GSB candidates left off ballot for lack of signatures, time

Rebecca Carton

Three of five tickets were cut from the upcoming Government of the Student Body presidential and vice presidential election.

Two of the three tickets were dropped because the candidates could not gather 1,500 signatures, while the candidates on the other ticket didn’t have enough time to commit to their campaigns.

Ryan Crampton, junior in political science, and Jeff Edwards, senior in finance, make up one of the remaining tickets, and Daniel Fischer, senior in agricultural business, and Maggie Luttrell, senior in history, form the second ticket.

Former runningmates Ian Guffy, current GSB vice president and senior in computer science, and Mitch Hayek, current GSB senator and graduate student in political science, were unable to acquire the required 1,500 signatures. By Friday’s deadline of 5 p.m., Guffy and Hayek had just 1,450 unverified signatures.

“I think that for us, especially for me, I just had too much on my plate,” Guffy said. “I just didn’t have the time to run a GSB campaign.”

Although disappointed that he and Hayek would not be able to continue their campaign, Guffy said that the 1,500 signatures is not an impossible requirement. Having five sets of GSB candidates asking for signatures however, may have caused problems.

“I think it’s a lot, but I do think it serves a purpose,” he said. “It’s probably for the best that it’s 1,500 [signatures], but then again we started to have problems, especially at the end, where people had been asked for signatures so many times that they wouldn’t have anything to do with us anymore. I think that it was unique this year because we had five slates that were trying to run.”

Bart Dvorak, junior in pre-business, and his running mate Clint Pickard, junior in management information systems, also did not acquire enough signatures. Dvorak said that by the deadline, they had only 1,200 signatures.

“We just needed more volunteers,” Dvorak said. “It’s a lot, but it’s very doable. We just didn’t exert the effort that we needed.”

Dvorak said he and Pickard are meeting with the current candidates to decide who they will endorse in the election.

Brooks Nelson, senior in public service and administration in agriculture, and his running mate Katie Stutsman, senior in agricultural business, did not cite signatures as a problem, but rather other campus commitments.

“Katie and I have been working since September roughly, kind of getting ready for the election and the campaign,” Nelson said. “The semester kind of started and we continued to go through it and had reservations because of the time commitment and feeling burnt out through the organization and other involvements.”

Nelson said the pair had turned in their statement of intent two weeks ago and continued with the campaign process but still had reservations about being on the ballot.

“We knew getting into it what getting signatures was like, so it was more us wanting to spend our time elsewhere,” he said.

GSB President Brian Phillips, senior in political science, said although collecting signatures is a challenge, it is a “reasonable barrier” to running a GSB campaign.

“It’s a pretty challenging task, but it is a good metric for the amount of dedication and work [that comes with the job],” he said.

Nelson said the decision not to continue with the campaign was more “bittersweet” than disappointing.

“I don’t think there’s any regret based on the decision that we made. It’s more of a feeling of relief,” he said.

Guffy also said that, while disappointed, he too was relieved.

“On the one hand, it was disappointing. However, it is kind of a relief because now I actually have time to do my homework and there are some good people running, so I’m not worried for GSB,” he said.