running mate Lessman also meet two to three times a week for additional planning and preparation.

Dan Hansen and Ben Solomon are among the other groups of candidates. This duo hopes to prove that they are serious but also want to have fun.

“Basically, we notice a lot of people trying to sell their image. We’re trying to sell our personality,” said presidential candidate Dan Hansen.

He and his partner Solomon are using several approaches to make themselves known. They hand out pens with their names on them, their friends wear T-shirts advertising them and they attend meetings to speak out about issues to inform the students of their plans to represent the people.

Hansen and Solomon find ways to stretch their money. Although some candidates have professional portraits taken, they opted to use a digital camera and take more relaxed pictures. They’ve also received donations from their families and local businesses to help with campaign costs.

Campaigning for an election is like a full time job, Hansen said.

“It definitely takes a lot of persistence. You have to be patient and realize you have to do your best. There will always be people that like you and people that don’t.”

Eric Erickson and Kelly Bosma are another pair of SA President/Vice President candidates. They feel it is important to balance support with their friends, as well as people they meet along the way.

“You need the support of people you know, as well as people you meet in various meetings.”

Erickson and Bosma met each other as members of the Student Association. “We decided to run because we thought through our experience and ideas, we could do the best job,” said Erickson.

Erickson admits that most of their free time is spent campaigning and the amount of money spent is growing, however the Student Association does assist with some campaign costs.

“After election, we get reimbursed for whichever is least, $100 or 85% of campaign costs,” said Erickson.

In addition to hanging posters, attending meetings, and other campaigning, Erickson and Bosma set up an e-mail account for students and faculty to e-mail concerns and questions about their platform.

Presidential Candidate Dustin Wiebel and his partner, Tracy Fiegen are also campaigning for the SA offices. Wiebel was unavailable for comment.