North Carolina Newspapers

Wednesday, February 16, 2000
Ethics Questioned
In CAA Campaigns
Candidates say they are
hurt by what they describe
as slanderous remarks
about their campaigns.
By Kim Minugh
Assistant University Editor
After this year’s race for Carolina
Athletic Association president was tar
nished by negative campaigning, three
of four candidates have been forced to
print retractions.
CAA President Tee Pruitt signed a
public apology Tuesday morning after
co-candidates Michael Songer and
Adam Walters expressed concern over
an e-mail message Pruitt sent to students
earlier Tuesday morning.
The retraction was posted at all open
poll sites Tuesday afternoon.
Songer and Walters said one e-mail
message sent to freshmen and sopho
mores misrepresented their platform
and contained slanderous material.
“There were some pretty gross mis
representations,” said Songer. “(Pruitt)
invented a seating plan (for basketball
games) and attributed it to us and criti
cized us for it.”
The team said another e-mail mes
sage sent to graduate students was fac
tually incorrect. The e-mail message
said Pruitt’s competition had no ideas on
how to represent the concerns of grad
uate students. Although he signed the
apology, Pruitt denied any dirty cam
paigning, saying he was disturbed bv the
drama being created.
“WeVe very' upset by this,” he said.
“In no way was the code of elections
laws not followed. There is absolutely
no violation in anything I’ve said.”
After Pruitt’s campaign staff sent the
e-mail message at about 2:30 a.m.
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Tuesday morning, Songer and Walters
said they contacted Elections Board
Chairwoman Catherine Yates. She later
decided Pruitt would be required to
w'rite a retraction.
Pruitt was not present at the meeting
during which Yates made her decision.
Songer and Walters were also
required to write a retraction that was
posted in the Delta Zeta sorority house.
Yates said Pruitt had expressed con
cern that the team had criticized last fall’s
Homecoming celebration w hile making
a campaign pitch at the house.
Pruitt said he found the comment slan
derous to his CAA administration. “It
obviously hurt me a lot. The damage has
already been done.”
Yates said she would take no further
action in either issue. She said Songer
and Walters would have to present a for
mal complaint to Student Attorney
General Drew Haywood to pursue fur
ther action.
Haywood said Title VI, Article VII,
Section 166 of the Student Code man
dated that the Student Honor Court deal
with issues of slanderous campaigning.
He said he had not yet received an
official complaint from Songer and
Walters, but in the event of one, he
would want to settle the issue out of
court. “My preference is to try to pre
vent this from escalating because I don’t
think it had to come to this,” he said. “I
think there are ways we can effectively
handle it without taking official action.”
Pending the eventual elections out
come, Songer said he and Walters
would not abandon the issue.
“We need more information to see
what options are available,” Songer said.
“But we definitely want to pursue this in
some form.”
The University Editor can be reached
Elections Day 2000
From Page 1
hopes of continuing projects his admin
istration began last year and launching
new initiatives.
Some of his main achievements this
year include increased ticket distribu
tion, the Michael Hooker ,5K and orga
nizing a preseason basketball game in
Carmichael Auditorium for next year.
Pruitt said his new initiatives includ
ed requiring students’ UNC ONE
Cards to be swiped at bracelet distribu
tion and moving ticket distribution from
6 a.m. to 9 a.m.
He said he also wanted to change the
maximum number of tickets that groups
could get together from six to 12 and
increase Residence Hall Association
and graduate student involvement.
Songer and Walters said they wanted
to raise recognition of UNC’s Olympic
sports, allow students to use their ONE
Cards at concessions stands in Kenan
Stadium and push for increased student
seating at men’s basketball games.
The third candidate, Corey Bell, ran
From Page 1
“As of yet, it will not effect any sort of
push back of a runoff,” Downs said.
The elections grew more nerve
wracking for candidates and supporters
when Student Television’s “Feedback
Live” show, which broadcast live elec
tions results, was plagued by problems.
First, press and supporters of various
candidates were unhappy about STV’s
security efforts. Color-coded nametags
provided limited access to the classroom
where results were announced on the air.
“When I tried to get in, there seemed to
Campus Calendar
4 p.m. - There will be an
International Festival planning meet
ing in Union 210. The meeting is for all
students interested in helping with an
international celebration of food and
entertainment that will take place on
March (i.
7 p.m. - Journalism and Mass
Communication Professor Chuck Stone
will give a lecture titled “A 21st
Century America of Richest
Diversity and Maximum Parity:
Making Sure DeTocqueville, Trent
Lott and Ward Connerly Get Lost
on the L.A. Freeway,” as part of the
Carolina Union Activity Board’s Last
Lecture Series in the Cabaret.
The lecture is free and open to the
6:30 p.m. - There will be an interest
meeting in 208 Dey Hall for the UNC
Mahatma Gandhi Fellowship.
The fellowship will award two $3,000
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Michael Songer (left), a candidate for CAA president, discusses the delay
in election results with Jamie Gilbert (center) and Rob Moore,
on a platform supporting better seating
for students at the Smith Center, offer
ing later Saturday morning and Friday
night ticket distribution, organizing a
Greek parade and pushing for reduced
be some confusion with STV,” said Alex
Mehfar, campaign manager for student
body president candidate Brad Matthews.
Mehfar was kept out of the room.
“That’s not fair and it’s not right,
because these people (being denied
entrance) are the people who make
things happen - not STV,” Mehfar said.
Delays caused by the Elections
Board’s technical difficulties further frus
trated students.
Shortly after midnight, STV Director
Matt Stradley suggested taking a break
from the elections mayhem. Several
candidates then abandoned the tension
of the crowded lobby for the comfort of
Franklin Street bars.
stipends to fund research, volunteer or
study projects dealing with a South
Asian issue. Applications are due Feb.
25 and are available at All returning
students are welcome to apply.
8 p.m. - UNC Pauper Players pre
sents Broadway Melodies 2000, the
annual musical review.
The show starts Thursday and con
tinues through Feb. 20. in the Union
Cabaret. Tickets are $5 for UNC stu
dents, faculty, staff; $lO for all others.
The public is welcome.
8 p.m. - Attorney Johnnie
Cochran will speak on the topic of
“Injustice in America” in Memorial
Pick up free tickets at the Carolina
Union Box Office.
For more information, contact the
Black Student Movement.
3:30 p.m. - The Anthropology Club
will host a departmental orientation
or free admission to bars on Franklin
Street for Homecoming.
The University Editor can be reached
Earlier in the day, candidates shook
up the normal activity in the Pit by
handing out fliers and shouting to pass
ing students.
“You can’t really complain if you dis
agree with anything unless you voted,”
said sophomore Will Tadros of Waterbury,
Conn. “(The vote) is your voice.”
But other students said they would
not vote.
Junior Reid Simmons said, “1 just
haven’t been following the issues.”
Assistant University Editor Alexandra
Molaire contributed to this story.
The University Editor can be reached
for anthropology majors to be fol
lowed by a faculty/student social hour
in the Anthropology' Lounge in 313
Alumni Building.
All anthropology' majors and those
interested in the Department of
Anthropology are invited to attend.
Snacks will be provided.
Items of Interest
■ The Carolina Outreach
Theatre, UNC’s new public service
children’s theater, will hold auditions
for “Rapunzel.” Visit the Student Union
front desk for more information and to
sign up.
■ UNC Pauper Players
announces auditions for the spring
musical, Cabaret. Auditions are Feb. 22
and Feb. 23; Information and audition
forms at the Student Union front desk.
■ Carolina Week by Week is look
ing for pictures for next year’s edition.
Submissions will be judged on aes
thetic and entertainment values and if
selected will be cropped into squares for
Entries should be clearly marked on
the back of the photograph with the
photographer’s name, address and tele
phone number.
The deadline is April 7.
Send entries to: Week by Week
Photos, CB #1530 Daniels Building,
Chapel Hill, NC 27599.
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From Page 1
Smiley’s campaign staff began the
night huddled around a table, scribbling
numbers feverishly and bolstering her
with hugs. However, by midnight,
Smilev was stretched out on the floor,
trying desperately to catch a moment of
sleep, her head pillowed on a jacket.
Ray also tried to get some rest,
returning home to bed before the offi
cial announcement from the Elections
In fact, many frustrated candidates
were in and out throughout the night,
making only short appearances at the
headquarters and choosing to take naps,
hit local bars or visit with friends
Those candidates who did stay alert
and awake throughout the evening
attempted to put a bright face on the
night’s events.
“I’m feeling good about tonight after
being in the Pit and at Chase,” Martin
said. “I took a more personal route.”
Candidate Michael Harris said the
worst was over despite the frustrating
wait that lay before the candidates.
“Pm feeling great, even campaigning
and getting very little sleep,” Harris
said. “Now I can just sit and wait for it
all to happen.”
Harris began the night full of enthu
siasm and energy, greeting his cam
paign workers with a group hug as he
left the STV studio after the first results
were announced.
However, by the end of the night,
members of his campaign staff were
lounging on the chairs, their feet up, try
ing to collect their thoughts and stay
As the night dragged on, many can
didates were enlisted to fill space on
STV to keep themselves busy.
Candidates participated in mini
debates on several issues pertinent to
their platforms, as well as playing games
such as “Who Wants to Bea Student
Body President,” a takeoff on the pop
ular game show “Who Wants to Bea
One hot topic of conversation among
the restless campaign workers and can
didates concerned write-in candidate
Bersticker, especially his unexpected
third-place showing in the unofficial
results and his noticeable absence from
the elections headquarters.
Bersticker’s campaign began with a
column in the Feb. 11 Daily Tar Heel
when columnist Brian Frederick sug
gested the junior forward for the varsity
men’s basketball team as a potential
write-in candidate.
Many involved with the election
wondered about the effect of
Bersticker’s campaign and how serious
ly the candidate himself was taking it.
As the early numbers put Bersticker in
contention, many candidates and their
staff speculated about the role he might
play as further numbers are reported.
Final commentary on the night came
as candidates shuffled out of Sitterson
and headed for home.
Matthews said, “Just everyone go
home and go to bed.”
The University Editor can be reached

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