Inside the Mind of a Student: The True Representation Petition

Jayden Longhurst , Guest Writer

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.