Is The Student Government a Popularity Contest?

Zavian Johnson

Student Government has been a trademark dating all the way back to high school. “Vote for Me” signs are being plastered all throughout the hallways, gifts are being given, and stickers on shirts. 

DSU Student Government with President Tony Allen/DSU SGA Instagram page.

But the question on everyone’s mind is, “Are the people running for student government doing it out of generosity and care?” or “Are they doing it purely off their popularity & reputation within their school?”

Most students will say that they will vote for the person who will best represent the school based on their good intentions and character and claim that it’s not a popularity contest. But when the time comes to pick a winner, it’s always the person whose name holds weight and not the person who genuinely cared to be class president. 

Freshman Student Government for the 2023 school year/ DSU SGA Instagram page.

Student government is a popularity contest and it’s clearly noticeable. There’s an old saying that relates to this circumstance, “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.” If you are known and going up against someone who isn’t, then it’s an automatic win. 

Students may also vote for someone older vs. someone younger, but maturity and competence vary. 

According to the National Youth Rights Association, “The class presidents are generally the most popular and athletic students of the school.  The student body wouldn’t dare elect a student who has experience on the student council and has shown proven leadership quality.”

DSU SGA Inauguration/ DSU SGA Instagram page.

Ansley Marks from the Southerner online says, “Of 189 Grady students, 59 percent of students admit that they don’t know what SGA does, and 50 percent believe that SGA does not do a good job of representing the student body.”

Electing someone based on popularity almost never ends well. We even saw that in the presidential election with Donald Trump and look what happened with America. 

We can all agree that popularity doesn’t equal knowledge and leadership. We must pick people who will do right and things will turn out well. That is what Student Government is all about.

Categories: Editorial, Education, politics

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