Your friend has been excited to run for All-School Council for a while now and has been working diligently on her speech. The day of elections, she gets up to the podium and delivers her points beautifully, inspiring oohs and aahs from the crowd with her charming ideas and clever speech. After she’s won, she stops showing up to council meetings, and pushes everything council-related off to the side. The girl who seemed so devoted to council in her speech turned out to not care one bit.
As the years have gone on, this seriousness of School elections seems to have been lost in the muddle of crowd-pleasing one-liners in speeches and promises for things that will never happen. We think girls need to take running for office and the responsibilities that come with it much more seriously, and if a girl doesn’t, the faculty advisor should be allowed to take away her title.
Last year, more election rules were set in place as a result of the new Marlborough Student Government Constitution. Students running now must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, a citizenship grade of at least an A- during the term when elections are held and no Honor Code violations in 10th and 11th Grade. Speeches have to be submitted and proofed ahead of time before being delivered. Candidates must complete a form that lists their qualifications and ideas for their time in office and submit action plans to the Grade Level Deans explaining how they intend to carry out said ideas.
When we asked students what they thought of these candidate information forms, their answers were unanimous: it’s a good way to learn who’s running, but a candidate’s actual goals become unclear beneath photos, drawings and neon-colored ink. If elections aren’t meant to be popularity contests, then why are the Tracy Flicks of this world being voted off the ballot?
The Ultra Violet applauds the girls who take the time to go through all these measures, but sometimes, ulterior motives are clear. If girls are looking to list “student government” as an activity on their college applications, then perhaps they should simply trying joining the newspaper. The workload is equally difficult, but at least that seems clear from the start. Girls who run for All-School and Class Councils often abandon their responsibilities once elected, leaving their peers and faculty advisors to pick up the pieces. Once elected, you are expected to represent and run the School, and skating by shouldn’t be an option anymore.
While we’re not trying to discourage anyone from running for office, we are asking you to be serious. Otherwise, we don’t want you, Uncle Sam.