“This year’s election was completely different from last year’s,” stated the Class of 2023 President, Adin Monroe.
No, not the U.S. election, but the Fairhaven High School Class Officer Election.
Campaigning and voting clearly had to be modified this year because of the pandemic, so I have asked class officers, including myself (I got elected class president) speak on the challenges that went along with running for a class officer position.
One obstacle that we freshmen faced was trying to get students that we didn’t know to vote for us.
Ireland Nordstrom, the newly elected Class of 2024 Vice President who was completely new to the district explained, “I had not yet had the chance to meet and connect with my fellow classmates. Especially with the different cohorts, communicating with our class was very difficult, and I had to come up with new ways to reach them.”
Many of the Acushnet students did not know Fairhaven students, and vice versa, making it harder for candidates to communicate their ideas because they didn’t even know half of the kids in their grade.
Freshman Public Relations Officer Grace Dupre described how she found a way to reach students outside of her small class of six.
“I was able to connect with students during this pandemic by using social media,” she said, and this was the case for most, if not all of the candidates.
If this pandemic has proven anything, it’s the power and influence social media holds, especially among new, up and coming generations.
Senior President Nina Medeiros said, “During my previous 3 years in office as president and hugely this year, my fellow class officers and I have used and continue to use social media as the main source of connecting with not only our fellow classmates but their guardians as well.”
As the elected freshman Class President, I can agree that social media played an important role in my campaign too. I and other students posted election date reminders, videos and digital posters that shared a little bit about ourselves, as well as our thoughts and ideas to benefit not only our individual class, but the school as a whole.
Although there are most definitely many advantages to using social media for a campaign, there are also several challenges.
It was tough to tell how much support you had, especially against an opponent; and because of how small the classes are, it was difficult to communicate in person with students that you don’t spend the whole day in the same classroom with.
Students were trying their best to adapt to the new situation before them, and attempted to communicate with classmates face to face (socially distant of course)!
Ireland Nordstrom explained her efforts to try and introduce herself to others, despite limitations:.
“I would say ‘hello’ to other students when walking by them in the halls or saying ‘goodbye’ to them at dismissal,” she said.
Election voting took place digitally this year as well.
Senior Nina Medeiros said, “[The administration] felt it was best to allow those who were in our class office when we left for quarantine to continue their roles in our class office for our senior year.”
So she did not end up having to run again, but mentioned that she plans on having “a fun, safe, and great senior year,” and wants to give students a sense of normalcy that has been missing.
For the rest of the grades, the election was on, but it did not have that sense of competition and excitement that it usually has. Students were simply sent a Google form through their email where they’d choose their candidate of choice. Instead of looking forward to an election day, voting became a responsibility, and this affected the voter turnout.
Adin Monroe shared his disappointment that only 40% of students sent in a vote, but at least it was safe and efficient given the circumstances.
Even with the pandemic, the selected Class Officers are fully committed and looking forward to fulfilling their responsibilities at FHS with innovation, dedication, and hard work!
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