At FLHS, Student Government is a group of four elected student officers who represent their grade level when planning social activities (including dances and other events) to boost school spirit. Freshman Student Government elections happen every fall, and it is important that students make informed decisions when voting. As the current Secretary of the Class of 2023, I believe that student government is an awesome opportunity for students to develop themselves as leaders and make a lasting impact at FLHS.
Student Government is predominantly associated with dance planning and school spirit. However, Student Government also serves as a way for each grade to make change and make student voices heard. As a member of the Class of 2023 Student Government last year, I worked with the rest of the officers to design and send out a survey about Distance Learning in late March. The feedback we received was sent to Mr. Hatzis and other members of the administration, and as a result they changed up the schedule to include a dedicated lunch wave and breaks between classes! Particularly in these bizarre times when interactions between students and teachers have changed drastically compared to a normal year, Student Government can provide students with an outlet to communicate with the administrators.
Student Government consists of a President (who leads the team and contributes to overarching plans and ideas), a Vice-President (who assists the President and works on planning), a Secretary (who generally manages paperwork and communication), and a Treasurer (who manages the Student Government’s money). Each position is unique and has differing responsibilities, but as a team the Student Government works primarily to plan activities and events. Freshman candidates for President include Malik Bel-Jean, Olivia Filloramo, Arushi Mallarapu, and Cassidy Meehan. The candidates for Vice-President are Connor Cowan and Hana Arslanagic, and the Treasurer candidates are Aidan Geurnsey and James Zandri. Running unopposed for Secretary is Taylor Mehta.
Prospect reached out to all the candidates for various positions in freshman Student Government, and heard back from Arushi, Connor and Olivia. Arushi and Connor have decided to campaign as running mates. Upon questioning, Connor stated: “Arushi and I decided to run together because we wanted every FLHS freshman to be included and represented. Arushi is a fully-remote student while I have adopted the hybrid model. By working together, we aim to make sure that every action taken by the student officers is inclusive to both learning plans.”
Olivia is running independently (the more conventional approach) and promises “I will make our Freshman year fun-filled even under the circumstances we are in.” She shares, “I will include everyone who is online and hybrid learning.” Each candidate also discussed why they believe they are the right choice for Student Government, and Olivia expressed her desire to “make the school environment more positive.” She adds, “By doing that, I hope that people will help those who need the help even if they may not know who that person is. I also hope to make this year as fun as it could be under the circumstances we are in.”
Arushi mentioned, “In our ever-uncertain school situation, I can lead our school. I’ve organized multiple fundraisers, I have a strong background in psychology and I understand the ins-and-outs of teamwork. I want to ensure an equal voice for everyone and let all freshmen know of and take part in the decisions made regarding them.” Connor suggested that he is ready to take on the fundraising and communicating responsibilities of the Vice-President if elected: “I am the right choice for Freshman Vice-President due to my diverse perspectives…The largest responsibility of the student officers is to fundraise. As the only freshman in AP Microeconomics, my fundraising plans would not only be fun and engage the freshman class, but they would also make sense from a budgeting perspective… If elected, I have a plan to make sure every student’s voice is heard. Last spring, I completed a 75 hr.+ course on Digital Marketing through Google. This has equipped me like no other candidate to set up an effective Instagram page and Linktree which would house polls and surveys. Responses would be a large driver in decision making if I was elected.”
The candidates for Freshman Student Government this year share impressive ideas and leadership potential. Freshmen are therefore tasked with voting for whomever they believe to be better leaders. While social dynamics are an inevitable part of high school, students are generally encouraged to vote based on the merit of the candidates rather than likeability.
Note: Prospect reached out to all candidates but only only received responses from the three candidates mentioned in the article.