So it begins.
Yesterday marked the first official day of SGA campaigning, with the We Are UT, Keny-Dugosh and [Insert] campaigns distributing freebies and tabling in various locations across campus.
"We understand that a lot of the voting population are first year students, so we want to make sure we reach out to them in a centralized location," said Dante Arnwine, a junior in political science and senator in the We Are UT campaign.
We Are UT received monetary donations from its sponsor, Evolve, an off-campus housing development that will open in fall 2014. In exchange for campaign funding, Evolve was granted advertising space on We Are UT posters and a table next to the campaign. We Are UT handed out candy and food from Texas Roadhouse. Later in the week, they plan to distribute Chick-fil-A.
With 43 senatorial candidates to back them up, We Are UT tabled in five locations Monday: Pedestrian Walkway, Presidential Court, Fiji Island, Sorority Village and on the Agricultural Campus.
Keny-Dugosh, by contrast, received no outside funding. Instead, they offered home-made cookies, campaign buttons and cups to passers-by.
"We decided not to use any corporate sponsors," said presidential candidate Kelsey Keny. "The stuff that we're providing, we just used our own money to get."
[Insert] candidates were also present, distributing push cards listing their main policy points, including the "implementation of a UT moon base" and "no more rain on campus."
"We have the ability to thrust ourselves into wherever we see fit," said Kyle "Iceblood" White, [Insert]'s Student Services candidate. "We're great idea men. I mean seriously though, we have released 10 times as many policies as the other campaigns combined."
[Insert] has no plans for hand-outs. But Judd Cowan, a senior in mechanical engineering and the campaign manager for [Insert], said the campaign may have a surprise for students on Wednesday.
"It'll be something that has never been done before in the history of SGA," Cowan said. "Tell people to watch the skies."
Grant Davis, running independently as a trustee candidate, opted to delay campaigning on Pedestrian Walkway until Tuesday, focusing instead on visits to organizations on campus.
"People know me from my record in SGA this year," Davis said, "so I don't feel the need to spend a couple grand on campaigning."
All campaigns were required to submit the first of three Campaign Value Reports on Monday at noon, detailing their current donations and spending.
SGA hopefuls will continue to campaign throughout the week until elections begin on Wednesday and continue through Thursday. Election results will be announced Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. in the UC Shiloh Room. The Volunteer Channel will be hosting a live debate Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Howard Baker Center's Toyota Auditorium.