Campaigns Hit Stride for Election





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As voting for ASUC elections commenced yesterday, hordes of candidates frantically campaigned on Upper Sproul Plaza for last-minute votes.

Candidates had varying ideas about the best way to garner support from students.

Senatorial candidate Andrew Becerra campaigned with a male friend wearing a blond wig and a cheerleader uniform.

"I said that we should draw attention to ourselves by having a cheerleader because people love cheerleaders," he said. "We are going for the gay vote because drag is more appealing than a girl cheerleader."

After admonishing his cheerleader to "stop chewing on your hair," Becerra pointed out his male friend's large fake breasts to people passing by.

"Men love titties," he announced.

Several other candidates, however, tried a more subtle approach.

"I am using very catchy tactics to attract voters," said senate candidate Josh Chu, who was sporting a "Pik-a-Chu" poster and a large stuffed animal of the Japanese cartoon character. "A friend of mine came up with the slogan. I think it is a catchy slogan, but I honestly don't really care for Pokemon that much."

Hugh Cotton, a candidate for senate, went topless for the crowd as he held up an enormous sign declaring that "Size matters."

"I'm kind of cold, but it is worth it," he said. "I think that people like that I have a sense of creativity. I am using this big sign to draw attention to myself because I saw all the other candidates' signs and I thought 'shit, I never read any of those signs - I need something that will stand out.'"

Several students, however, said many of the candidates' tactics turn them off to voting.

"I wouldn't vote because I don't take the elections seriously," said Charlene Young, a sophomore. "I mean, the candidates don't take the elections seriously - half of them are making jokes out of themselves."

But there were still some students who considered both humor and relevant issues in deciding how to cast their ballots.

Freshman Rory Miller said he voted for two reasons.

"I felt strongly about People's Park - I want it bull-dozed," he said. "And there is just something so appealing about the Naked Butt Party. If you have that little self-respect, I want you in office. People take themselves too seriously."

Other students said they would not want to vote because they do not know any of the candidates or their platforms.

"There are so many candidates and I don't know any of them," said Max Montgomery, a sophomore. "If I voted for any of them, it would be because of all the free stuff I got."

Several other students confessed that they did not vote because they felt like their voice will not make a difference.

"I am probably not going to be voting," said Jasmeet Pannu, a junior. "I don't really feel that on-campus voting has affected me at all."

Because there are no propositions on the ballot that seek to alter student fees, there is no minimum number of students that must vote to make the elections valid.

According to Georgia Kernell, chair of the ASUC Elections Council, there were certain areas on campus where voters flocked to cast their ballots.

"The main hot spots were in front of Dwinelle Hall, Upper Sproul and in front of Kroeber," she said.

This year marked the first time students were allowed to vote in front of UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, and Kernell said turnout at the site was considerable.

"It turned out well there," she said.

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