Letter to the editor: VOTE EXPERIENCED

A reader shares her opinion about student council elections.


Alana Brader

Disclaimer: The following article was submitted to The Gauntlet by junior Alana Brader, a member of the Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School student body. It does not necessarily represent the opinions of The Gauntlet or Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School.

Having served on Student Council myself, I have learned that with the amount of events StuCo puts on every school year, it is very beneficial to all members of the council that the President and Vice President have served at least one or two years on the council. This could be as a Class Rep, Publicist, etc. Not only does this demonstrate their dedication and work ethic to the council, but even more importantly provides them with valuable experience as to how the spirit competitions, fundraisers, and other events are planned and executed.

These candidates would have earned the position of StuCo President and Vice President by serving their time on the council, and putting in the hard work needed to accomplish all of StuCo’s goals for the year. In the past, it has been made clear that some members of Student Council are only running for their position because of the title that can look good on college applications. The reason this becomes a problem is that they did not actually run because they have a passion for student government work, and therefore are not as willing to put in the time and effort to learn the most effective methods of governing.

Furthermore, they have the knowledge of past years’ presidents and the ways in which they led with effectiveness. Every president has his/her strengths and by working in close conjunction with previous presidents and VP’s, the candidate can observe what that specific president does that works well, and what they would improve on by serving more than one year on student council. Therefore, they can see what worked best out of each year and employ those methods in their presidency.

A lot of people don’t fully know what is required to be StuCo president unless they have actually served on the council and/or assisted the president in some of their many responsibilities. Even having served one year as a Class Representative, the jump to president  would still be a challenge. The candidates for president and vice president really need all the practice they can get. Just because someone is president of their class or a different club does not mean that they are qualified to run this organization. Student Council hosts so many specific events like bake sales, relay races, Homecoming Week spirit competitions, dress down days, Christmas and Valentine’s Day candy/song sales, gym day, beach day, Busch Gardens spirit competition, and many more. It can be extremely overwhelming to someone who is not already used to putting in this level of hard work each year.

It helps to know who to contact to get everything purchased, planned, organized, and set up. Without this prior knowledge the president would be wasting time learning on the spot. I think many underestimate the amount of responsibility that being StuCo President is. I heard one student say, “I don’t see why the StuCo Pres needs much experience just to give announcements at assemblies on Wednesdays,” but then this individual actually attended a Student Council Executive Board meeting and said it seemed like way more work than he/she previously imagined. Much of the student body would feel that way if they fully understood how much the president had to do in order to make things run smoothly.