Student Elections are Destructive Popularity Contests
Isabelle Wells, Reporter
Taxes, employment, college: all things that are on the minds of young students as they prepare for adulthood. School systems across the country have seen the need to guide students in their maturation, and as a result, have implemented officer elections. They are designed to prepare students for the responsibility of voting for government leaders.
Also, running for an officer position gives students the opportunity to voice their opinions, make improvements, and add to their skill set for college applications.
However, student elections are not won due to an individual’s prowess and experience but of the amount of friends they have. Student elections are synonymous with homecoming court nominations with the main difference being that student council experience is more esteemed among universities.
Additionally, when students vote for candidates of a different grade, they tend to vote on the appearance of the hallway advertisements or whoever tells them to vote first. Candidates are able to submit videos of themselves to be shown in the morning announcements, but they are usually judged on the quality of their video and less about what they say.
Ashlyn Pryor, a freshman in the Business Program, said, “I want to see how put together their video is. You can really see who puts in the most effort and will help the school.”
While the videos can be a good indicator of their dedication and enthusiasm for the position, some students have more experience in leadership roles, but are less tech-savvy than others.
Hana Sourjah, a senior in the Biotechnology Program, said, “I haven’t really seen any changes because of who I vote for… I think they should show us what they actually do.”
Sourjah and many other students are given the freedom to vote for their peers, but have limited information to make an informed decision. The elections are a disservice to the students voting and to the candidates running for various positions, as those that are qualified may not be popular. This creates grave voting habits that lead to adults that depend on others to tell them how to vote without knowing the intentions of the candidate and politicians with the wrong idea of what they are supposed to contribute.
While a good idea in theory, student elections can be damaging to our future voters and politicians.
With the upcoming October student elections, candidates flood the hallways with various flyers and posters full of color, media references, and catchphrases to gain votes.