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Press Clipping: View From High School: Council elections give students civics lesson

View From High School: Council elections give students civics lesson

By Samantha Pye

Roslyn High School students recently received a solid civics lesson, as the campaign and voting for Organization of Class Councils wrapped up this week.

OCC is the student government. Students select members for school leadership positions every June. Each class has a president and multiple representatives.

Additionally, the upcoming senior class selects both a president and vice president to govern their class affairs and the school.

Think you got tired of seeing those Roslyn School Board lawn signs everywhere?

Try making it down the hallways, or from class to class, without seeing some OCC candidate’s face or slogan peering at you from the walls.

Throughout spring, student political promotions resembled real-world campaigns, but with a slightly juvenile twist.  Student candidates asked their friends to wear shirts with their names on it and handed out bribing candy.

Promotions covered social media websites, indicating that candidates were willing to do almost anything to collect a vote.  Catchy puns were another favorite, and were a very popular strategy in the move for a spot in OCC for the 2015-2016 school year.

At a recent school assembly, juniors running for president and vice president promised lofty advancements, both rational and irrational if elected.

One student suggested a bus tracking phone application for students running late in the morning. Other candidates want to enhance the use of student ID’s, still other candidate promise to give time-strapped athletes the opportunity to participate in clubs away from sports.

The most popular promise, to condemn the hand dryers and return paper towels to the bathrooms.

All of the speeches were humorous, and for the most part short and straightforward. They all had one goal in mind while speaking, as did rest of the lowerclassmen running: to stand out from the rest of the candidates and show the high school community that they are the most responsible, approachable student and best fit for the job.

In addition to president and vice president, students can vote for up to seven class representatives.

These students represent their high school class. They organize events like Clash of Classes, junior dances, prom and the end of year barbeque.

Representatives run fundraisers as well, like a winter candy cane sale, Valentine’s Day roses, grade apparel, and more.

Aside from boosted egos and college application fillers, students seek election for a variety of reasons.

The American Student Government Association suggests that there are multiple morals to running for a position. “It’s about serving your campus, your community, and your fellow students.”

Elections teach students commitment and dedication, time management and sacrifice. The job isn’t easy, and leaders always have to be open for enhancement, criticisms, and suggestions.

Student elections benefit the entire student body in one way or another, even if you aren’t running.

Students are instructed to pick who they think will make good leaders – not just their friends.

Real town voting machines offer an invaluable experience for the students. This process offers students much insight for the future as independent adults.

A strong student government in school is very important.

According to the ASGA, “a healthy SG directly leads to a healthier institution and a better experience for all of your fellow students.”

The smoother a school government can lead, the smoother the school will operate.

Regardless, the benefits of campaigns don’t end when the voting does.

Elections and student governments teach all students that their voice does matter, and they should make their vote count and their voices heard.