Student Council Elections – A Constituent’s Atlas

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Student Council Elections – A Constituent’s Atlas

Casey Murray, Editor

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The Forest Scout presents the 2019 edition of the Constituent’s Atlas, the definitive guide to Student Council elections at LFHS.

Another long year has passed, and Student Council is once again holding elections; polls are expected to close on Friday. Voters can edit their responses to the ballot form and campaign posters will be viewable in the Commons until that time. And so, without further ado, The Forest Scout presents the candidate lineup and our analysis.

Analysis

Virtually all campaigns mention school spirit as a primary concern; voters can rest easy with any candidate on that front. The fact that Student Council is holding elections to the Spirit Committee further suggests that spirit will be a central priority moving forward. Expect more pep rallies, spirit days and the like.

Most campaigns have also committed to engaging the student body in making policy decisions. Will Elliott’s campaign for Junior Class President has even created a website and Google Form to get student suggestions. This suggests that a true “suggestion box” for Student Council action may be right around the corner, especially if voters hold their elected representatives accountable.

This election season marks the first time that videos and posters have become a widespread campaign tactic. It is too early to tell, but Student Council elections may be becoming more competitive, perhaps signifying increased respect for the Council as a representative institution.

Despite these positive developments, the undeniable truth is that Student Council does not have sovereignty and cannot make policy on its own. Most members are unelected and wholly unaccountable to the voting public, and the simple concept of a town hall was portrayed as a quantum leap. The real quantum leap will come only when we have a more responsive and fully sovereign student government with true policymaking power.

Perhaps this year’s candidates will guide us there.

Student Body President

The student body president is the chief executive of Student Council and occupies the principal role in that body. They are a student speaker at graduation. Only juniors are eligible.

Sarah Bires

Sarah Bires currently serves as the junior class president in her seventh year as a member of Student Council; her campaign emphasizes her leadership experience in Student Council, Women’s Club and the soccer team. Her platform centers on student-staff communication, inclusion, environmental sustainability, and giving back to those less fortunate. Video.

Catherine Greub

Catherine Greub involves herself in Scout Nation, Women’s Club, Link Crew and various other activities. She is also a contributing author for the Forest Scout, but had no authorial or editorial involvement in this article. The Greub campaign prioritizes promoting school spirit, protecting senior privileges, including minorities, and creating a positive school environment, among other policy proposals. Video.

Student Body Vice President

The student body vice president is the president’s second. They are presumably first in the presidential line of succession. Candidates must be juniors to be eligible.

Salma Alsikafi

Salma Alsikafi is the captain of the girls tennis team. She hopes to exemplify leadership qualities and positively guide and impact the student body. Video.

Bridget Mitchell

Bridget Mitchell currently serves as the junior class secretary. She intends to work with Environmental Club and promote school spirit, and her campaign emphasizes her experience with sports, spirit week, school dances, and the Student Council car wash. Video.

Senior Class President

The senior class president runs the Senior Student Council, which designs and sells T-shirts to identify grade levels. Historically, they have been one of the two student speakers at graduation. Only juniors are eligible to run for rather obvious reasons.

Haley Banta (unopposed)

Haley Banta, the incumbent junior class vice president, participates in CROYA and Environmental Club in addition to Student Council. The Banta campaign centers on leaving a positive legacy at LFHS, supporting LFHS students, and ensuring that students are heard. Her campaign video notably floated the idea of creating a website or suggestion box. Video.

Senior Class Spirit Committee Chair

The Spirit Committee was created in structural reforms overseen by the O’Keane administration at the beginning of the school year. The elected chair oversees the committee.

Lexie Conley (unopposed)

Lexie Conley likes school spirit; her campaign places great weight on this fact. Video.

Junior Class President

The junior class president is the chief executive of the Junior Student Council, which plans and hosts Prom at the end of the year.

Ben Andreesen

Sophomore Class President Ben Andreesen’s platform centers on developing new service projects to give back to the community, supporting intramural sports, and making Prom better than ever. Andreesen touts his past experience with Student Council and positive relationships with other Student Council members and students. Video.

Will Elliott

Most Student Council candidates are content to create a homestyle campaign video. Not so Will Elliott, a New Media videographer and six-year veteran of Student Council. Elliott has somehow created an advanced and flashy campaign video that might have been created by an actual political campaign; nowhere is this more clearly seen than in his closing remarks — “I’m Will Elliott, and I approve this message,” an homage to real-world campaign ads. He has also far exceeded the usual lip service to being open to students’ suggestions, going so far as to create his own website with a dedicated suggestion box. Video. Website.

Junior Class Vice President

The junior class vice president serves as the junior class president’s second.

Morgan Bielski (unopposed)

Lake Bluff resident and incumbent sophomore class vice president Morgan Bielski emphasizes her positive attitude and ability to commit to Student Council in her campaign of character. She also does the “Stand By Your Ad” thing as required by the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law of 2002. Video.

Junior Class Secretary

The junior class secretary supports the Junior Student Council in a record-keeping and administrative role. They can be expected to publicize meetings and the like.

Avery Ellis

Avery Ellis currently serves as the sophomore class secretary. Her re-election campaign focuses on her organization skills and her willingness to take part in service projects and school dances. Video.

Eria O’Neil

Erica O’Neil rides horses. She stresses this fact in her campaign, pointing out that her sport has trained her time management and organization skills, both of which are necessary for any successful secretary. Video.

Sophomore Class President

The sophomore class president presides over the Sophomore Student Council.

Christina Carris

Freshman Christina Carris is actively involved in Model United Nations and is personable and kind. She has not released a campaign video to the knowledge of The Forest Scout.

Joey Nassar

Joey Nassar participates in soccer, volleyball, Latin Club, and Debate. He has been active in various leadership roles both within and outside of Student Council and has vowed to ensure that all students’ voices are heard. Video.

Sophomore Class Vice President

The sophomore class vice president supports the Sophomore Cabinet as the sophomore class president’s confidence and supply.

Madeleine Kapsalis

In addition to Student Council, Madeleine Kapsalis participates in soccer, Speech Team, French Club, music and One Acts. Her campaign emphasizes her leadership, teamwork, speaking, and listening skills; her major policy proposals include promoting service projects and getting suggestions from students by way of occasional polling. Video.

Charlotte Andress

Charlotte Andress is an active member of Student Council and the only candidate to have received an endorsement from Mrs. Nelson. This second detail is likely indicative of her ability to work with faculty members to make Lake Forest High School a better place. Video.

Sophomore Class Secretary

The sophomore class secretary supports the Sophomore Cabinet in a record-keeping and administrative role. They can be expected to publicize meetings and the like.

Elizabeth Miczuga (unopposed)

Elizabeth Miczuga’s campaign for secretary is based on her proposals to include more opportunities to show school spirit, to aid those in need through service projects, and to listen to students’ suggestions regarding school dances and the like. Video.