• Cypress Bay High School - Weston, FL
  • January 26, 2021
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BY JULIA WINTON

Print A&E Editor

The Bay held the annual Student Government Association (SGA) and class elections during which the student body voted virtually on Canvas to elect nominees to represent the SGA board and their graduating classes from Sept. 17-18. SGA adviser and Interior Design teacher Danielle Nascimento said the elections are significant because they allow students to have a
voice in important decisions.

“[For] any student who wants to give back to their school or class, the best way to do it is to run for office,” Nascimento said. “Overall, the election went pretty smooth with a great voter turnout.”

Those running for office campaigned to fellow students for a week before the election took place to secure votes, after which students cast their ballots before results were posted on Sept. 19. Nascimento said a successful campaign is one that illustrates the candidate’s strongest qualities and abilities.

“The best way to campaign [involves] developing a personal brand that people will remember and personal contact,” Nascimento said. “[Also, by] making sure to reach out to as many voters as possible to let them know who you are and why they should vote for you.”

The SGA Treasurer is required to manage and budget the vast amount of money that goes into and is received from SGA school events, such as homecoming, Dance Marathon, MSD Day of Service and Love and Harvest Drive. Although candidate and junior Rachel Supnick did not receive this position, she said she knows opponent and junior Mackenzie Parchment will do an outstanding job.

“I chose to run for SGA treasurer specifically because it makes the biggest impact on the club besides the president, because it’s a role that involves a lot of responsibility and dedication and not everyone is capable of that,” Supnick said. “I would have been good for [this position] because I have a lot of experience managing money for SGA through events, and outside of
school I’ve managed thousands of dollars from grants that I wrote; however, Parchment is responsible and good with budgeting and managing money, so she will do amazing.”

Among the abundance of responsibilities affiliated with being the SGA 1st Vice President, the main one is being the SGA liaison for the Inter-Organizational Council (IOC). Winning candidate and junior Noah Benson said he has big plans for this year and wants to make an impactful difference at the Bay by holding this position.

“Having so much communication with students and faculty throughout the school will require someone who works well with others and has the ability to bring new ideas forward, and this is a skill set I am able to tap into for this position,” Benson said. “Having that much contact throughout the school will provide me with a great opportunity to make a difference, and with the current COVID-19 situation, this will be more challenging than in past years, but also makes this job so much more important.”

This year, a record-breaking number of over 90 students ran for various positions within the class and SGA elections. Nascimento said she was extremely happy with the turnout of candidates because it shows how an increasing number of students at the Bay want to give back to their school.

“I am beyond proud of how many students came out to run for office – the most ever,” Nascimento said. “I think it’s not always easy to put yourself out there, but it’s admirable how many people cared about their class or school enough to run for office.”

Campaigning is a major portion of running for class or SGA office, so Benson said completing this task efficiently is vital to the outcome of the election. He said this year, campaigning posed a unique challenge due to the virtual format; however, he decided to take on this task with an optimistic outlook.

“I saw this election as a test for how well I would be able to act as a liaison for the IOC throughout the year, and I realized that just because people aren’t around me physically, doesn’t mean they aren’t there or that I can’t connect with them,” Benson said. “[I had] to cut through a lot of noise in social media in order to reach [my] audience, and I felt the biggest way
to achieve that was by having something relevant to say about why [I was] campaigning.”

Not every candidate who runs for office can win, but Supnick said it is significant they understand the huge accomplishment they have achieved from solely running for office in the first place. She said she encourages others to run for student office because the values and courage they gain from the experience are advantageous even if they don’t win.

“Even though I didn’t win, I’m still really proud of myself for trying, because it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there in front of almost 5,000 students,” Supnick said. “This is something I’ve never done before, and even though I lost, I proved to myself that I was brave and had opinions to share that people wanted to listen to, which was cool.”

With the newly selected class and SGA officers, Nascimento said these teams can start working towards their goals to benefit their fellow students and make this year as remarkable and spirited as possible. She said she is looking forward to working with the new officers and seeing what they intend to do in order to make this year as interesting as possible with the
ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m excited to start working with the new officer team, establishing some goals and making a plan,” Nascimento said. “I think it’s important this year more than ever with e-learning and the pandemic for our student leaders to put their heads together, get creative and develop ideas and activities for our class and student body to participate in.”

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