I am writing in response to your article, “The Bar-On Brief: Don’t take the easy path to ASB.”
I’ve participated in three student council elections during my time at Homestead. Three out of three of those elections, I ran unopposed. While I agree with you that candidates should not “game” the system by making deals to ensure that most contestants are unopposed, and that a one-candidate election seems rather useless, I feel that the general distaste of uncontested elections evident in the opinion piece is unfair.
I talked to a junior a few weeks back about whether he was planning on running for office during class elections. He’s a guy I have worked with before, and one I have a lot of respect for as a leader, so I was pleased to hear that he was interested in running for class office. What happens next is where you and I differ in opinion. He said that he didn’t care much for which position he held in office, as long as he could contribute to the class. I admire that, actually.
The past three years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the best teams in student government. The emphasis in this sentence is the word “team.” Though each individual has a position, president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and social manager, the ultimate goal is to best represent and put on the best events for the student body. A team works best with a special dynamic, and that frequently, or rather, always requires a passionate individual in every position. Though I understand why it may be disappointing for you to see a well-qualified individual opt for a “lower” position, I am pleased to see that an individual pass up the “more impressive” title in the name of teamwork. If all of the strongest candidates ran for the same position, the end result, even if it yielded the strongest individual in that position, may be a lackluster team.
Before student government elections every year, one of the most important questions I suggest that a prospective candidate asks is, indeed, “How can I be a dynamic member in the most qualified team to represent my peers?”