This student election cycle, strengthen student governments


Kevin Chen

As the school recovers from COVID-19, it’s important to increase engagement in student government.

As much as SPA is recovering from COVID-19, one of the most devastated parts of student life were the student elections.

There was still engagement even with the beginning of the pandemic. There were mostly two candidates per position, all students filming themselves outside together or in their bedrooms, giving a brief speech as to why they should be elected. But as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, now is a more important time than ever to revitalize the student government.

This trend must change. Although student elections can be cynically brushed off as popularity contests, filled with candidates vying for another item on their resume, there is legitimate value in student leadership, and legitimate value in students having a voice in the administrative aspects of this school. And this isn’t just just some hopeful, overly optimistic and idealistic tirade. There are actually cases of this.

Think of the previous changes student leadership has brought to this school. Think about how USC has changed the protest policy of this school, how it has supported blood drives, and how it has changed the attendance policy. Think about the other positions of student government, such as STC, which are great assistance to the school’s tech office and a great go-to place for help with laptops. Think about SAC, a group of students who tirelessly work to create excellent dances for all the students every year.

It’s also important to consider the fact that student officials are still students, who share other student’s concerns and can listen to other student’s suggestions. Think about the recent change of graduation attire campaigned by seniors Spencer Burris-Brown and Maggie Baxter, students representing a club and not holding notable positions in student government, which finally brought USC to create the policy change.

As much as elections can be brushed off, this underestimates the innate power of the student body to change aspects of the administration and voice their concerns. In order to revitalize the student body, more diversity, authenticity, empathy, and, most importantly, effort, must be shown by candidates for next year’s election cycle.