The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

More students want to take the lead this year

Junior Grace Hazlett, a senior class presidential candidate, shared this campaign poster via Twitter.
Junior Grace Hazlett, a senior class presidential candidate, shared this campaign poster via Twitter.

The end of the school year (or, in freshmen’s case, the beginning of the year) is always a stressful time for some students. They are the ones running for student government. 

This year, an unusually large number of people are running for senior class office, namely in the presidential category.

This may be related to the fact that over 100 students applied to be a part of the Leadership class, and only about 20-30 got accepted. Becoming an SGA or senior class officer ensures a spot in the class, making it a big motivator for running.

This ultimately begs the question, do all of the candidates running for SGA or senior class office this year truly care about helping the school? Or do some just want to improve their transcripts?

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Junior Arsen Kliouev, who is running for senior class president, said he wants to participate more in school activities.  He has not run for a position before, due to his heavy workload.

“I felt that senior class office would be a good way to get more involved in the school and bring change to WJ,” said Kliouev.

He believes that some students might be more interested in the prestige of being an officer, rather than the responsibilities.

“I’m sure that some people are simply running to beef up their transcripts,” said Kliouev.

Fellow junior Dillon Jobes, who is also running for senior class president, agrees.

“There’s going to be people who are doing just to look better for colleges, or just [for] the title,” said Jobes. “But I think the majority of the people running and the people who get elected are usually in it to help their grade.”

Jobes, who ran for sophomore class treasurer and lost, wants to expand more on school events.

“I … thought I’d be able to advance the events I’ve been a part of throughout [my] four years,” said Jobes. “[The] president has more control…. I’ve heard it’s really frustrating to be a lower level officer and have less control in the decision making.”

Leadership teacher Rainer Kulenkampff said that the most important part of being an officer is that you complete duties.

“I guess people’s motivations [for running] are different. I can’t really speak to that as long as they end up doing work and doing something that’s helpful,” said Kulenkampff. He said that choosing people to be in next year’s Leadership class was random, but fair.

“We had a lot of qualified candidates… We [chose randomly] in order to get people into class in a fair and equitable way,” said Kulenkampff.

Junior Nico Ballon, another senior class presidential candidate, believes that some of the people running for SGA or senior class positions may care more about securing a spot in Leadership.

“I think there’s a lot of people that, if they made [it into] Leadership, they wouldn’t be running, but I still think there’s a lot of people who care about their grade,” said Ballon. He looks forward to the presidential duties he could be taking on, namely giving a speech at graduation next year.

“The personal gain I wanted most was the senior speech at graduation… that’s probably my biggest incentive,” said Ballon.

Fellow senior class presidential candidate Grace Hazlett, who has already been sophomore and junior class secretary, also looks forward to serving as an officer next year.

“Being involved in student government these past two years has definitely been the highlight of high school for me,” said Hazlett. “Senior year [positions] take on a lot more responsibility but also offer more opportunities for creativity and leadership.”

She said she is excited to run, as is Kliouev, who is not intimidated by the amount of competition.

“I’m happy, in a way, that so many people are competing for senior class president- it makes it more likely that whoever wins actually cares about the position,” said Kliouev.

 

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Leila Siegel, Online Feature Editor
This is senior Leila Siegel’s second year on The Pitch Online as the Online Feature Editor. Besides writing articles, Leila participates in the school’s symphonic orchestra and WJ S*T*A*G*E’s pit orchestra. She is also involved in the Black Student Union, Amnesty International club and the Read, Grow, Live Club. In her spare time, Leila enjoys sleeping and watching Netflix. She is excited to see what this year will bring to The Pitch Online. [email protected]
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