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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Winning SA candidates offer free goods during campaigns

Ivy Rose Ball
Miniature cowbell keychains and candy are among the items that candidates handed out.

Each semester, Mississippi State University Student Association election candidates take over the Drill Field. The brick walkway between the Colvard Student Union and the Stephen Dill Lee bust becomes sandwiched with colorful tables and candidates battling for the attention of passersby going to class in an attempt to get their name out before the ballots on election day.

As the 2024 spring SA candidates spent time on the Drill Field campaigning, many opted to hand out goodies. Some of these goodies ranged from the classic candies and stickers to Diet Coke cans.

Hallie Gipson, a junior interior design major, was one of many candidates tabling on the Drill Field. Gipson was promoting her candidacy for one of the College of Art, Architecture and Design senate seats. Gipson said that being outside tabling helped her campaign in the long run.

“It showed dedication to the cause and to my college just because I woke up very early every morning to set up a table by 8 a.m.,” Gipson said.

Gipson had candy and stickers on her table — common giveaway items among all the candidates tabling.

“Every day, I offered new candy based on the day. I got a ton of Valentine’s candy because of the season,” Gipson said. “Everybody wants a Valentine! I also got some Krabby Patties and Skittles to handout. Everything had to be within the budget set by the Student Association. I also had a sticker with my name on it, so if people did want to come and support my cause, they could show support by wearing a sticker.”

Gipson won the election for the College of Art, Architecture and Design senate seat.

Brice Heering, a freshman computer science major, had a more unique handout in his campaign for campus wide senator. While he was tabling, he handed out AirPod cases and headphones — something he said that students can use every day. He said that the uniqueness of the handout made him stand out among the candidates.

“My whole thing is ‘Heering Your Voice,’ and I think having handouts kind of geared towards that, making it all work together, these are things that really catch people’s attention. People come for that. Everyone has candy, but having something unique pulls people in so that I can give them my spiel and they can walk away, hopefully knowing something about me,” Heering said.

Heering said that candidates do not have to break the bank when they are campaigning. He shopped on Amazon for both of his handouts, buying 30 AirPod cases for $15 and 100 sets of headphones for only $30.

“It was really cheap, good deals, but still very high-quality handouts.” Herring said. “They feel good.”

Heering took one of the votes for a spot as a campus wide senator.

Patton Guest, a candidate for SA secretary, eventually won the election in a run-off after hosting an event titled “What’s Poppin with Patton?” Students could speak with Guest about his platform and walk away with a cold soda pop or a bag of popcorn — both representative of the “poppin” theme. Guest said that his marketing strategy directly resulted in votes.

“There was even one guy who came up to our table and was like ‘I wasn’t going to vote today, but because you gave me a Diet Coke, I’m going to vote for you.’” Guest said.

In the lively atmosphere of the MSU SA elections, every vote counts — including those that are Diet Coke-driven. Each unique goodie or sticker that is handed out serves as an effort to leave an impression on potential voters.

About the Contributor
Kate Myers
Kate Myers, News Editor
Kate Myers is a freshman communication major. She currently serves as the News Editor. [email protected]
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