As voting for the ASB student body elections concluded Friday, April 22, Franklin issued a new roster of class presidents and other ASB positions to help include the student body in the decisions making the future of our school better for everyone. The positions filled are as follows: Senior Class President Crea Sisco, Senior Class Vice President Ella Pulscak, Junior Class President Luci Kennedy-Wong, Junior Class Vice President Phebe Doukas, Sophomore Class President Freya Matthiessen and Sophomore Class Vice President Will Lowe, as well as ASB President and Vice President Lucy Eckel and Cal Birmingham, respectively. As the student body elections are an annual event, each year we see new candidates bring new perspectives to the student-led voices within Franklin. ASB runs these elections and is in charge of deciding candidates with the votes that our student body submits, and it appears that this year has been much more eventful in many ways than elections of past years.
Some actions surprised even the students who were present in the early stages of campaigning. With videos of students ripping down campaign posters, and other complications arising from the number of candidates amongst all grades, it has come with some feelings of confusion and frustration. There have been a number of different viewpoints and goals in this election, specifically from candidates, and these have resulted in many clashing ideologies and approaches to winning the election and bettering Franklin as a whole.
With candidates returning for reelection, and new candidates coming into the fold, there have been a large number of distinct and contrasting goals for Franklin’s future. Candidates have all been very creative and inclusive in their campaign videos, posters, and Instagram accounts, and it’s obvious that this election has been full of students who truly care about being the best student body leaders they can be, for the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior classes.
I spoke to many Franklin students who echoed the challenges with pacing and publicity that have been observed during the coverage of this process, including Senior Class President candidates Jacob Layson-Davis and Crea Sisco. “Everything has been heavily over social media this year, as there are usually speeches held,” Sisco added. The large amount of online promotion proved to be more difficult in spreading the message of the campaigns than a speech would, as speeches prove to be a better option of notifying the entire school about the campaigns.
Layson-Davis and Sisco ran together for the position, but only one of the two was elected to a position. “I think that having co-presidents is a good idea, like every other election so far. Changing the way that the election process is done mid-way through the election wasn’t easy,” Layson-Davis said before the results were tallied. “We should have voting on pairs, it makes for a less stressful campaign. Changing the process was hard,” Sisco added, agreeing with her running mate.
Before this year’s elections, there were usually two candidates running together, who would be picked as President and Vice President of their class, and we did see instances of that happening this year, but it was then changed a number of weeks into the elections. The system now awards the title of President to the candidate with the most votes, and Vice President to the candidate with the second most votes.
There are always problems with any election, however, and there are things that both the candidates and ASB have done very well to make everyone feel less stressed in the process. “I think that overall there were definitely some setbacks and issues that played a role, but I believe that Ms. Humphreys [Franklin Activities Director] and the seniors leading ASB were doing their best to ensure everyone had equal opportunities,” says former Junior Class President and Senior Class President Candidate Ella Pulscak. Pulscak was elected Junior Class President the 2021-2022 class year, when students spent most of the school year online. So we have not seen an in-person election in a long time, and it is exciting to see what the class presidents have to offer.
“I think that each and every one of us is able to bring something different to the table. We are all involved in our communities and I believe that we all want what’s best for our student body,” Pulscak adds.
There has been overall support for ASB from a majority of the candidates, and Senior Class candidate Anika Kasten shared her opinion. “Ms. Humphreys [Franklin Activities Director] and the current ASB president and vice president were always there when I needed them,” Kasten says.
There are of course going to be problems to solve and hurdles to jump when it comes to a school wide election that spans over multiple grades. There were some unusual issues this year, however. But much like the fighting spirit of Franklin, another successful campaign has been carried out for our students, as we have witnessed a new team of student body leaders with common goals of bettering Franklin.
Additionally, ASB positions have been filled with some new students, and some who have already been a part of ASB. These include ASB Publicity Chairs Fisher West and Anabelle Jukkala, Spirit Commissioner Clementine Friedlander-Levy, Student Senate Coordinator Hazel Weisberg and ASB Secretary Grace Jones.