Student Office Candidates Prepare for Upcoming Elections

Student Office (SO) elections have been scheduled for June 8-10 as Francis Lewis enters into its final month of the academic school year. Although students would traditionally cast their ballots in their social studies class, this years’ SO elections have been moved online as a result of school buildings being closed due to COVID-19.

Francis Lewis News interviewed some of these candidates to learn about the process of campaign during this unique and difficult school year.

“I feel that there are difficulties with this current election as a result of COVID-19 because the students can’t get to see you in person and have a conversation with you, and the candidates can’t post their campaign in school where various students can see,” said sophomore Katia Viola, who is running for the SO treasurer position.

Other candidates share Viola’s sentiments.

“I feel as if this would be easier to campaign if we were in the school building voting, because in school we are able to hear from each student running,” said freshman Gianna Pasqualicchio, who is running for the sophomore representative position. “This will also be easy for students if they did not have access to hearing about the candidates from outside of school.”

In order to bridge the gap of communication between students this school year, candidates have been utilizing social media platforms such as Instagram to create promotional videos and posters.  

“I had my friends share my poster on their social media to spread word of my campaign to others,” said sophomore Caitlin Kuang, who is running for junior vice president. “I feel as if there were difficulties in the current election as I can’t outreach to many people outside of the social media bubble.”

Other candidates also shared their experience using social media to promote their campaign.  

“It’s definitely harder to get your campaign out there since we are limited to social media,” said junior Dani Luk, who is running for senior vice president. “I also feel that less people will be inclined to vote from home.”

In addition to the election process, candidates that were interviewed described their individual agendas and views.

“Some key issues I will address include the cleanliness of the bathrooms and overall student being,” said sophomore Helena Douveas, who is running for junior class president. 

Other candidates such as Christina Dakis, who is running for the sophomore representative position, shared their agendas and beliefs.

“As the sophomore representative, I want to give the sophomores something,” Dakis said. “Seniors have graduation and prom, juniors get to drown in AP tests, and freshmen get to be freshmen. What do sophomores have? After asking my fellow classmates what changes they want in school, a majority said they wanted sophomore events. I want to give the sophomore class a fun year and I will express this with any chance if I get elected.”

Dakis’s opponent, Erin Jeon, also expressed her agenda and views.

“Some key issues I’ll address are community and sanitary concerns,” Jeon said. “I know how easy it is to feel lost in a school with [approximately] 5,000 kids. I want to make sure that every student feels accepted here at FLHS. I’ll also be addressing sanitary concerns because it is vital to have a safe environment where you feel comfortable washing your hands, going to a clean bathroom, etc.”

Some candidates further explained why they believe it’s necessary for students to get involved in the school and why it’s important for students to learn about the upcoming elections. 

“Students should learn about the upcoming elections as the SO represents the student body,” said junior John Douveas, who is running for the SO president position. “Students should vote for a candidate that they want to represent them.”

Other candidates share Douveas’ sentiments. 

“I think it’s important for students to get involved in the day to day functioning of our school because it makes the school more lively,” sophomore Melanie Hernandez said.  “It’s important for students to learn about upcoming elections because it brings awareness to them.”

Due to time constraints, Francis Lewis News was unable to interview all of the candidates running for SO. However, students can find many of the candidates’ agendas in their social studies and English Google Classrooms or social media, where many candidates have posted their individual agendas. Similarly, students will also be able to vote for candidates through an online form in their social studies Google Classroom. 

“It’s important for all students to be involved in the functioning of the school because we spend so much time there,” Luk said. “Regardless of anyone’s plans after high school, it prepares us for our life later on.”