Class Elections should be Open to Students Outside of SGA


Kristen Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, Online

Kristen Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, Online

“it is important that everyone’s voice is heard and their vote counts in decisions that will impact students.”

   In April 2022, Gulf Breeze High School hosted their annual student body and class representative election. One of the interesting factors, however, is that only students who are enrolled in Student Government Association are allowed to run.

   “We require a year of Student Government Association to develop student leadership skills before running for class office to ensure students are familiar with school policies and processes, particularly in leading peers and working as a liaison between students, faculty, administrators and the community,” said SGA adviser, Mrs. Turnipseed. “Every student at GBHS has the opportunity to apply for SGA.”

   While GBHS’s reason is justifiable, it can still be improved. At most public high schools, SGA is set up as a club, while it is a fourth period class at GBHS.

   The major flaw in this set up is that not everyone has space in their schedule to take this class. Some classes, such as History of Cinema, are only offered during fourth period. Students should be able to take classes they’re interested in while still being able to make change within our school. A group of 20 students cannot speak for almost 2,000 students.

   There are many students at GBHS who have great – maybe even better – ideas to benefit our school and students; maybe some better than those who are part of SGA.

   Another issue that comes with only letting SGA students run for representatives is sometimes, only one person is seeking the position. On multiple occasions, a candidate was given the win because they didn’t have an opponent. If these elections are open to all students at GBHS, then the students who are voting would have more options to choose from for what they want to see in a leader.

   Making elections open to all GBHS students would allow for more diversity. While students may be familiar with who they are casting their vote for, they might not always know what they’re voting for.

   Every student has different perspectives and goals that they’re running on to win office. For example, one candidate’s campaign may be based on adding more clubs or pep rallies, while another candidate may be running on inclusivity among different groups of students.