Campaign for the Next School President from Class of 2011 Commences on January 15

Presidential hopefuls filled Kemper on Tuesday night as School President Faiyad Ahmad ’10 and Vice President Billy Fowkes ’10 led an informational meeting about the campaign process. The campaign for school president begins on Friday, January 15, as candidates work to acquire 500 student signatures. Ahmad and Fowkes explained the campaign process, rules and deadlines and addressed the varying responsibilities of a School President, Vice President and Executive Secretary. Jackie Lender ’11, a candidate and current Upper Representative said, “I think Student Council has the potential to be so much more than just a connection between the administration and students. We are elected officials, meaning that the students have given us authority.” Lender said of her campaign strategy, “When I ran for Lower and Upper rep I used posters and a Facebook group. I think I’m going to try the same approach.” Manwei Chan ’11 said, “I want to personally meet as many people as humanly possible. I will talk to them and include their ideas in making my platform.” “I would be a good representative of the student body. I’m also easily approachable, so I can be a good communication medium between the student body and the student government,” Chan continued. Candidate Patrick Wolber ’11, said, “I wouldn’t normally run for a position like President, but I like this school…a lot…and I’d like to keep the energy going, the mood healthy, and spirits high and light-hearted–I can do that.” Faiyad Ahmad offered his advice for the gathered Uppers on the campaign process. He stressed the importance of having fun with the process, and said “some of my favorite memories at Andover are spending hours brainstorming creative campaign slogans and posters with my friends, and I encourage all candidates to enjoy the process as much as possible.” Will Lindsey ’10, who ran for president last year agreed with Ahmad. He said, “the more fun you have, the more likely you are to succeed.” Ahmad urged anyone interested in running for President to do so, “I highly recommend that people who are unsure about running to simply go for it and see how far they get it. You can learn a lot about yourself from the election process,” he said. Ahmad said “the new generation of presidential candidates should look to improve the livelihood of the student population and the greater Andover community. There are many ways to go about this, addressing both serious and smaller issues.” Fowkes advised aspiring presidents to “get your name and face out there, and the best way to do that is through posters and getting the signatures.” Among the duties of School President, Ahmad explained that the president meets with cluster deans and student council regularly to address issues regarding the school. “The specific responsibilities and tasks that the job entails include giving speeches, leading the student council and representing the student body,” said Ahmad to the group. The campaign process comprises of three parts. Candidates are expected to have 500 signatures by January 24 in addition to a submitted platform. A round of voting takes place after this date, and 12 candidates are selected to participate in the second part of the campaign in which each applicant records a minute-long video accessible to the student body. The 12 candidates partake in a debate on February 22, an opportunity to exercise their public speaking ability and voice their ideas. At the end of the process, three candidates are selected to give school-wide speeches, after which they are voted into the positions of President, Vice President, and Executive Secretary. Many rules accompany the campaign process. Candidates must be positive, and may not mention other candidates in any of the posters or speeches. Candidates can spend a maximum of $50 dollars on the campaign, to encourage fairness to all applicants. Fowkes said “We’re not going to let someone win the election just because they spent a thousand dollars to buy everyone a t-shirt with their name on it. We want the person who wins to be elected because a majority of people believe that he or she is the best for the job.” At the end of the meeting, Fowkes commented “I like the look of the candidate pool. There are lots of promising faces.” The campaign for school president begins on Friday, Jan. 15, as candidates work to acquire 500 student signatures.