BY KAYLA GATES
With the start of a new school year, there comes an important milestone for the freshman class: elections. A few dedicated ninth graders are hoping to earn their peers’ vote and represent the next generation of students at Cooper City High School.
The elections, which are held by the Student Government Association (SGA), give students the opportunity to speak and act on behalf of their class. Elected officers help organize school events, such as Homecoming in the fall.
However, the Class of 2022 faced a minor issue, one that has occurred often throughout the years. The obstacle comes with the decreasing number of students interested in running for an SGA position. Because of this, changes had to be made to the electoral process.
For starters, the number of available positions was cut from its usual six to four. On top of that, with little interest in the treasurer and vice president roles, it was decided that the runners-up of the presidential election would fill those spots. Meaning, everyone will participate in one race, with the number of votes deciding one’s position.
“I have mixed feelings about running unopposed.”
The only exception was the secretary role, with one student showing interest in running. Freshman Samantha Winick is the sole candidate, and will evidently lead the class this school year.
“I have mixed feelings about running unopposed,” Winick said. “I like not having any competition, but part of an election is the campaigning, which is what I missed out on.”
The candidates were not the only ones discouraged by the lack of competition. SGA sponsor, Natalie Flaten, expressed her disappointment in this year’s turnout. Hopeful to lead an exciting race, she obtained the opposite.
“This is my fourth year doing this, and this has been the saddest turnout,” Flaten said. “I was excited because I had 23 kids show up for the [interest] meeting, but only four turned in the required forms.”
Flaten believes a major contributor to the decreasing number of students is the mandatory leadership class accompanying a position. Many are reluctant to run because of the inevitable schedule change. In turn, only truly dedicated students were ready to put forth the effort.
“This is my fourth year doing this, and this has been the saddest turnout.”
“In a way, it’s a good thing, because it weeds out the people that are not that serious,” Flaten said. “If it’s such a sacrifice to change your schedule, you must not want it that badly.”
Regardless, the candidates made the most of the situation, using the opportunity to further their campaigns. The students spent the week of elections hanging up posters and talking to peers, aiming to spread their message.
Freshman Breckyn Mayor, who is running for class president, used a catchy slogan to attract attention. Her fliers read “B sure to vote, B smart, vote for B!” Mayor hopes the originality will make her name well known among her peers.
“I am running because I think I can make a difference in the life of students and change the way students view school,” Mayor said. “My goal is to get our freshman class more involved in the school year and I think I can make that happen.”
“I am running because I think I can make a difference in the life of students and change the way students view school.”
Freshman Madison Smith, who is also in the race for president, was creative with her campaigning as well. Smith distributed cards resembling a ticket, which advertised her candidacy. Her objective was to stand out when election time came.
The final presidential candidate is freshman Mackenzie Segev, who plans to gain momentum with his message. Segev hopes to be remembered for his promise to work hard for his fellow classmates.
“I’m running to make sure people’s voices get heard, problems get solved and people are happy,” Segev said. “I want to make sure that the next four years are wonderful because high school should be remembered as a great time.”
The freshmen vote September 20 and 21 during their personalization periods. Each candidate’s speech is televised beforehand, providing students with a final glimpse of their future officers. The results are scheduled to be announced September 24. Regardless of the outcome, the freshman class is confident that the school year will be both successful and memorable.
Photo by Kayla Florenco