I Ran for Student Senate


Middleton High School Student Senate

I ran for student senate during the 2021-2022 school year.

Stevee Kraemer

I, Stevee Kraemer, was elected as one of the two sophomore student senators for the 2021–2022 school year. I had conversations with my peers and convinced them that Student Senate should matter to them and electing me as a Student Senator would have a positive impact on their schooling at Middleton High School (MHS). 

When I got the email that Student Senate was open for nominations for this school year, I disregarded it and did not think twice. I did not have time for it, and, frankly, that level of responsibility was frightening. After the original deadline for candidate applications passed, I contemplated Student Senate a little more. What would I be able to gain from this experience?

By the time the second email rolled around asking for more nominations and extending the deadline, I really did think about it. As I was pondering the prospect, my good friend sent me a text. She said, “If you don’t fill out this form, I’ll do it for you.” The decision was easy from there. Ten minutes later, I had my nomination sent in. Then, I had to begin my campaign. 

I used this picture as a part of my social media “campaign,” trying to mix seriousness with humor in order to relate to the demographic of people I wanted to vote for me. (Stevee Kraemer)

If I made a list of my best characteristics, charisma would not be on that list. However, for those next five days until the election I had to put that aside and campaign for Senate. I spoke to classmates I had never spoken to to gain insight on what they thought of Student Senate and asked if I could count on their vote. I am not going to lie and say that all people cared. Most of my conversations went along the lines of me asking my peers to vote for me, and them asking something along the lines of “What’s Student Senate?” or simply saying, “I don’t care.” 

My response to these comments? Student Senate is a committee of students consisting of grade and club representatives. They work together with administrators in voicing student concerns and acting on school issues relevant to the student body. I would compare it to being a class president, but there are two people per class. A Student Senator acts like a buffer between issues students need to have addressed and a school staff that needs to address those issues. 

So why should students care? Why should they take time out of their day to vote for me? Aside from a few half-hearted promises of less homework and shorter school days, I would say something along the lines of this:having student representatives working directly with administration is such a privilege. While students may not see it, change is being made. Having a small panel of elected representatives makes communicating with teachers and staff at MHS so much easier when it comes to addressing school-wide student concerns. With Student Senate, those voices are not only heard, but we can begin to take the actual steps to solve those problems.

This picture shows a wide variety of different students holding up a sign saying, “Stevee Kraemer 4 Student Senate.” (Stevee Kraemer)

One of the more memorable interactions I had during my time campaigning to be a student senator happened at lunch. I was speaking with a few friends about the election and what Student Senate is, and a classmate of mine flipped around in their chair, looked me in the eyes, and asked rhetorically, “Do you really think that you are going to change anything with this?” 

Out of all the questions I had answered over the past few days,  I had never heard an “inquiry” like this one. I was not expecting to create a new state legislature or to receive a Nobel Peace Prize. I knew that my being a Student Senator may have little implication on anyone else’s life whatsoever. However, the way that public school operates has some fundamental flaws, starting with how little student opinion and perspective is considered with regard to how schools are run and decisions are made. At our school, there are around 15 students to every one teacher, meaning that students make up the vast majority of people at MHS. With this many students, we deserve a voice in how our education is handled and how our school runs. 

Another difficult part of this process was convincing my classmates who cared to vote for me over other candidates. A lot of the time, if students were familiar with me and did not know any other candidates, I would be able to count on their vote. Then there were the people that knew a majority of the candidates and needed to decide which candidate they believed was best equipped for the position. I needed to lead those individuals to come to the conclusion that I was the best possible candidate. 

The unfortunate reality of teenage phone use is a little bleak. However, by using social media, I only further got the word out about my campaign. Using such widely accessed social media platforms such as Instagram allowed me to educate more people on what Student Senate was and why it was in their best interest to vote for me. 

I walked into my last class on “election day,” and promptly began inquiring if everyone in that classroom had voted. Little did I know that the voting was closed and the results were announced. After receiving a “Congratulations” from my teacher I found out that I had been elected and just missed the announcement. 

Reflecting back, I believe that my decision to run for Student Senate was a wise one. I learned so much about identity politics and what students think about taking charge of their education. Prior to taking on this position, I had never realized how important student perspective is when it comes to school administration. Such a responsibility as speaking for a large group of people is not to be taken lightly. This means sacrificing time, energy, and comfort levels to something that you are passionate about, all in hopes that you will accomplish what you have set out to do. I may not have accomplished every single thing on my “to do” list for this year, but what matters is that I have spoken for and voiced the opinions and thoughts of the student body to the best of my ability.