BY KAREN SUROS
Around springtime, CCHS students recognize that they’re in the process of Student Government Association (SGA) elections. The flyers posted across campus and the constant announcements revolving the event are a dead giveaway. Prospective officers encourage their peers to vote for them with promises of fair and enthusiastic representation.
This year, however, SGA’s elections went differently—that is, they hardly happened at all. The online learning environment transformed the campaign landscape entirely.
SGA Advisor Natalie Flaten intended for students to submit a flyer and a one-minute recorded speech to be posted to the Student Information Canvas page in lieu of the flyers that would be typically placed on campus. Additionally, students were going to be permitted to campaign via their social media accounts on certain days. This election information was distributed at the end of February, and candidate submissions were due the first week of March.
“As with everything this year, we’ve learned to adapt,” Flaten said.
The application pool turned out to be much smaller this year. In fact, many applicants ran unopposed. Since this was the case, there was no need for campaigning or voting. Most qualifying students received the position they were seeking.
“[This year’s elections were] different because everything was completed online and this was the first year where I ran unopposed,” Class of 2023 President Grace O’Malley said. “This led to a lot less stress than normal during elections.”
“This led to a lot less stress than normal during elections.”Class of 2023 President Grace O’Malley
The reason for this lack of participation is likely the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted so many things this year. Extracurriculars during distance learning do not reach students as well as in-person ones did, apparently. No one ran for Class of 2023 treasurer, leaving this year’s sophomores with a vacancy.
“I think that less people knew about it since there aren’t many ways to get the word out while we are online,” Class of 2023 Secretary Sophia Safrin said.
Previously, Kennedy Lerner served as the Class of 2023 treasurer. This year she decided to run for SGA treasurer instead.
“I wanted to be more active within the school and take on a bigger responsibility,” Lerner said.
Lerner recognizes the difficulty of her previous position, and that not everyone is prepared to take it on. Furthermore, even as she moves on from being a Class of 2023 officer, she is prepared to help her peers should they need it.
“I know the job is not for everyone and it is a lot of responsibility,” Lerner said. “I am always there and willing to help the officers if needed.”
“I know the job is not for everyone and it is a lot of responsibility.”Incoming SGA treasurer Kennedy Lerner
Other classes had better luck. The Class of 2022 filled all its positions. Harris Aversa will serve as president, Danielle Robins is vice president, Noa Pogany is treasurer, Madison Smith is corresponding secretary and Samantha Winick is recording secretary.
Leadership positions like treasurer and the other roles SGA has to offer can greatly improve one’s skills. There is a lot to be learned from these jobs, so CCHS students are encouraged to give them a shot.
“I learned how to be a good leader and I hope I can further develop these skills,” Lerner said.
There will likely be an application process to fill the role of Class of 2023 treasurer. The online environment may have hindered the typical progress of elections, but SGA does not foresee issues in the future.
“Hopefully, once things get back on campus full time, students will be ready to become more active in school events and run for the various leadership positions that CCHS offers,” Flaten said.
Photo courtesy of CCHS SGA on Twitter