By: Anastasia Dvoryanchikova

Running for a Student Government office can be a great learning experience.  Although politics, in today’s climate, has been taken to an extreme, a school election is far different. Many might consider running for office an undesirable experience, but they would be wrong.  Campaigning can be associated with stress from competition, doubts and an unbreakable desire to win no matter what. However, it does not have to be this way, the situation is complex and there is much to be learned by campaigning for a student office whether or not you win the election.

Competition is an inevitable part of running for any elected position, because at the end there can be only one winner. But between the day when candidates are announced until the day when people vote, there is campaigning to be done: making posters, slogans, and organizing different activities to draw voter’s attention. There is also a process of getting to know people who you haven’t known before. Since every candidate must expose his or herself to become known in order to be elected, they must  become more active in events around the school. In this way, it is easy to get acquainted with more people. Elections are also about thinking in creative ways because candidates want to stand out and be more recognizable. Candidates must use their skills to figure out how to target their audience. They must determine what can fit into their budget and still be efficient reaching potential voters for the campaign. You also need to learn to use your individuality to shape your campaign by figuring out what makes you who you are and incorporating that into your message.  

Finally, the campaign process is a test of you as a leader.  You need to show you care about the school, its students and making positive change.  Improvement will not happen on its own, being an officer is about representation of the student body and making improvement. So, running for  a student government office is not what people would normally think. Sure it is fun, creative and social but it is also an indescribable and unforgettable process of personal growth and social development.  At the end, what really matters is the process, not winning the election.

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