Campaign posters plastered with a variety of pun-filled slogans scatter the halls of Portage Northern, announcing the upcoming 2018 election season for Student Senate officer positions.
While student voting ballots are not emailed to students for another two weeks, senators vying for the top positions are in full campaign mode, attempting to win the votes of not only their peers, but their fellow senators as well.
This is due to the fact that senate elections are not decided on a simple majority of student votes. According to Kellie Pittman, student senator advisor, Due to the nature and brevity of the elections, competition can often become heated. While attack posters and campaigning is “not allowed under any circumstances,” as Pittman said, tensions can run high.
While The Northern Light reached out to all of this year’s candidates, at of the time of publication only the following have responded for the story. One of these contenders to answer our questions was sophomore Scotty Fargo, who is running for Student Senate President.
Fargo has many ideas for next year if he is elected to be President as a junior. “My goal as president next year is to make every student at Portage Northern feel as if they have a voice in senate, not just the students in senate currently,” said Fagro. In order to campaign, Fargo has made benevolent posters with the slogan “Go Far With Fargo.” He hopes this will attract voters to his platform. “I want to create a closer community within senate and this school, where we promote each other’s success, and build each other up, not tear each other down,” said Fargo. “I am ready to make Portage Northern a better, more friendly place.”
Current senators Hayden Vanderweele and Gracie McGrath, the two contenders for Vice President, are both hopeful to win and help improve PN’s Senate next year.
While junior Hayden Vanderweele has not put up his signs yet, he is still been working hard on his campaign. He believes his strongest attribute is his experience on student senate. “I have experience in many different types of committees,” said Vanderweele. “Also, I am willing to do many of the jobs the rest of senate is not willing to do, such as [changing] the front sign and [doing] much of the heavy lifting, quite literally.”
Sophomore Gracie McGrath has posters hanging all around the school to support her campaign. She is hoping that students recognize from her campaigning that she will be a great fit for Vice President next year. “I believe that our Student Senate needs a leader who will go to great lengths for everyone’s voice to be heard,” said McGrath. “If elected, I will ensure that all students feel as though their ideas are welcome. McGrath is ambitious, and has lots of ideas for the future if elected. “I will put in place the changes that we’ve been waiting for,” she said. “I will lead our school with the other officers confidently, but also ready to listen.”
Junior Sara Gleason was the last candidate to reach out to The Light before time of publication. She thinks that her work in other extracurriculars, like Interact Club, have prepared her well for the position of Treasurer. “Student Senate does so much for Portage Northern High School like putting on dances, Breadlift, Red Cross Blood Drives, and many other events that go on during the school year,” said Gleason. “By being previously involved ilI have experience with organizing many fundraisers and events for our school.” One of Gleason’s prominent campaign arguments is that she has extensive experience. “I [would] bring valuable experience and a unique perspective to the group,” added Gleason. “I am a very hardworking, dedicated, and a compassionate person that will be a great voice for all students.”
Looking at any poster-ridden spot in the commons should give students an accurate idea of who is running for a given position. However, for those who are not sure, here is a complete list of every student seeking to earn your vote:
Presidential candidates: junior Sarah Headapohl and sophomore Scotty Fargo
VP candidates: junior Hayden Vanderweele and sophomore Gracie McGrath
Treasurer candidates: junior Megan Chow and junior Sara Gleason
The Northern Light would like to stress that it does not endorse any particular candidates, and only included candidates thoughts in this article because they responded in a timely fashion to inquiry.