The 39th Student Senate approved changes for the electoral commission fall 2009 point system Monday. Candidates will now be fined 40 points for advertising billboards on campus.
Electoral Commissioner Alyse Taylor met with the senate to explain why campaign billboards should not be allowed on campus.
“I don’t feel like it’s necessary and there is not enough space for everyone to have their own billboard,” Taylor said. “We provided more than enough avenues for you to advertise for yourself and to campaign your ticket.”
Student body president and vice president, Gallop Franklin and Calvin Hayes used a billboard as an advertising tool during the spring 2009 elections,
“The billboard was only one sector of our campaign,” Hayes said. “We were talking to people, we gave out fliers, and we put up posters, so the billboard was only one avenue that we had to communicate with the students. It wasn’t the campaign tool that put us over, but it was a great asset to the campaign.”
Diana Pierre, 21, a third-year business administration student from Miramar, Fla, felt there was nothing wrong with candidates being able to advertise billboards on campus.
“If one opponent has money to put up these posters and so forth, then they should be able to,” said Pierre. “If you don’t have enough money then you probably shouldn’t be running. You have to understand you’re against competitors, that’s the real world.”
Ashley Andrews, 21, a third-year pharmaceutical student agrees with the senate’s decision to ban campaign billboards.
“As FAMU students, I believe it’s unfair for candidates to be able to use billboards,” the Humboldt, TN., native said. We have to keep in mind that we are all students and we have budgets to work with.”
Other changes to the fall 2009 point system were minor violations added to ensure safety for the electoral commission and candidates. During the fall 2009 elections, candidates will not be able to place posters or prep for campaigning before 6 a.m. and will face a 30-point fine.
“FAMU Police Department has never been up when elections are starting, so it’s always kids just running around at 4:30 a.m. and anything can happen,” Taylor said. “I love our school, but our campus isn’t always the safest.”
Failure to appear for a clean up day on The Set has been added to the fall 2009 point system, and candidates will be fined five points per day.
“If you have seen our campus on Friday during campaign week, it is beyond ridiculous,” Taylor said. “You need to have respect for him and our university. We are not your parents; this is college. Clean up after yourself.”
Also added to the point system, is a fine of 35 points for leading voters to the poll.
“There’s always something that you couldn’t do that’s not in the point system,” said Taylor.
These changes will only affect fall 2009 and will have to be approved every semester for any future elections.