On Monday, Lawrentians will decide the Vice Presidents for next year’s student council. Per tradition, the whole school will vote on these important positions. But is this really optimal? The antiquated “one student, one vote” method deserves to be reevaluated to ensure that the best candidate wins each race.
Ironically, due to sheer weight of numbers, the most influential form in the voting process is the seniors, who won’t be around when the candidates actually assume their positions. The election results actively affect the Freshmen class infinitely more than they affect the Senior class, and yet by sheer weight of numbers, the vote of the Senior class as a whole is almost twice as valuable as the vote of the freshmen.Freshmen and sophomores may be inexperienced, but they still know what they want, and don’t need seniors to make their choice for them. At the very least they have the right to play a greater role in the process than the seniors who won’t be affected by the decisions.
The Junior class, by contrast, is more intimately connected to the Vice Presidents than any other form, given that they will be representing their Senior class. They also know the candidates much better than any other students do. So then, why exactly does a freshman, basing his or her vote off nine minutes on the KAC stage, have as big a role in determining the Vice Presidents as a junior, basing his or her opinion off of two or three years of contact with the candidates? Considering these factors, it seems logical that votes of juniors should count more than other students’ votes.
But of course, the juniors play a major role in the process already, narrowing down a large list into two candidates for each position for the school to decide. And it is in the interest of seniors to leave a good legacy. However, the proposed changes already exist at Lawrenceville. Some houses count sophomore votes count twice as much as junior votes for their House Council. Perhaps the Student Council should follow suit.
The Vice Presidents of social life, academics, and honor are very important people on the Lawrenceville campus.They are both the inward and outward manifestations of our community, working behind the scenes to accomplish tasks, and appearing as the face of the school (along with the President) to all those who care to look. Their importance is precisely why we should change how the students decide who fills them.
Vice Presidents should be elected in a different way. The seniors, those with the least at stake, should not play the largest role in determining the next Student Council. And juniors, the students most intimately connected with the Student Council, should have a larger role in determining the final choices. We should weigh the votes in the order of who has the most at stake, and who will make the most informed decision. That way we can maximize the amount of Lawrentians happy with their Student Council.