This post has been updated with input from readers.
The Student Council has an integral role in shaping the KIS student body, and it is with this recognition of the good student government can do that the deep concern on the Student Council election, results of which will shape KIS for years to come, arises. With catchy, often rhyming slogans, the candidates this year all promise they are the leaders in whom we can confide to lead the student body next year. That’s all good, but how? These witty mantras all run tawdry in face of the void of proposition of ideas and concrete steps for action to achieve these big goals.
This culture of our election that prioritizes campaigning over serious vision is flawed. To be clear, active participation and interest in the election is something we should celebrate and everyone who changed their profile pictures to a candidate’s poster did so because they sincerely believed in that particular candidate (I did too). But doing so is overwhelmingly clouding what actually matters in an election: the issues and promises. In the end, we—the electorate—know nothing about the candidates prior to the assembly, by which time our decisions are already set, overwhelmed by the deluge of campaign posters plastering one’s Facebook wall. And sure, there is the campaign forum, but is 30 minutes during lunchtime really enough to hear the platform, ideas, and vision of the seven or so candidates? Candidates know well that the forum and the assembly are limited platforms for campaigning—why is it that their ideas are taking a backseat in this election?
While the question, who am I voting for?, is important, what am I voting for?, must have an equal place in our conscience. We all are cognizant of the importance of student government and the heavy responsibilities that come with it to ensure that KIS student body thrives—we should know what the candidates stand for so that we can elect the best-qualified candidate for each office.
Because of the fact that the members of the Student Council is determined by a vote, it seems that campaigning and winning the election is preceding the qualities and promises of a candidate that makes him or her qualified to lead this school in the 2018-19 school year, at least for the candidates themselves. Campaign now, talk issues later? Why not now? It is only with individual candidate’s decision to commit to restore the sidelined cruces of this election—serious vision and plan for this great school—to its rightful place that the change we so desperately need can be attained.
– Blueprint Editorial Board, penned by Chris H. Park (’19)