Was it an Election or Popularity Contest?

—Dallin Howard

 

Erie High School has been missing a lot of student participation, and may lack support by the student body, not for just sports but all extracurricular activities in general. This election has decided the candidates for the 2017-2018. As the press corps, are supposed to research candidates and the factors influencing the voters. The key question here is “were the student elections a popularity contest or actually an election? Before asking around I was sure that it most certainly was a popularity contest, but after digging around you find a few people who vote for the people that aren’t really affected by popularity, however, only a select few I asked actually voted for someone they didn’t know much about. The voter turnout on the election seemed to be pretty high, but the astounding thing is how many freshmen decided to vote. Majority of them had decided to vote, instead of ignoring the poll booth. Before entering the poll booth, a freshman that I asked said that he was “only going to vote for the people that I know”. This is one of the reasons why the student elections seems to be more a popularity contest, than an actual election. The only way to persuade someone to vote for you, is if the voters don’t seem to know any of the running candidates. Only then the debates and speeches can sway people to get their votes.The only way it’s not a popularity contest is if you don’t know the candidates. When I asked a sophomore, who didn’t know the candidates, how he was voting he said he was voting for the “most realistic candidate, that isn’t going to bribe me.” When asked for more reasons he chose not to respond, however, he made his point clear that he was putting his vote in someone that he could possibly trust to do what he/she said he could do in the student government. When I interviewed a junior, I got another unbiased vote. Just before going to cast her vote the junior said, “I’m voting for Kaleb, because his speech was pretty cool, and he seemed to be a bit more responsible than all the other candidates that are against him.” Showing that he seemed to like Kaleb’s speech, and was persuaded to vote for him, but it seems that it’s still a popularity contest. I asked 37 people ‘is it a popularity contest or not?’ 32 said it was, no doubt the other 8 said, there’s a chance it’s not. But those are big numbers! 80% say it’s a contest, if that number holds through the school, there’s very little chance the less known candidates got elected.

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Winner Anounced!

—Braxton Powell

 

The campaign process this year impressed me personally, as the campaign groups and the candidates, especially the winners, worked great together. We saw great campaign ads, fantastic speeches, and a much more personal approach than years before. Debates were interesting and heated, along with just enough campaign drama to keep it interesting. Contrary to my freshman year, this year’s student elections were more fun, especially with the large amount of candidates running. The groups worked hard to create posters, announcements, polls, and even websites. All in all, this election has been tedious, frustrating, and very annoying at times, but it turned out to be a really neat thing to be a part of. It has been a long campaign process, but it has finally ended with the winners being announced late wednesday afternoon months of campaigning, paperwork, and debates. Faith Chapman and Caleb Humble were announced as presidency winners to their respective positions. Next in line, Marcus Quevedo was elected as VP, along with Teagan Brand as secretary and Kaleb Fuhrman as Treasurer. Caleb Humble very nearly lost the race for President to Keegan Anderson, winning by only five votes. Keegan later congratulated humble on his victory, saying “GOOD JOB CHUMS I KNO YOULL DO GR8”. Later in the evening however, Keegan posted a screenshot of a conversation between him and an “Uncle Ryan”, with Anderson stating that he only lost the election by 5 votes, to which “Uncle Ryan” responds with: “Demand a recount and blame it on the russians”.

Why would Keegan share such a sensitive conversation over instagram?
The name “Uncle Ryan” is certainly raising some eyebrows with some, as a Russian cold war intelligence program shares the same name name; “Operation RYAN (or RYaN) was a cold war military intelligence program run by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the early 1980s when they believed the United States was planning for an imminent first strike attack. The name is an acronym for Raketno-Yadernoe Napadenie (Russian: Ракетно-ядерное нападение, “Nuclear Missile Attack”). The purpose of the operation was to collect intelligence on potential contingency plans of the Reagan administration to launch a nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union.[1][2][3] The program was initiated in May 1981 by Yuri Andropov, then chairman of the KGB.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RYAN). So is Keegan Anderson working for our government, or aiding the communists? This author certainly believes this to be a possibility. Under Keegans presidency, this school has already undergone communist reform; Things such as chinese food (a communist country) that has been served for lunch on a weekly basis, a new wing added to the school to make it look like the communist emblem, and Keegans name being anagram for “Sand Orange Knee”, a very communist thing to say.


Keegan is also in possession of pants; do you know who else has pants? This russian man!


It is unclear what Keegan’s loss means for the Russian nuclear programs or uncle ryan, but we will you posted as the story develops.

Different perspectives on STUGO

              In Erie High School we have many new freshmen students that come in that are introduced to STUGO and how it works, this be one of the freshmen perspectives on it and a junior to see if it has changed. Now from the freshmen perspective when asked about how was the first experience with the student and if they like it or not and why. Now the freshmen said “The elections are fine but they are overrated, not important, and don’t actually make any impact.” Now as a junior I agree entirely with this statement so many times I have seen winner not do what they promised and it is hyped out way too much compared to the actual turnout and what gets done as the student body. The second question was how could the election be improved for the students, now what the freshmen said was “They need to cut down on assembles and advertisements, the way voting is done is ok but the ads are really annoying.” Also a sophomore told me about the election, “It is a waste of time honestly, the assembles, the ads and the projects that we have to do suck as well.” Now I agree with the ads they can get very annoying at times especially when it’s the same posters and audio. The third question was do you feel motivated to run in the future and do you see a pattern. The freshmen told me, “No I don’t want to run in the future…the patterns I see are all of the people running say the same message and many made promises that can’t be fulfilled.” I agree once again everyone says the same things and make all these big promises that can never be filled out and honestly waste time that ppl only do for college.  For the fourth question that is asked by many is, the election just one big popularity contest. Many administrators want to avoid it becoming one so they try to keep the ppl quite when speeches are given so the students can focus on what ppl say not just who they are. Honestly no matter what is done this trend will never go away many ppl who I spoke to agreed with me. For the fifth question was asked what do you think are the ideal qualities, positions, and experience for people who are running to have. Now what is said by the freshmen is it is good to have leadership skill, friendly, and have some sort of experience in a leadership position. I agree strongly you need leadership skills and prior experience, you need to be friendly, and make sure to have a good reputation. Being well known is a double edged sword you will have people know you and more likely to vote for you but you also will have known all the bad actions you did that will ruin your rep. So the perspective difference as the grades get older don’t seem much of a difference except as the grades progress the less and less hope people have in STUGO and their ability to function.

 

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STUGO is designed to work together to represent the people that elect them.

Poll Election Results

Here are the Results From Our Polls

For President:

  1. In First place with 21 votes is Caleb Humble
  2. In Second place with 19 votes is Danny Trevino
  3. In Third place with 6 votes is Keegan Anderson
  4. In Fourth place with 3 votes is Sam Orona

For Vice-President:

  1. In First place with 16 votes is Marcus Quevedo
  2. In Second place with 12 votes is Li Davis
  3. In Third place with 9 votes is Daniel Benttencourt
  4. Tied for fourth place with 8 votes is Gavin Mendoza and Emily Thoren

For Senior Class President:

  1. In First place With 13 votes is Faith Chatten
  2. In Second place with 6 votes is Max Parr
  3. In Third place with 3 votes is Hannah Hackney
  4. In Fourth place with 1 vote is Olivia Sepin

For Secretary:

  1. In First place With 20 votes is Teagan Brand
  2. In Second place with 16 votes is Patrick Hoskinson
  3. In Third place with 7 votes is Hayley Ruhl
  4. with 4 votes is Makenna Buckskin
  5. In Fourth place with 2 votes is Chris Jolly

For Treasurer:

  1. In First place With 29 votes is Kaleb Furman
  2. In Second place with 9 votes is Luke Arvay
  3. In Third place with 5 votes is Katlyn Patterson
  4. with 4 votes is Bailey Pitts
  5. In Fourth place with 1 vote is Nathan Hughes

For The Candidates Who Won Great Job!

What the Press Corp Could Do

 

 

—Cody Buckley, Dallin Howard, Cameron Erekson,and Braxton Powell

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This is what our world would be if student body was relevant
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But Does it?

 

The Election has come to an end and people are starting to wonder what the media did. This year being the first year that the groups in AP Government and Politics have more students in campaign teams, rather than the actual candidates running for a spot in the student government, the excess groups got a task that is new to the Erie high student election system. The teachers added the Press Corps, a form of media group that has the job of covering the election in real time. Although some of the other campaign groups think that the Press Corp project is easier than the project they were given, the candidate groups would find they are actually wrong, in fact the candidate groups’ project is immensely easier. The other groups just had to make a website, make a poster, make an announcement, make a script for the candidate when introducing themselves, and they had to support the candidate with whatever means at their disposal. However the Press groups have to meet with a person from each grade and a staff member and ask them questions about the election, we have to make articles that they all meet a length requirement of 500 words, we have to film or cover every debate, which includes Treasury, Secretary, Senior Class President, Vice-President, and President, we also have to have a twitter, Instagram, and Snap-chat profile and keep these profiles up to date. When looking at the work of the Press Corp you can find that this work isn’t actually an in depth project but is more like it is just a way to keep the students busy. The project seemed to be rushed and the teachers didn’t consider the amount of work the press corp had to do and they even had to remove the fact that for the press corp to publish an article they no longer have to send the article to Mr Bird for editing. It would be acceptable for the teacher to next year make specific jobs for the group, like a media manager who would take care of the media outlets, an article writer that would write the articles and edits the posts of the media manager, pollster/interviewer that conducts polls and gathers information about the rating of the candidates and public opinion, leader that will work with the timeline and make sure the other people in the group work on a specific time line, this person will also set up meeting for the interviewer. Another thing that the teacher has to consider is the guidelines for the project in general. When considering topics for the individual project you gave only general guidelines, which I Cody Buckley did follow however the topic is about the Student Government which wasn’t one of the recommended topics. The guidelines of other campaign groups are too laid back, the group just has to make sure it has the correct budget, correct grammar in the main document, and the document must be showing preparation for the debates. However the rubric that we have isn’t known to us and we have many different articles which could be graded extensively, but we don’t know what is going to be graded the heaviest. An alternative is having one big press group which is required to write an article for each debate and having a coverage for a specific candidate, like press for one specific candidate but is graded differently than the  Candidate groups.

“I despise this project with a burning passion. This project was a total waste of time… What’s the point of doing this {the project} if we don’t know what we’re doing, and is entirely busy work to keep us included in the school campaigning project. Checkmate.” Dallin S J Howard

 

“This project was made too fast and had no formal rubric, barely any warnings or any announcements. And if this project is used in the next year it needs to have heavy revisions made by current press corp or needs to be scraped  ” Cameron Erekson

 

“This project doesn’t have a main structure and I spent too much time on the website just to not receive any feedback, I believe the candidates should be required to comment on the articles and support the press corp.” Cody Buckley

When questioning Dallin Howard about how this project made him feel he said,

“This project had entirely no point and we only did things at a strict minimum to get it done.” Dallin S J Howard

What Does the People Of Student Body Do?

—Cody Buclkey

As the campaign for student body comes to an end, one thing people have to review is the capabilities of the actual student body. While some schools have some form of site for the student body, or is also known as student council, our school doesn’t in fact have a page for any form of information pertaining got the student body. So in the interview with Jonathan Phouman, current student body President, I asked a question about the role of the student body and their jobs in the school environment. Mr Phouman responded by saying

“In the school environment what my power is really is to promote all the actual activities and in school activities that we have in school, such as Sadies and Homecoming dances and actually putting events together and you do other things such as run the prep rallies.”                                                              -Jonathan Phouman

Which means all those promises about a senior parking lot or early lunches isn’t controlled by or influenced by the student body. In reality the people of the student body are really just glorified event planners. Another thing that may be a little horrible to think about is the student body doesn’t really represent the student, not technically. The way they represent the students is by talking to teachers and staff and organizing events that the students might like. The ways the student body gains input is currently restricted because the people that have input are the people in Student Government. This is similar to how student government is in other schools. In the nearby College, Colorado State University, they gain student input by having full meetings in the campus hall. However a college will always be able to have meetings on campus and be more open to student input by having more open hours and having many more students on campus at any hour. 

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But Does It Really Need YOU?

Although the Student Council does help organize events they don’t do much when it comes to making parking lots or doing other things that would cost time and money. This is just a way they get support for their campaign. Some other groups have begun to resort to other methods of getting votes to get elected. These methods are not including the promises they make, but does include candy, or some other foods they throw into the stands or hold out in the hallways saying, “Vote for…” This election one of the Treasurers that was attempting to get elected, Patrick Hoskinson, brought a dog to the school and stood outside and let people pet the dog before going into the school. And others decided to just go around at lunch giving candy out to people hoping they had telepathic abilities and could project information saying that the people receiving the candy should vote for a specific candidate. Admittedly this position probably looks really good on your resumé. But when they ask about what you did in this position you will probably say that you organised events.

 

Issues Article: What is Wrong With EHS, and What to Expect in Comming Election

In Erie High School people are getting ready for a student body election, but some people want to know what issues to look out for. One issue that most people face is the lack of paper towels in most of the bathrooms, this is really anoying because when you wash your hands you expect there to be paper towel so you can dry your hands. However the paper towel isn’t there causing students to have to come out of the bathrooms waving their handsjust trying to get the water off their hands. Some other topics that you might want to look out for is the current parking situation. You should also be looking at the plans for the new incoming freshmen. With the new freshmen coming in people have to ask the question of where will the people who over flow the lunchroom sit? Just this year the students are now able to sit all the way down to the gym to eat their lunch, and the only place they still have restricted is the C wing T wing and G wing. Some other issues people might know about is that most students just don’t think when they are putting their trash in the trash can or the recycling bin. If the students put the recycling in the correct bin the staff will just put the bag into the respective garbage containers, but if the students put track in the recycling bin then the custodial staff is told to just put the bag in the trash container. Hopefully this helped you understand what form of issues the candidates will be covering.