Running With Staplers

Action and Your Concordia Slates Duke it Out on Poster Night

“There were a lot of elbows being thrown out there,” said Your Concordia VP Loyola & Student Space Candidate. Photo Julia Jones

Over 70 students scrambled around the downtown campus early this morning as this year’s Concordia Student Union campaign season officially kicked off.

“There were a lot of elbows being thrown,” said Gonzo Nieto, the candidate for VP Clubs & Student Space with the Your Concordia slate.

Students yelled for tacks and staples. Campaigners from Your Concordia and Action —the opposing slate—rushed up and down escalators in the Hall building trying to find the best space for campaign posters. In the Library Building, both teams were hammering on cork boards with staplers when one of the participants was heard yelling, “I need adhesive materials!”

“I think a lot of students vote on posters, sadly,” said Nieto, commenting on why there was such a sense of urgency around the event. Nieto said he would be in favour of abolishing the poster night practice for safety reasons. “I think that the better way to do it would be to give [posters to] impartial members of the university.”

Nieto accused members of the other team of running even when the Chief Electoral Officer asked all participants to walk, but also admitted by the end of the night he was running from building to building.
There were some allegations of pushing and shoving throughout the night, but most said that the event was orderly.

“It’s a lot more organized this year,” said Solomon Elbaz, who was helping to supervise the event with the CEO.

In previous years, people had their wrists and arms broken from stampedes of students. Until last year, slates often recruited members of the football and rugby teams to help secure poster space.

Kyle McLaughlin, who is running for Council with the Your Concordia slate, said that the night could have been arranged better for fee levy groups.

“I switched one of our own posters up so they could put a CJLO one up,” said McLaughlin. “Because it’s not right that we dominate anything or that the other team dominates anything. Either team dominating anything isn’t good.”

Over the course of the night, each slate led chants attempting to drown out the other side. At one point, however, all present were chanting “C-J-L-O!” The referendum for increasing funding to the university radio station appears to be a point of agreement for both slates.

As the energy drink buzzes began to wear off, it appeared the night was bound to be a mostly civil affair. The Hall, LB and MB buildings were hastily plastered with campaign posters. Over the next few days, candidates will go back through the buildings to clean up their posters.

“It’s a super tough two weeks,” said Jordan Lindsay, running for VP Finance for Your Concordia. “You really have to keep up your energy.”

Members of the cleaning staff watched as students tore down old posters in order to put up their own and joked that it looked like nothing more than a competition to see who could put up more posters.

“Poster night is always a bit of a toxic experience,” said Lex Gill, who is running for president with Your Concordia, but noted that 2011’s Poster Night “actually seems a lot better than in years I’ve done it before.”