Student government needs to be taken more seriously


Although written during the date provided, this article was republished during 2020 by Nicolas Gorman to put it on the website. The author is unknown.

The Student Body election votes are in and the result of the election is clear: the electoral process has some serious problems.
This election has been a misrepresentation of student preferences–lack of clear rules and not sampling a large number of classrooms being the most influential problems.
We believe that this election is invalid and should be completely re-done with a clear public set of rules, involving all students by getting everyone’s vote.
Though many students don’t take the election seriously, it is important to realize that, like any respectable government system, the student government relies on legitimacy to gain power.
When students don’t take the election seriously, then the elected officials have no backing. If they propose something and face opposition, they’ll have no voter base behind them for support. Credibility is already low, most see the student body as a joke or resume padder. A weak representation of the part of the school meant to emphasize efficiency, responsibility, and fairness.
It is important that we do not grant validity to this skewed election because it would be setting the bar low and further decreasing the legitimacy of student government and the representation of students.
Student government is not an exceedingly strong power. It is not a particularly efficient power. Yet, it is an integral part of students’ lives at school.
Students deserve representation and participation in their school’s decision making process. Student government provides that outlet, and by making the election unnecessarily complicated and poorly run, they rob the students of that outlet. Only by re-doing this election and re-writing the election process in order to make it fair and transparent can we fully include the student body in the school’s operation. Although this is a rather bold move, it would definitely pay off for the school next year.
Earlier this year, the school held elections for site council representatives: students who would decide what the school does with its funds. A function important to every member of the student body as it affects the sports they play, the clubs the join, and the class materials they receive.
How were these representatives picked? The statistics term for it is a voluntary sample.
A table was set up near the stage, and the few students who were aware of the election and cared enough to vote (next to no one) cast a ballot. This isn’t an effective way to run an election, nor is going to provide accurate results.
The candidates did not need to advertise any qualifications, there was no minimum number of votes required, and few people gave it any serious attention. The student government failed to inform the school; what’s the point of holding an election without enough people to get a real vote?
The student body remains largely unaware of the fact that this election even took place.
To be an effective school, the student body needs to not only be represented, they need to care about the elections. When something as important as an election passes as an afterthought, there is a problem with the way that the voting is organized. The student government officials, those in student government, and the student body in general all need to be informed if they actually want to hold an election effectively.