Is pre-campaigning out of control?

Columnist Ashleigh Hall. Photo courtesy Ashleigh Hall

Students at Florida A&M University are preparing themselves for the intense upcoming campaign season.

Every year the school hosts a campaign period where students who want to represent the university from a larger standpoint get up as early as seven in the morning to convince their classmates to vote for them.

This time of year is intense for students who want to be the next to serve the university in these positions. Getting a campaign team together, and trying to build a support base that will help them get elected, are just the beginning of everything that goes into campaigning. But has it gone too far?

The occasional themed video, photos that are taken with the current royal court, or the overzealous post about one’s love for the university are usually tell-tail signs of pre-campaigning. But over the past year, there has been a huge increase in pre-campaigning.

“I would say that this year is going to be a fierce competition given all the pre-campaigning taking place. It has definitely been a lot more than in the past,” junior, Kendra Turner said.

Students have been overwhelmed with the sudden Instagram challenges, games, Twitter posts, and many more tactics that have been happening over the past two weeks. The goal, you ask: To drop hints of this year’s upcoming candidates.

“I don’t like it, and I think it is unfair to the students. It seems as if they are only doing it for the clout and not to be fair and genuine,” Sabrina Ramos, a sophomore, said.

However, the pre-campaigning does in fact seem to be dying down as declaration of candidacy nears.

“I think it will only affect the people who haven’t done anything for the campus,” Turner said.

During the Jan. 22 student Senate meeting, Electoral Commissioner Aaricka Freeman said that actively campaigning during dead days, after declaration of candidacy, and before 7 a.m. on the first day of campaign period, including but not limited to all social media sites, will result in 30 points assessed to the prospective candidate.

Candidates can accumulate only 50 points before being placed in violation of the election codes and recommended for disqualification.

As declaration of candidacy nears, candidates walk a thin line with posting and hosting events.
The electoral commission has said that pre-campaigning or campaigning during dead days will be brought into question. Therefore, this campaign season will be one for the books.

Rattlers, let’s get ready for election season. It all starts Monday when candidates will begin declaring.