The tennis ball-colored posters were stamped and hung. The campaign lollipops sat wrapped and waiting in boxes. The table tents had been pitched.
Yale College Council hopefuls rose early Monday morning, ready to spend the first day of the last week of classes on Cross Campus, handing out fliers, putting their $40 of “innovative spending money” to use, and smiling big for Yalies passing through on their way to class.
But New Haven rain clouds paid no heed yesterday to the Yale student body elections.
“I think the weather deflated the potentially festive election-slash-democratic-muscle-flexing atmosphere that could have been today,” said YCC treasurer candidate Andrew Klaber ’04, who spent the day focusing on indoor aspects of his campaign.
The bad weather forced resilient face-to-face campaigners into Commons to peddle their fliers to the hungry and the rain-soaked. Others sent e-mails or posted 8.5-by-11-inch sheets in covered residential archways — where they were spared from the elements — and the election days’ frenzy continued, though muted, into the late-April gloom.
Andrew Allison ’04, one of three YCC presidential candidates, had planned to spend the day handing out his yellow fliers — part of what he says is the standard campaign formula: “bright colors, big fonts” — but decided to wait for sunshine later in the week.
“I didn’t think many people walking to and from class or to and from their dorms would want me to be shoving fliers in their face today,” he said. “I just didn’t want to bother anyone upset by the rain.”
So instead, Allison, who only printed 200 each of his allotted 300 fliers and 400 table tents, set to work in an “Allison for prez” button, sending out e-mails and biding his time. Vice presidential hopeful Rachel Barish ’04 was, like Allison, rained off Cross Campus during the afternoon, where she had planned to pass out lollipops stuck with “Rachel for VP” stickers. She found herself, along with treasurer candidate Justin Cohen ’04 and others, holed up with candy in the Woolsey Rotunda.
The rain, Cohen said, came as a surprise.
“I was planning on using Cross Campus as a launching pad to my innovative campaigning,” he said, referring to the $40 extra each candidate is allowed to spend, which Cohen put towards “Justin for Treasurer” stickers.
“There’s the same kind of traffic in Commons,” he continued, “but it’s nicer to be outside and to talk to people like that.”
Dampened spirits aside, though, current YCC executives said the overall campaign has been squeaky clean and just as expected. Vice President EB Kelly ’03 said she has handled a small number of minor complaints about posters or e-mails but has not had to issue a public reprimand to any of the candidates yet.
President Vidhya Prabhakaran ’03 agreed, saying he was impressed by the gentlemanliness of the election so far, considering the “number of candidates and the heat of the contest.”
In fact, Kelly said the biggest problem candidates have run into so far, to her knowledge, is indeed the weather.
“For me, a big part of campaigning was standing on Cross Campus or Old Campus, handing stuff out,” she said. “Many candidates decided not to hang out outdoors today. They had to make a last-minute change in their game plans.”