Scones, brownies and donuts glazed over the senior election campaign trail.
“Food will bring me over to a table, but someone’s spiel has to be really good,” said Sanghai Kamara, fine arts student, carrying a scone from the Surprise Party’s Springfest table.
The Surprise Party, secretarial elect Manik Elahi and Independent presidential candidate Shane Batcher both distributed baked goods throughout the election to swing potential voters.
“I was actually really impressed,” said John Robert, senior senator, who campaigned for Manik Elahi at the beginning of the election.
After going towards the campaign table for baked goods, Jeff Harris, ECM student, was vigilant while talking with Elahi supporters
“You can’t just let something like [food] influence your decision. You have to weigh the pros and cons,” said Jeff Harris, ECM student.
Last year, Student Activities pushed against the LEAD Party using brownies and other handouts during their campaign, fearing that food would give the candidates an unfair advantage.
During an early April meeting this year, Student Activities urged candidates against using handouts and other materials, except flyers. After weeks of conflict, the election committee decided to allow food within bake sale guidelines.
At the early April meeting, Elahi originally opposed using refreshments during the election, but as the elections drew closer, he changed his position to keep up with the other candidates.
“When there’s a trend, you can’t go against the trend. Even if you try to [go against the trend], it works at your disadvantage,” he said.
On the first day of the election, Elahi’s table was set up across from the Surprise Party. Batcher later joined in handing out food at Springfest due to limited funding.
X-avier Miller, former 2016 Independent presidential candidate, believes food distribution planned out by all of the candidates ahead of the election has been a positive step for the Student Senate. Last year, the LEAD Party was the only group to use food during their campaign.
“I think it’s more fair because everybody’s getting equal representation, and I see more influx of students to each table this semester,” said Miller.
Treasurer elect Daniel Kusky noticed some students moving towards the Surprise Party’s table on the first day of elections as a result of timing.