Student Presidental Elections-2020

Through the use of technology and new, unique ways of campaigning, this year’s class president elections are unlike any other and tensions between candidates are arising as election day gets closer. Nonetheless, they are all eager for the student body to cast their votes on election day starting October 6th.  

With remote learning, the student government election process will look much different this year than previously. Teachers came up with a new way for candidates to run and for the student body to vote. This new process had left presidential candidates feeling nervous because of the inconveniences surrounding technology and campaigning projects, but they are also excited to help make the school a better place. However, many of them worked these issues through and their campaign videos will be up on Schoology in the Bobcat Corner group. After viewing these videos, the student body will be able to cast their votes for not only their class presidents, but also other positions. Voting will be done through Microsoft Forms, which will also be available in the Bobcat Corner Group, from October 6th to October 13th.  

Planning the election to take place remotely was a challenge for the teacher advisors of student government and senate. Teachers had to find a new way for students to promote their ideas to the school through a screen. Student Senate advisor Jaclyn Jensen states, “this pandemic has taught me to be more creative.” With this new sense of creativity, Jensen and other teachers came up with a new format of candidacy and voting. She explains, “students this year are making short videos unlike previous years where we would all be in the cafeteria hearing speeches.” These videos would then be uploaded for the school to watch on their own time and cast their votes. Jensen is trying to stay positive about how the logistics of the elections will play out.  She is hoping all students will be able to get their videos up smoothly and have the student body able to vote without any issues. She states, “no matter what happens, it will be a learning opportunity.” 

Remote learning motivated students to want to better their communities. Presidential candidate, Annabelle Chesley (‘24) states, “I want to make sure that even in these difficult times we’re still able to get some school normalcy into our lives.” 

Like Chesley, Elsie Paxton (‘23) states, “during remote learning, I have felt like there has been a disconnection from the administration and I felt that the class president needed to be the person to fix that.” Paxton explains that she is aware of the challenges of running remotely such as possible technology issues but is still taking on the election. 

As remote learning was motivation for students to run for president, it also presents the problem of campaigning. Because of the lack of face to face communication, Chesley states, “getting real connections with my peers and teachers will be a challenge and that makes me a little nervous.” She continues, “but I am super excited to have the chance to get involved with the school, especially as a freshman.”

Other candidates express their worries about running for president remotely as well. Isabella Kalinowski (‘22) states, “I’m a little scared because it’s going to be hard to talk to people and campaign.” Still, Kalinowski feels that this new format of candidacy has actually made her less nervous because she does not have to give a speech in front of the school this year. 

Having previous student government experience helps ease anxiety surrounding the election. As Ella Gianino’s (‘21) fourth year running for president, she states, “having students know me and my previous work is beneficial to my candidacy.” Regardless, she continues saying that, “this year presents its unique challenges to overcome,” referring to campaigning all through her social media. 

Previous experience aside, candidates have to find new ways to prepare for the elections this year. Gianino states, “usually I would stop people in the hallways and ask if they voted….and in an online setting, I don’t have everyone’s phone numbers.” She continues, “the best I can do is post on my social media.”

Many other candidates are also taking the social media approach to get their names out there. Paxton plans to use her social media to educate people on why she is running and what she will do for her class. She states, “the main thing I am going to be doing is being completely transparent.” Paxton hopes that being straightforward with her goals, and being creative, will encourage people to vote for her. 

The only thing that hasn’t changed from previous years is the competition. Chesley explains that she doesn’t know her competition well, but states, “they all seem like extremely intelligent and nice people so that definitely leads to a bit of nerves.” 

Along with Chesley, Gianino, Paxton, Kalinowski, other presidential and non-presidential candidates are working hard to get their ideas out there. They hope the student body recognizes this and casts their votes on election day. The candidates are trusting that the students will choose wisely for whom they want as their class presidents. As for after the elections, look ahead for MOR’s continued coverage on how student government may look in a remote setting!

Artwork: Emily Jackman (’22)