New changes and candidates are sure to add intrigue to this year’s Student Council elections



Election campaigns and previous events organized by the Student Council

In high school, there are very few things that the students can decide on all by themselves. From homework to hot lunch, everything is decided by adults, some of whom have never even met the children whose lives they are dictating.

One thing that the students can choose, however, is the group of peers that run their class activities: the Student Council. Elections are fast approaching with the end of the school year, and this year, the application and election process is a bit different.

In charge of the process is history teacher Laura Stiles. She is confident and excited about the upcoming elections and believes that the changes will only improve the process and the results it produces.

“The biggest change is that we decided to do three teacher recommendations,” Stiles said. “Instead of having kids write a paragraph, we thought we’d put a bit of pressure on the teachers to make sure kids are appropriate for Student Council.”

Stiles believes that this change can only benefit the council as the students who end up running will not only have to be well-liked and respected by their classmates, but also by their teachers; these adults may put more emphasis on qualities such as organization, preparedness, and reliability, rather than on their platforms.

This rule change is not the only new aspect of Student Council elections this year. Many students with little to no experience on Student Council have decided to run, especially from the junior class.

“I think it is a good thing [that new people are running],” Stiles said. “I think it means that people are thinking, ‘Hey, we need to do more’ or ‘We need to get involved.’ I think the more people that run, the more chances we have of getting really good candidates. When there are more choices, it puts more pressure on the candidates to be legitimate and do their work.”

According to Stiles, the increase in candidates and regulations will hopefully produce a strong and organized Student Council, ready to make next school year exceptional.

One such new candidate, from the junior class of 2024, is Keaton Michalski. Keaton is running for the position of secretary, and this year will be his first experience with student leadership.

“I chose to run [for Student Council] because during my senior year, I want to max out my participation in school,” Keaton said. “I’m running for the executive board of the National Honor Society, and I’m a co-leader of the Environmental Club, so I just want to participate as much as I can and really put my voice into the school.”

Although Keaton’s motivations are commendable, some people may question his ability to lead because of his lack of experience. However, Keaton believes that although he may need to catch up on the more technical aspects of Student Council, his fresh perspective will only improve the team.

“I think that although I lack experience, I provide a new set of views that our council would benefit from,” Keaton said. “We’ve had a very stagnant Student Council over the last few years with the same group of people running. I think by switching it up this year, I will be able to provide a new set of beliefs that will possibly make it better.”

This so-called ‘stagnant’ Student Council may be disrupted significantly this year because of the number of students that are running for the first time.

I think it’s important to hear what teachers have to say, and I’m glad it’s more than just a simple application on your own to be able to run because I think there is a certain level of accountability that it’s good to have on Student Council.

— Jake Barnes

Students such as juniors Charlie Afman, Jackson Savin, Parker Ludwig, and Philip Murdock have all decided to join the race for student leadership, and Keaton believes that this will only benefit the class of 2024 and the student body as a whole.

“Bringing in new ideas will allow the Student Council to be more representative [of the class],” Keaton said. “Hopefully, we can get more activities out. For example, we can have the student body actually choose the songs for the lip sync. Hopefully, we will be able to win more events this year [with a newer Student Council].”

With all of the changes in the election process and candidates this year, some may begin to think, ‘Out with the old, in with the new.’ This is not entirely true. Some of the candidates this year are long-time members of student leadership.

One such candidate is sophomore Jake Barnes. Jake has worked on student leadership teams for four years, starting in seventh grade at Central Middle. He plans to make the 2023-2024 school year his fifth term and is excited to continue his work leading the class of 2025.

“I started [running for Student Council] because I wanted to establish myself as a leader,” Jake said. “I knew that I had it in me, and I wanted to take the opportunity to seize initiative and make a difference for my classmates. [Especially in high school], I like to be able to represent my class in creative ways and help organize things for our school.”

For his first two years of high school, he has served as class treasurer, but this year, he plans to step up further. Jake is running for class president against Incumbent President and fellow sophomore Nathan Rushman.

Although Jake is unsure about the opinion of his class, he believes that his candidacy is necessary for the future of his class and their student leaders.

“I feel like I could do a lot better work as the president instead of being the treasurer for another year,” Jake said. “While we have gotten things done the last two years, we have not been very efficient in delegating tasks and in going through with those tasks. I’m looking to see if the student body would support me, and if so, I would like to take the charge on organizing these things and putting people into roles that they will actually do.”

Jake has seen many styles of election, from Zoom speeches during the COVID-19 pandemic to speeches on FX, but he believes that the new changes to the election process are highly beneficial.

He sees value in teachers’ opinions of students and believes, like Stiles, that this new procedure will add accountability for the potential candidates.

“I like that there is more of a process this year,” Jake said. “I think it’s important to hear what teachers have to say, and I’m glad it’s more than just a simple application on your own to be able to run because I think there is a certain level of accountability that it’s good to have on Student Council. I’m glad the Student Council was able to go through and rewrite some of the bylaws and really make our rules more official.”

Student Council elections are fast approaching: candidates will be announced on Monday the 15th and campaigns will follow. Speeches and final elections will occur one week later on Monday the 22nd.

With new policies, old policies, new candidates, and old candidates, this year’s election process is sure to be interesting. One thing remains the same, however: the student body votes for their own leaders. So, if there is one thing that these three participants in the election process could tell their school, it is this: vote.

“I hope everybody votes,” Stiles said. “One of the things I say the most is ‘just vote.’ If you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the [decisions that are made by] the Student Council. That’s my number one rule. So, vote!”