Elections Heat Up

Student government candidates find unique ways to guarantee their name is the one checked on the ballot come school election day

Joseph Bergren '17 uniquely used snapchat geofilters to campaign for class representative.
Joseph Bergren ’17 uniquely used snapchat geofilters to campaign for class representative.


It’s election season once again. No, not that one. As the school year comes to a close, it’s time for the student body government elections to take place. As more candidates for positions such as class president, class treasurer, and class representative are realizing that winning isn’t as easy as they once thought, strategical campaigning is becoming more and more visible in the school.
Howard Brookins ‘17 is running for class president. Chances are you’ve already seen his myriad of posters, flyers, face stickers, and Hotline Bling-inspired t-shirts around both buildings of Jones. Brookins has found great success in his public strategy.
“I’ve been putting my face on just about everything I have,” he said. “A lot of people, when they’re just walking around, say ‘I see your face everywhere.’ Then they’ll also say ‘oh you’re the guy on the poster.’ So basically that has been the most effective part. Something simple, not too gritty of a flyer or poster. Something that can catch people’s eye.”
Joseph Bergren ‘17, candidate for class representative, surprised everyone the day before Election Day with his unconventional campaigning techniques. He created a “vote 4 Joey” geofilter that features his face on Snapchat, available to anyone in the Jones area for the day.
“ I created a snapchat geofilter to reach out to those not following me on Instagram because anyone with a Snapchat can access my filter at Jones,” Bergren said, explaining his strategy. “It was like $10, so I was like why not?It has definitely been the most successful way of communicating my message to Jones.”
Inherently, the most well-recognized candidate is often the one who wins. In such a small environment as a high school, it is necessary for candidates to be a recognizable face to their constituents.
“You have to make sure people know who you are if you want to win,” said class secretary candidate Teresa Vergara Miranda ‘18. “I know the people who are gonna win are the most popular. That’s what happened last year.”
On this issue along with many others, several candidates have found out how much different a school election environment is from than that of a national election.
“National elections, you have to talk about the issues,” Miranda said. “Specific issues: you have to tell what you’re going to do with them, what you’re not going to do with them. Here, I haven’t heard a single campaign on what they’re going to do.”
Students who thrive in elections are usually those who have an outgoing persona, as communication is a key in campaigning.
“I found out through this process that I actually know a lot of people by name,” said Brookins. “I say hello to them in the hallways; saying things like good morning, not necessarily asking them to vote for you. Don’t be afraid to go to people and talk to them to start a conversation even though you may not know them.”
“The reason I haven’t done any campaigning is because the person I’m running against- I don’t know who she is,” said Miranda. “I don’t know her weaknesses or my advantages against her, which I why I haven’t really campaigned. Everyone I’ve asked so far have said they’ll vote for me, because they don’t know her. She’s just really quiet.”
The intense and lively environment both Brookins and Bergren have created with their unique campaigning methods has awakened the sleeping giant of what SGA elections could be.
“The shirts have been super popular- more popular than I expected them to be,” said Brookins. “I feel like the shirts have really caught on. People from different grades are talking, saying ‘hey can I get a shirt?’ ‘Can I have a sticker?’ ‘If I could vote for you I would.’ ‘You better win.’”
“A lot of people have come up to me in the hallways and said you’re the kid from Snapchat, ‘you got my vote’” said Bergren.
The student body election game has definitely been stepped up this year, and has no doubt put pressure on the other candidates, especially those who didn’t plan to run such a publicized campaign.
“I haven’t really campaigned yet,” said Helen Laboe ‘18, class representative candidate. “I am worried now. I am putting up posters on the last day.”

The effectiveness of certain campaigns and the failures of others will be realized when elections take place on Monday, June 6.