Feb. 9, marks the beginning of Florida A&M’s election week and some students are wondering if candidates will spend less on campaign materials. Some students said money should not play a factor in whether a person wants to run for office. Shirelle Clark, 20, a second-year pre-nursing student from Bainbridge, Ga. said, “The students here at FAMU can see through how much a person spends on their campaign.”Clark is running for junior attendant. Jylisa Hill, 21, a fourth-year psychology student from Orlando ran for Senior Attendant last spring. Hill said had to be smarter financially and more creative in how she spent money on her campaign. She estimates that she spent nearly two thousand dollars on her campaign, and said she knows candidates who have spent even more than her.“After the campaign, I had a lot of T-shirts left over,” Hill said. “I was throwing away so many fliers,” She suggests that future candidates become more creative and wise in their investments. “Fliers end up on the floor,” Hill said. “But, if you give someone a sandwich they’ll remember you. Just be more strategic in what you are investing in.”Clark had to be wise in the way her funds were spent as well and did not allow the recession to have an effect on whether or not she would run junior attendant this year. “I really had to be careful about the things I was spending money on,” Clark said.
Recently, Brandon McCaskill, Mr. FAMU 2009-2010, suggested a spending cap be set in place to encourage candidates to put more focus and value in their platforms. McCaskill said in a recent opinions article, “I believe a cap on campaign spending will take things back to the basics – leadership that cares.”Clark said the focus should be on the candidate and not how much money they will spend on a campaign. “If the students want to vote for a person, they’ll vote for [him or her] because [he or she] is a genuine person and think [he or she] will be a good leader in the school,” Clark said.