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Inside the Mind of a Student: The True Representation Petition

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Inside the Mind of a Student: The True Representation Petition

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Jayden Longhurst, Guest Writer

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I had a few alleys of thought to explore on the True Representation petition. I agree that even though it might be revolutionary and not necessarily essential, it would be a good idea to allow eighth graders to vote. It does affect them and they are (hopefully) mature enough to vote. Seniors not being able to vote, however, does not sit quite right with me.

I agree that in one sense it shouldn’t matter to the seniors who is voting for the new president, as it will not affect them. But is that sufficient reason to prohibit them from voting? I am not sure that it is. In every other committee I can think of, you still get to vote while you are part of it—even if the consequence of your action does not affect you. I know that if I was a senior (which I am not yet), I would want to have that last experience of voting. I, personally, think it would help me feel like I was part of the Williamsburg community, though in some ways I realize that defies logic. I would be part of the community even if I didn’t vote.

I also don’t think we should be pushing the staff to quickly adopt a new policy and to consume more of their time. Yes, the eighth-grade part of it sounds great, though I am not sure about the senior part. But it really has not been a big issue in the past, and I think it can wait one more year. It will help students and teachers (alike) adjust and brace themselves, both to the idea and to the logistics of implementing the new way of voting.

There is another point I have not seen mentioned, but that occurred to me after thinking about this. There are several effects that will come about if we prohibit seniors from voting. But one that people don’t seem to have noticed is that seniors may get experience that can be vital in the world. They would get experience helping steer an election in other ways than voting. Yes, they can do this already, but not allowing them to vote would give them an incentive to participate and get practice in other ways of influencing the election before they graduate. It would also help them put more energy and time into this separate part of the process. Examples of what seniors could do instead of voting are helping get the word out about a candidate they think would be particularly good for the school, endorsing candidates, and bringing to the minds of voters the values to be considered. This is something they will need in the real world to help make a difference and to be a leader. Seniors may feel better about this if they realize that this is something they could benefit from and that this prepares seniors for the national voting chaos.

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9 Comments

9 Responses to “Inside the Mind of a Student: The True Representation Petition”

  1. Joshua Christensen on March 29th, 2018 10:18 am

    I really liked how you pointed out that seniors can still participate– just in other ways. I believe that not only is that true, but that participating in those ways probably teaches leadership to those students better than a vote. Isn’t that what Williamsburg is all about? Your article is awesome Jayden! Nicely done.

  2. Melissa W on April 3rd, 2018 10:36 pm

    I would like all of you to tell me just how I can “get involved in other ways” as a senior when I A. don’t live any where near where the majority of Williamsburgers do B. don’t personally know any of the students running, and C. don’t have time to go around sending emails and private chats in class endorsing my preferred candidate when I am currently taking 8 classes and working two part time jobs.

    Taking away the Senior’s vote is taking away their chance to make a lasting impression on the school and more importantly damaging the culture of belonging we try to foster at Williamsburg.

  3. Abby Hatch on April 4th, 2018 11:29 am

    This wasn’t a petition against seniors, it’s for the student body to be accurately represented. It seems as if you appreciate the right to vote more than the accurate representation of the student body in the SBP.

  4. Camden Hatch on March 29th, 2018 10:40 am

    I want to encourage the idea of improvement of the school. Improving it for the better, specifically. Singing to change the voting policies of Williamsburg to allow eighth graders to vote and disclude those seniors who will not be students when the SBP takes its leadership role.

  5. Korbin Peterson on March 30th, 2018 9:24 am

    Improving for the better? I thought you meant the other type of improving :p LOL

  6. Susannah Rowles on April 4th, 2018 8:14 am

    Perhaps I don’t understand the issue completely, but it seems to me that it’s a little bit strange to let seniors run for SBP, but not to let them vote for it. I don’t know. Another major issue I see is with maturity. There’s a reason the voting age in the US is 18. At the age of 18, you can probably make decisions fairly well based on concrete facts. Obviously voting for a school presidency is different in more ways than one, but still, our choice for SBP should be based on the right things. I remember when I was an 8th grader, we had an election for the Humanities class presidency. People got to run their own campaign and everything. There were two people who tied in votes. The first had a presentation about America and how important it was to him. The second had a video talking about how he wanted to make sure every child in the US had bacon. Everyday, possibly. So here’s the question: If half of the 8th graders are going to vote for bacon, is bacon really what we want for SBP?

  7. Keslee Peterson on April 4th, 2018 9:07 am

    I think there’s a lot of “bacon lovers” over 18 in the US too. Should we make a policy saying 8th graders can’t move up to high school until they’re mature enough? Voting and being responsible is part of growing up. If you watched Cook and Millsap’s campaign from last year what was their video about? Food. They had about every food pun in the book. And they won. I guess Bacon – and all foods – is the way to many student’s hearts of all grades and maturity levels.

  8. Keslee Peterson on April 5th, 2018 12:24 pm

    My sophomore year in US History I was in the class presidency the first semester. I didn’t want to hog the leadership positions, so as a joke I ran the second semester under the color activist platform of “Head Crayon Collecter”. The people still elected me even though I was running on an absurd platform as a joke. I don’t think the problem is the maturity of the voters. (Although us 15 and 16 year old sophomores were a little silly sometimes.;-) ) Just the same as the US isn’t allowed to apply tests to keep black people from voting, we as students shouldn’t judge the 8th graders – or any grade’s – right to vote by the maturity, or lack thereof. If they’re going to be in High School then they should cast their vote and elect their representatives.

  9. Abby Hatch on April 4th, 2018 11:30 am

    Let me quote what I commented on two other articles:

    1) the right to vote is not determined by the wisdom, etc. of a given student, but whether they ARE a student for the year they are voting for*. 8th graders are students for the year they are voting for, while seniors are not. The student body presidency would represent the student body accurately if only students voted.

    2) It is not just to vote for something in which you can vote without the risk or consequence of voting. It will not affect the seniors – it’s for “fun”. Whether the vote would be for the better or worse, it would affect others without affecting them.

    *if this was the case – if it was based on wisdom – then dumb, inexperienced people wouldn’t have the right to vote.

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