Viking Saga

Senate Elections Provide Taste of Politics for ELHS

Behind the scenes of student senate and officer elections

Eve Slemp

High tension, strong competition, and ambitious students set the stage for the ELHS
2020 senate elections, which looked for strong officers to take on the challenge of this
unique school year. Students created powerful speeches to persuade their classmates to vote them into office. Once voted into office, then they will be a representation of the class voices in
the senate.

For example, the president of the Class of 2021, Caroline French, had no prior
experience in the senate, but saw a problem and knew she could help fix it by running at
the end of her sophomore year. “I hit everyone with the hard truth,” French said. Last year, French saw that her class was struggling to earn enough money for senior experiences like prom, so she wanted to make a change. She explained in her speech how the Class of 2019 needed about $15,000 for
their prom. The Class of 2021 did not even have a third of that covered. “When you make a bold statement like that, it catches people’s attention,” French said. Last year, after becoming president, she helped raise between $5,000 and $6,000 for her class from running the Winter Ball,
the leaf cleanup, parking lot paintings, and more. Through French’s determination to follow through with the other class officers and strong senate support, seniors now are closer to having an amazing prom. “You have to be on top of communication with everybody,” French said. A lot of senators struggle to connect with their class. Senators are often stuck doing everything, which is physically and
mentally exhausting in addition to school and sports. “With this day and age of technology,
there is no excuse,” full senate advisor, Mary Jennings said. Senators do much more work than given credit in the school. Spirit Week, dances, and a good majority of student events at the high school are organized by the senate. “It doesn’t seem like a lot of work goes into prom, but trust me, I’ve run many proms,” Ms. Jennings said.This year, though, everything has changed.

Speeches were given virtually, there were very few ways to campaign, and for the first time, freshmen ran for officer positions and
gave speeches. Avni Kabra, a freshman running for class treasurer, had some concerns for her first election. “I know the people I ran against were just as qualified as me,” Kabra said. “It was a tight race.”
Although Kabra felt confident in her speech, she didn’t end up getting elected as the treasurer. Kabra did, however, get voted into the senate. “A lot of classes will elect the most popular kids, but they’re not always the best people,” Ms. Jennings said. “You need a well-rounded kid who can easily connect with the class.” Lots of students tend to have an overwhelming amount of activities going on and can’t find the time to fully dedicate themselves to their class. “That’s what the senate is meant to do:
communicate, celebrate how much we’ve grown as a class, and foster that school spirit,” said French.

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