Book Thief

Everyone has seen the hapless ASB candidate who timidly approaches their lunch table with nothing to offer. They usually have a few seconds before the table realizes that no candy will be thrown at them, and then their time is up.

Many OHS students have questioned the integrity of ASB elections, and whether or not incentives for voting should be allowed. Sophomore Trevor Shaw says, “I’d like to see just one candidate come up to me and tell me what he was going to do for the school, not what kind of Twix his mom bought.” Similar complaints were heard, but when these were brought to ASB Supervisor Mrs. Costello, she replied, “It’s incredibly difficult to approach a group of friends where you know nobody, and then ask for their time to share your platform. Candy serves as a medium for candidates.” In this light, the gift aspect of ASB elections seems to lie more on the students than the candidates. Mrs. Costello continued, “Each student has a limit of $100 to spend on campaigning in order to insure fairness, and we have seen a decrease in T-Shirts and other expensive gifts over the years.”

Students still wanted to see money removed from campaigning, to place the focus back on candidates’ goals for the school. “A school-wide assembly could work,” says Senior Nolan Black, “Where each candidate gives a speech about their goals and plans for next year.” However, as Mrs. Costello explains, “A school-wide assembly takes too much class time, especially when you consider that only one third of students are voting in the election.”

While little could be done, and perhaps should be done, about the necessary cost of an ASB election, students charged that elections were often

a popularity contest. Junior Laura Snodgrass said, “In the three years I’ve been here, it has always been the most popular candidate who wins the election.” Yet while many saw this as a problem, none had any solutions for it. “Obviously having a good friend-group backing you is important for an election,” says Mrs. Costello, “However I don’t think any candidate has enough friends to win the election alone, so every candidate still has to reach out to the students.” She continued, saying, “Some of the ASB leaders just elected aren’t intuitively ‘popular’ kids, they came from smaller feeding schools and therefore knew less people coming into OHS.”

Neither popularity, nor buying votes were a concern to the administration, and perhaps they shouldn’t be. While many students complain about some perceived unfair nature of ASB elections, it is actually the student body that decides how fair the elections end up being. So next time that terrified candidate approaches your table, consider hearing them out without demanding a tribute.