Focus Shifts for Fall 2003 Campaigns

It is a tradition at FAMU for candidates to provide students with food, gifts and great gimmicks. However, students campaigning this year are being more practical.

According to Lance Eldell, electoral commissioner, this year’s campaigns are not as flashy as in the past three years, and the candidates are more political.

“Their focus is on substance,” Eldell said “I am happy they have ideas and are trying to focus on the issues.”

According to Warren Carmichael, a candidate for graduate senator, the caliber of incoming students has improved and candidates are more practical than flamboyant. “Students are more concerned,” said Carmichael, a 23-year-old environmental policy student from Mobile, Ala.

“I find that going out and meeting people is more effective than just giving out treats,” said Candice Elliott, a candidate for freshmen senator from Orlando. “Classmates run with your candy instead of listening to what you have to offer to your class.”

Elliott said her willingness to take risks when pertaining to her campaign, such as asking the Omega Psi Phi fraternity and others to advertise and support her, has been benefical.

“If the Omegas were bold enough to bark at me as I walked by the [fraternity] house, then I was going to be bold enough to ask for their help,” Elliott said.

Phillip Agnew and Thayne Dalrymple, candidates for freshmen president and vice president, said they are focusing on “famunity.” Not just freshmen unity, but communication with the different classes and administration.

“The party scene campaign is a cliché; it doesn’t give you the time to get to know your peers,” said Agnew, a business administrative student from Chicago. “We want to know people, learn names and issues.”

Although the fliers are up and candidates are out, few attendant candidates have been on the grind like former candidates.

“You run a more useful campaign by talking to students, focusing on the views and the future of FAMU, than being on the grind, focusing on flashiness,” said Cherlise Forshee, a freshmen attendant candidate from Miami.

Junior senator Chelsea Hall said the candidates running this semester have taken a different approach to campaigning.

“I hope that the most passionate, hardworking and committed candidates are selected to be our representatives,” said the 20-year-old international agriculture and business student from Miami.

“Even though their platforms seems outreached, the candidates display a drive to want to work and begin implementing new projects and programs,” Hall said

“The job is time consuming and hard, we need sincerely dedicated students in order to produce quality work.”

Sharon Coleman can be reached at