Student Senate Elections: Advocating for Student Voices

Marin Durkee

Student government is crucial to representing a variety of student needs, especially in a large school like Middleton High School (MHS). Some students feel that their voices are not heard, but Student Senate, a select group of students chosen to represent the student body, works to amplify their voices. 

MHS’s Student Senate elections were held the week of Nov. 14. Students of all grades displayed campaign advertisements on TV screens across the school to be seen by many in addition to campaign videos on the announcements. 

The Student Senate consists of students with different perspectives of the school. Equity Senators are chosen from MHS equity clubs (Black Student Union, Girl Up, Latino Student Union); Athletic Representatives are two student athletes nominated by the athletic department; and Elected Senators are two students from each grade who are elected by their class in November.

Student Senate’s mission is to connect the student body and the administration in creating certain school policies, often policies that improve inclusion and daily functioning for students. This year, MHS principal Peg Shoemaker became the organization’s co-advisor along with MHS senior Emma Song. 

On Monday, Nov. 21, election results were announced to the student body, eight new students to the Senate to replace the previous years representatives. Each school year, eight new students are elected to represent their classes. 

The elected senators of the 2022-23 school year are listed below:

  • Freshmen: Sophia Llanos and Henry Kjol
  • Sophomores: Margarita Vavilov and Olivia Davis
  • Juniors: Dima Llanos and Stevee Kraemer 
  • Seniors: Sarah Mounajjed and Maeve Carlson

This year included a new rule: candidates must submit a campaign video to be played on the announcements. Student Senate co-advisor and SAGE representative, Emma Song,  explained the change. 

“This year, [administration] decided to require candidates to campaign within the school, since social media has been difficult to monitor in the past,” Song said. 

The candidates were not enthusiastic about the social media campaign ban. 

“[Candidates] still need social media in order to run a whole campaign,” junior representative Dima Llanos said. “[Students] are way more likely to pay attention to social media posts than videos on the announcements during advisory.” 

The video showcasing candidates’ campaigns to the student body was a requirement, but the election committee (Equity Senators) wanted to create a more structured election process and ensure candidates were expressing their goals for the year.  

“Many students in the past felt as if they didn’t have many ways to campaign, so this year they were given direct access to the media department,” Song explained.

Candidates had mixed feelings about the new video rule. Senior representative Maeve Carlson “liked the addition of the announcements because […] it really showed people wanted the position, as not many high schoolers want to put themselves on the announcements.” Dima Llanos agreed, saying that the requirement filtered out those who were not passionate about the elections.

This election was paramount for the elected senator candidates, their hard work grounded by a common mission to represent their fellow students. The new eight elects are very excited about their roles this year and look forward to making Middleton High School a better place for students. 

For more information, reach out to Student Senate’s Instagram (@mhs_studentsenate).