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The student news site of Hereford High School

Hereford Harbinger

The student news site of Hereford High School

Hereford Harbinger

School elections take a turn for the worse

A campaign poster created by Molly Conner (26) for student council President stands alone in the cafeteria stairwell.
Aubrey Burkhardt
A campaign poster created by Molly Conner (’26) for student council President stands alone in the cafeteria stairwell.

Historically, high school class elections were a big deal. Students were excited to take on leadership roles for their school and try to benefit their peers through their elected authority. It was also a way to promote democracy in young  adults and show the importance of voting and campaigning in a school setting. 

But now, class elections seem less important. It seems that with every year and every class, the same people are getting elected again and again, with zero competition. Campaigning is practically nonexistent in the form of digital media and posters, and in the past there have been issues with fake officer candidates. 

Classes in the recent past have had fake candidates putting up posters and even creating social media platforms when they had never even turned in an application. This irreverence toward the student government has caused an unserious attitude and disregard for the positions and jobs. 

Yet still, these fake applicants did more campaigning than most. They created posters and released frequent social media posts, while candidates now have barely released any campaign material in the time leading up to elections, which has also resulted in people not even knowing the elections were happening. 

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“I think those fake elections really negatively impacted our elections,” said Rachel Holbrook (‘26), the class secretary. “Some people just sort of think it’s a joke now.”

This lack of knowledge has been furthered by little in class participation, with no class officer videos being shown and little promotion on the announcements leading up to the elections. I myself only found out about the elections the day of, and when I asked my peers if they had voted they too had no clue elections were happening. 

We also suspect there is not enough clear and accessible information about the offices and roles,” said Ms. Wachter, the co-advisor for the student council. 

This year the class of ‘27 has a vacant position, the class liaison, and only had two actual races between students. The class of ‘26 had one candidate per office, while class of ‘25 had the most competition with three candidates for one office and two candidates for two other positions.

The student council elections this year had only two candidates running for two separate positions in the entire school. They faced limited attendance during the second half of the year due to students being busy planning for graduation, which contributed to sparse participation in the election process. 

“The people who do care about this sort of stuff have generally already run and gotten elected for the student government,” said Molly Conner (‘26), the only candidate for the student council president position.

A big aspect that many students cite as their reason for not caring to run or vote in student elections is the fact students never really see the impact the officers or student council leaders have on school life. While they are undeniably working hard behind the scenes, this means that no one gets to appreciate or truly care for them.

“I mean it’s just hard to care about the elections when we never see the influence they have so it feels like they aren’t even there,” said Cece Picone (‘26). 

However, these officers are actively helping the community behind the scenes. Officers across all grades have hosted fundraisers at restaurants like chick-fil-a, coal fire, and ritas. They’ve also made wearable products such as shirts to raise class morale and get money for prom.  And it’s not an easy application process, the application itself is three pages long  and includes teacher recommendations, written questions, and a campaign video. 

Student elections may have problems, but the students are working to fix these problems. If you as a student have the chance to vote, please do; it is critical to helping out your class for years. And if you feel inspired to run for a position, please do. Fear is normal, but it is clear that now more than ever we need strong leaders who are willing to work for the people. And just as importantly, we as voters and students need to step up and actually participate in these elections. It is not just our responsibility to run for these elections, but to vote and actively participate in them too. 

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