Class president slates cite unity as goal

April 10, 2012, 2:47 a.m.

Next year’s senior and sophomore classes each have two slates running for class president, while one slate runs uncontested for the juniors.

This turnout is a significant decrease for the sophomore class, as the past two elections each had four slates campaigning for sophomore class president. For at least the past seven years, there have been no fewer than three sophomore slates.

The number of slates for junior class president is down to one, a more common occurrence for junior elections.

The drop in sophomore slates does not necessarily indicate that the class of 2015 is less engaged than freshman classes of the past, wrote Alicia Hamar ‘15 of the slate Sophomores: Order of the Cardinal in an email to The Daily.

“Although there are less slates running this year, it just may mean that freshmen are as involved in other pursuits,” Hamar said. “Although there are only two slates running, we are confident that both slates are committed and interested in serving the class. Class presidency isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.”

The other sophomore slate is The Incredibles, who agreed that their class is very involved and accomplished on campus.

We know that students in our class are extremely accomplished, but we don’t always hear about it,” said Costner McKenzie ‘15 of The Incredibles. The group said that, if elected, it hopes to create a sophomore tracker that would inform students of their class’s achievements.

Both slates for sophomore class president recognize that the transition out of the freshmen experience can make students more independent and even less in-tune with the rest of their class.

“Many times, moving out of a freshman dorm often destroys class spirit and unity as classmates are more scattered across campus,” Hamar said. “As freshmen, we are privileged to have such amazing class activities and events that help us bond. However, many of those events disappear as the years go by. We want to keep our class united through different events that allow sophomores to meet other sophomores.” 

Unlike the freshmen running for class presidency for the first time, this year’s upperclassmen presidential elections feature seasoned members of student government. Foster the Juniors, the lone junior class slate, has two current class presidents on its slate, and The Senior Experience includes one current and one former class president.

“I’ve had an incredible experience as a junior class president and think that being elected as senior class president would yield even more opportunities,” said Christine Kim ‘13 of The Senior Experience. “I love being part of a group that gets to work with various Stanford departments and the administration, in addition to planning a wide range of events. Senior year is the last hoorah, and I want to do everything I can to make sure it’s the best possible experience for 2013.”

Class presidents work as a liaison between students, administration and alumni to plan campus-wide events and address student needs.

“I think the greatest accomplishment that a class president can achieve is when you successfully bring your class together,” Kim said. “One way of enriching the Stanford experience for our entire class is planning academic and social events.”

Daniel Hosltein ‘13 of the slate Senior Moments agreed that the primary role of the class president is social.

“We’re not going to aggrandize senior class president into some lofty, university policy-making position,” Holstein wrote in an email to The Daily

“We want to foster moments you remember as some of the best in your life,” he added. “For most of us, this is the last year of our college careers, and if it’s anything like high school, a lot of these memory-ingrained moments will be during this year. “

Each slate has specific goals to address the concerns and desires of its class. In order to make these plans a reality, candidates must first garner the support of their peers. The slates’ methods for attracting students to their campaigns are varied.

The Best Party slate running for senior class president was inspired by a documentary of Jon Gnarr, the mayor of the capital of Iceland.

“The world has always been run by the wealthy, educated people, but they really don’t know what the people want,” said George Malkin ‘13. “[His campaign] started as a joke, but he actually ended up winning the whole thing.”

Some of The Best Party’s goals include “not treating sober people like second-class citizens” and Pub Nights to which students can invite professors as a way to bridge the student-faculty divide.

“We want to have fun, but we are serious about being class presidents,” said Savannah Gonzales  ‘13.

The Incredibles were in White Plaza on Friday, April 6 talking to students about their campaign goals and listening to feedback.

“We feel as if White Plaza is a central point on campus, and it’s important for us to be visible to the entire student body,” McKenzie said.

Other class president slates will be tabling on April 11. Order of the Cardinal has a different approach to reaching its peers.

“While we do appreciate people going around and actively speaking to students as a form of campaigning, the reality is that we get most of our information from … the Internet, so our campaign is focused on grabbing people’s attention online,” Hamar said. “In a generation and era where communication happens quickest through the Internet, we are showcasing our ability to use our resources to get the word out.”

Voting for class presidents, ASSU offices and specials fees begins Thursday, April 12.

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