A student dressed in a tutu and a gorilla mask danced on the Ballantine Hall steps Tuesday afternoon to draw attention to student government hopefuls campaigning next to the building.
With only two days left in the IUSA campaign season, each ticket sent representatives to locations around campus to recruit votes, doing what they could to attract students to their tables.
Ayesha Ahmad, a volunteer for the YOUniversity campaign, directed students to tables set up in front of the kiosk behind Ballantine on the corner of Forrest Avenue.
The kiosk is one of three polling locations reserved by the Election Commission.
Candidates may also campaign at the Sample Gates and the corner of 10th Street and Fee Lane, and both Hoosiers 4 Solutions and YOUniversity reserved other locations on campus, as well.
The Election Code states that if any ticket reserves space to campaign, the other tickets must be allowed to campaign there as well. However, due to limited manpower, several locations had representatives from only one ticket.
IUSA candidates and campaign volunteers spent hours flagging down students to ask them to participate in the election, each with their own pitch: “Do you have half a minute to talk about student government?” or “Do you have 20 seconds to vote?”
Ty Nocita, SPARC for IU’s chief of staff, arrived at his polling location at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to set up SPARC’s table and a computer with a WiFi connection so students could vote immediately after talking to the candidates. Other volunteers began arriving at the same time — the polls opened at 10 a.m. and no one wanted to miss a chance to reach voters.
“The best part of all three tickets being here is you can talk to prospective voters,” Nocita said.
It is against the rules of the Election Code for candidates to have any campaign materials at polling locations, but each volunteer was prepared to answer questions about their ticket’s platform. SPARC had posters with the SPARC logo hanging from their tables. Hoosiers 4 Solutions and YOUniversity volunteers wore color-coded shirts with their respective logos on the front.
Kelsey Gorman, Hoosiers 4 Solutions’ candidate for vice president of administration, said she had been asking students simple questions to “reel them in” so they could hear more about her ticket’s platforms.
“We ask ‘have you heard about the bike-share program? have you heard about the expansion of the Lifeline Law?,’ she said. “There’s a lot of people who want to hear about the issues.”
Gorman and other volunteers gathered around the steps of Ballantine as classes let out, asking students if they wanted to vote.
Ahmad, dressed in costume, was successful in drawing people’s attention to her ticket’s table, but a friendly, open manner seemed to be the order of the day.
Candidates and volunteers drew people in to vote by pulling them aside and speaking to them.
“Everyone’s been really enthusiastic and open, and a fair number of people have heard about the IUSA campaign,” said YOUniversity volunteer Andy Braden, adding that getting involved was worth it because he believed in what his campaign stands for.
Nocita said he had seen many voters make the rounds and visit all three tables to learn more about each ticket’s platforms before voting.
“We hand them a flier and we say ‘do you have 30 seconds to talk about student government?’” he said. “If someone wants to talk, they’ll talk to every ticket.”