Opinion Piece: Grade 11 Senate Elections

Senate Elections

The Senate for most of my MSHS years had been very much ceremonial. The elections were boring, the speeches are persuasive but there are really no reasons to vote for someone or not to vote for someone. You’re either in or out, and there are really no differences about it. Senators spent their time debating whether they should have T-shirt, hoodies or caps to signify their Senator positions, and maybe host two dances and arrange for an End of Year Prom. This is part of the reason why the Senate last year had so much success, they have kick started the obsolete institution into a new phase of change, raising the Senate’s prestige and have spurred something inside the minds of this year 11th grade Senate Elections

To say this year’s Grade 11 Senate applicants to be different is a huge understatement. Every centimeter of ground that could be covered has been fought, gunned, bombarded, razed, scorched, and then stomped over by the 12 applicants, vying for a spot as an 11th grade representative for the Senate.

It was mesmerizing to see these teenagers each tries to one-up each other in a display of words and skills. One applicant, whom Nick Whatley perfectly describes, “was a revelation”. He was not only persuasive but his speech somehow sounded like rap! Another applicant brought a Rubik’s cube to the stage, ask a member of the crowd to scramble it, then attempt to solve it while doing her speech. She didn’t finish it within her speech, but that’s okay because the roaring crowd of 11th graders wouldn’t let the officers cut her down until she did. Another was a new student, yet she made a brilliant analogy of herself to a brand new IPhone 5 with all the newest apps, instead of the ‘’old models of IPhone” who only has the basics.

The Flame has published a story last week about how summer has changed because it was reflecting the students of grade 11. They have definitely changed. After that summer, all the 11th grade students came back to school determined to prove themselves. This is of course a good thing for our student community, as determined senators are definitely better than undetermined ones. Yet I can’t shake the feeling that: the reasons why they are determined senators are not because they want to help.

As an 11th grader, pressure about the future has been growing exponentially for me, and this is probably mutual among us all. You can’t help but wonder that the competitiveness this year is a result of the pressure to create a good transcript for university. Since a spot in the Senate is usually a long term thing (it is rational to revote capable students back into their previous positions), joining the Senate from grade 11 means “two years in a student leadership position”, showing dedication and reliability. If you look at the number of applicants in 12th grade, it’s half of the 11th’s number or a little bit above than half than the numbers of 9th and 10th, 12th graders know that they have too much work and that one year as a Senate Representative looks a bit petty on the transcript anyway.

It may sound selfish, it may be hard to digest, but this could totally be the reason. Yet, is this a bad thing? No. Ambition is a great thing in leaders, no leaders are without ambition and there will never be one good one if they don’t have it. By showing their resolve to get a position, these students are also showing their foresightedness. They can see the future; they can see what they should do about it right now; but most important of all, they swiftly decide and act upon those decisions. Persuasion is always based on either knowledge or passion, and being successfully elected proves that capability. And as a senator, all of those great qualities will be pooled into helping the community.

That’s why democracy is such a great form of government. Democracy ensures the largest amount of competent people being able to do their job, but its openness also ensures that everyone can only channel their will into benefitting others or otherwise being kicked out of office. Although no senator has ever been kicked out of office in recent memory, some senators however also didn’t keep their job over summer.

The results are out, and if you missed it, it is here. The results for grade 11 did surprise me a little bit, with some people I expected to be elected didn’t get it and others, did. Their complacency can only be verified by what the Senate will do in the coming years and I wish them the best of luck.

…If they don’t, however, maybe we should introduce a mid-year vote….

Please keep in mind this is merely an opinion piece. There is a comment section below if you want to enlighten this writer in a different way of thinking (also, he admits all the vices that he portrayed in this piece as he recognizes it in himself).

And thank you for reading (if you got this far).