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How to own a government

by Arnold Lau (H3C) and Vinno Lee (H3E), Stallion News Writers

SC Candidates

What in the world can possibly be more exciting than the act of counting votes? Nothing can be as heart-stopping as weighing the student body’s decisions to elect the next year’s Student Council Executive Board (SCEB) in an act that must surely be celebrated as a bastion of democracy, right?

Well, truth be told, nail-clipping, counting ants, shaping animals out of clouds and long, solitary walks on the beach are infinitely more exciting than counting votes. Sadly, none of these things have anything to do with the ultimate verdict of who shall become next year’s executive board officers of the SC.

Initially, this year’s elections may seem to be exactly like last year’s elections, and the year before, and the year before the year before, with new faces simply getting elected into old positions that look impressive on a college résumé. Traditionally, this has been the opinion of many an average student – that while the student body is supposedly at the heart of the SC, over the past few years our role has been relegated to that of an appendix. Of course, the potential candidates for the upper echelons of the SC realize this as well, which is why their main thrust seems to be getting us, the students of Xavier High School, involved and united.

This begs the question: Will this year’s SC be any different from past SCs? To answer that, let’s look at this year’s SCEB, as voted by everyone who gathered last Thursday recess and lunch and as verified by the previously mentioned exhilarating vote-counting session.

SC. Grab It. Own It. This is the ideology that Joseph Chan, the newly-elected president of the Student Council, has in mind for the next school year. While this obviously isn’t meant to be taken at face value (otherwise we wouldn’t have any need for a Student Council, let alone elections), Joseph emphasized that the SC is not just a council comprised of individuals who happen to be students; rather, the council belongs to the students. Through simple projects such as sign-up sheets and drop boxes to be placed in plain view in classrooms, regular meetings with club presidents and class officers, as well as improving and publicizing the SC Minute and SC Multiply, Joseph hopes to make the student body itself an integral part of the SC.

On the other hand, the job of the External Vice President is to administer service and outreach programs such as those handled by the Drives Committee. Newly-elected Jeremy Cua called for a combined batch effort in his campaign speech with the challenge, “What the SC does, the students should do as well.” Perhaps the student body adhered to that challenge, as Jeremy Cua was elected with a margin of about 100 votes. Congratulations. So what’s next? Jeremy then elaborated that he would maintain constant dialogue with the batch in order to undertake ambitious, wide-scale programs. However, the content and frequency of these dialogues are still ambiguous.

The job of the Internal Vice President, as incoming officer, Martin de Joya describes it, is to take care of those in the SC. Martin de Joya in his campaign speech berated the word “involvement” for having lost its meaning. Apparently, that speech worked to rouse the student body as his opponent, Abstain, was left speechless. Martin overcame his ‘opponent’ with a handsome margin of over 150 votes. Later on, he clarified that he didn’t just want us to get involved, he wanted us to get involved for others and for a cause. Exactly how we can get involved is part of our newly-elected Internal VP’s job.

Meanwhile, the position of Administrative Officer is left hanging; as people voted in favor of the third-party-SC-hopeful, Abstain. Special elections may be held later in the year, but the school’s Commission on Elections has yet to decide on a date.

Finally, representing each batch next year will be Frank Chua for the seniors, Wayne Coherco for the juniors, and lone candidate Winchell Wong for the sophomores.

Will this year’s SC (which isn’t even technically complete yet) be a successful one? Regardless of the answer, the student body has placed its trust in the newly-elected officers.

One of the most focused-on aspects of a democratic system is our ability to choose our leaders. We’ve already chosen; now they must lead.

 

 

 

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