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Student Council elections embrace modern campaigning

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Lily Chetosky (President), Paxton Gammie (Vice President) Maddie Rolich (Secretary), Allison Gelman (Public Relations), Blake Stephens (Social Chair), and Devon Chenelle (Social Chair), all juniors, won the student council executive board elections today.

Usually these elections pass by virtually unnoticed by students, as many have become immune to the ever-increasing amount of posters that litter the hallways.

“I’ve stopped paying attention to most of them because there are so many, and there are a lot of repeats,” said Karly Khoury, junior.

This year, however, candidates turned to more creative measures. Stephens and Chenelle, for example, ran their social chair campaign completely through Facebook. Using a series of promotional videos, Stephens and Chenelle gained over 500 likes on their Facebook page, and even used their popularity to dedicate a video (“The Hunt”) supporting junior Ben Norton for executive board president.

“As the modern teen is attached to the Internet more than their physical surroundings most of the day, media has been a vital aspect of our efforts to reach all students,” Chenelle said.

Candidates such as Norton believe that these changes demonstrate the shifting dynamics of high school elections.

“People are shifting away from posters. Videos are funnier than posters, and there is no limit to the amount of videos you can make. One can also really connect with the voters through video,” Norton said.

Students such as Khoury have also noticed these shifts.

“This new route of campaigning shows how technology is becoming so useful in almost every aspect of life,” Khoury said.

When not using media, candidates tried to set themselves apart. Chetosky did this by placing decorated lotions in the girls’ bathrooms to promote her presidential campaign.

“I’ve seen the lotions, and I got to give those people an A for effort. Lotion is always useful, and that makes it stand out,” Khoury said.

As for the posters, they remained, but in a bigger, funnier, and more unique form.

“I think with so many posters, people are bound to vote for what’s different. That is why I like to use play on words and funny pictures instead of general ‘Gelman for Public Relations,’” Gelman said.

In the end the uniting thread in all campaign methods was comedy.

“I feel humor is by far most effective for campaigning,” Gelman said.

“The campaigns that use comedy stand out, and the rest kind of blend together,” Khoury said.

Despite these shifts, students still see student council elections as the stereotypical popularity contest.

“The people who get elected are ultimately the ones who know a majority of the class or are friends with all different groups of people,” Gelman said.

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Student Council elections embrace modern campaigning