Student Council Elections: A New Approach

This year, the U-32 community experienced a walk out in support of gun control, a school-wide email chain discussing violence in school, and the decision to raise the Black Lives Matter flag. In the next few years, our school will face further changes as proficiencies and new schedules are implemented. A strong student government will be needed to aid the student body during these adjustments.

Student Council is taking steps to strengthen their organization by designing a more democratic election system and by adopting new guiding principles.

For more information on the steps leading to this change, see this Chronicle editorial.

 

New Guiding Principles:

  1. U-32 is changing. Students should have a clear role in the decision making. (ex: upcoming changes to the schedule)
  2. Our community is diverse and in some ways divided. Student council can work to facilitate dialogue. (ex: should we raise the BLM flag?)
  3. Student council can work to enrich the cultural life of U-32. (ex: organizing live music Spring Day)


New Election Process:


This year, candidates will be asked to go on the record in response to prescribed discussion questions about issues facing the school, as well as how they think the Council should operate. The questions are:

  • Can you give an example of a time when you followed through with a meaningful commitment?   
  • Describe two specific ideas you have for making U-32 more democratic.  
  • Should U-32 raise the Black Lives Matter flag?  Explain.
  • What is another important decision that students should have a say in?  What do you think should happen?
  • What could Student Council do to make U-32 more fun?

Elections will take place on the week of June 4th. Students will be able to vote for 4 candidates in each grade. If you are interested in running for Student Council, please type your responses (80 words per question or less) and email them to studentcouncil@wcsu32.org. They will be anonymized and posted on the Chronicle website.

Social Studies classes will then read these responses in class, allowing students time to think critically about the opinions of their peers that will represent them on the Council. For example, students may break into small discussion groups and read the responses one question at a time. Possible discussion questions include:

 

  • Which response aligns most with my own views?
  • Can I envision their suggestions working at U-32?
  • How could their suggestions improve my school experience?
  • Does this candidate seem committed to representing the student body?

 

During discussion, candidates will be referred to as candidate A, candidate B, etc. Election organizers hope that anonymity will allow students to focus on issues. The identities of the candidates will be revealed at the end of class so students are able to vote. By making voters more informed and the goals of candidates more purposeful, the Council will be better able to guide the school through political debates and other changes to come.