Candidates use several strategies to get votes

The race is on, and people are suddenly thrusting flyers, campaign platforms and firm handshakes in different directions. It’s all part of candidate’s campaign strategies.

For some, these strategies can be expensive, but for others, it doesn’t take billboards or parties to get noticed. Either way, it’s all a part of the campaign process.

Larry Ferguson, a 20-year-old sophomore from Charleston, S.C., decided to keep his campaign personal.

“The strong campaign is through the people because that’s who I want to serve,” said Ferguson, a candidate for one of the eight open junior senator seats.

“I think that things such as DJ’s and stuff are just for show, and doesn’t really show your message.”

The business administration student said renting DJ’s and throwing parties may get a campaign noticed, but it doesn’t really tell people what your message is.

Ferguson’s approach may be working for some people though.

“People who introduce themselves and act like they actually care are the people that I remember most,” said Dionne Watley, a 19-year-old elementary education student from Jacksonville. “The free stuff isn’t that bad either though.”

And the free stuff hasn’t been in short supply. People walking through campus Wednesday could’ve gotten a free meal, including hot dogs, popcorn, drinks and ice-cream from Cold Stone Creamery.

For William Miller, a junior senator candidate, campaigning is a little tougher than for those running for a position such as SGA President, or Mr. FAMU, because he has to cater to a select group of students.

“It’s very difficult running for a junior office because most of the sophomores live off campus,” said the 19-year-old business administration student from Chicago.

Since popular techniques such as “dorm storming” aren’t an option for Miller, he’s spending more time just introducing himself.

“My campaign (strategy) is trying to get to know more people that I don’t already know,” Miller said. “I’m also letting people know what I am doing on campus.”

Naomi Hill, a Queen of Orange and Green candidate, is trying to personally connect with everyone she meets before election day.

“Besides just hanging up posters, I’m meeting people,” the 19-year-old said. “You shouldn’t just give people your flyers. Explain your platform and what your goals are. You should be talking to voters one on one and telling them what you plan to do instead of just giving them a flyer.”

Hill, a second year pharmacy student from Fort Lauderdale said that although parties bring in crowds, it may not give you the result you want.

“Talking to someone one on one may take an hour, but it can make or break your campaign,” Hill said. “If you’re just throwing parties, people are going to come for the free food, but they really don’t know what you’re about.”

To candidates vying for those coveted positions, it’s all about getting their name out there. This year candidates have been seen wearing colorful wigs, shouting out their names at the top of their lungs, handing out t-shirts, and zipping around campus in a Superman outfit to get your vote.

It seems that as campaigning comes to a close, you’ll be seeing more and more strange outfits, shouting, car painting and more free food.

Contact Sidney Wright IV at