A call for reformed elections

Though great strides have been made to increase Student Council’s (StuCo) legitimacy and gravitas within the High School this year, there is one process which remains out of touch with the student body: The Presidential elections. We, as an Editorial Board, are calling for a more democratized process in which the student body and not the grade representatives elect our President.

We believe that this will not only give the student body a greater voice, but it will legitimize the leadership of  StuCo. An election will empower the President, as their role will no longer be an internalized decision, but rather a mandate from the student body to lead. It will give us a leader to rally behind, and an individual we can count on to improve our High School experience. In short, we think it will correct a significant portion of the problems holding StuCo back today.

Though not for lack of trying, the inner workings of StuCo, its meetings, and its election process are largely a mystery to most of the student body. Presidential elections would increase transparency between StuCo and the student body as students who previously showed no interest in the process would now be involved.

At times it seems to us that, for the most part, true interest in and knowledge of StuCo’s work is limited to students who have relationships with Council members. This proposed change of electoral procedure would allow each and every student to have an affinity with their President; no longer will students – particularly underclassmen – look at their President with no real idea of their policies and goals. Students need to be informed and aware of what StuCo does, and public elections provide much needed transparency.

If all students in the High School had a hand in electing the President, as opposed to only the 20 elected grade representatives, then, without a doubt, a greater percentage of our student body would take an interest in the inner workings of StuCo. This is not to undermine the current interest students have in StuCo’s actions; it is to decrease the number of students who feel alienated by StuCo – those who believe that their involvement would not matter.

Most students are apathetic to StuCo’s decision making process as it is one that is obscure to them. In the proposed model, students could rally behind a candidate and their proposed ideals – we support a campaign assembly including speeches and an open forum for questions that is followed by a voting procedure in which all students would have the opportunity to participate.

This model would force the candidates to be accountable for what they hope to accomplish. Instead of a sense of secrecy regarding initiatives, more information regarding each candidates motives would have to be provided as voters would have to be informed before they make a decision. Allowing students to be a part of this process hands a certain responsibility to the elected President: They will have to adhere scrupulously to the promises made to the students who voted for them, increasing transparency with the student body and empowering StuCo.

We think the decision here is simple. Give us a President that is ours, one that we can truly rally behind, and one that we can work with to accomplish our goals. This is our President, the student body’s President, and the electoral process must reflect that.

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