Election season: Bulldog Nation to choose next representatives
HANCOCK — On Tuesday, November 21, the Hancock Middle School and High School will vote in their general elections for their student body, something Principal Ezekiel Ohan takes seriously.
“We got a student body,” Ohan said, “we got a student body council, we’re giving the students a voice, that is an irreplaceable commodity.”
Ohan said it’s one thing talk about the democratic process conceptually, but it is another thing to put it into motion.
“It’s truly exciting,” he said. “It’s almost like watching your kid finally get Christmas. You do it year after year, and the first time you see your kid get it, it’s beautiful. It’s the same thing we got going on with the student body elections.”
Through this election process, the students will experience first hand how to the process works, and the common good that can come from it.
“Now. What is it that you want?” Ohan said. “How are you going to be represented? How can you understand how our government runs? How can you understand how our democratic system operates? How do you become a viable part of that population? What is it that you have to do in order to move forward with your agenda, and how do you facilitate the agenda of the common good?”
The election system will show the students how to do it, he said, and once they have become familiar with the election process, they will understand that it is the American democratic process.
On Monday, the middle school candidates will conduct their debate, which will be moderated by state representative Scott Dianda. On Tuesday, they will have their ballot count.
“The ballot count is going to include the three candidates to see who has the most votes out of sixth, seventh and eighth grades” Ohan said, “so it doesn’t matter (which grade), you become a class president of all those grades, the runners up become the representatives. On Wednesday, the announcements will be made on who got the most votes in sixth, seventh and eighth, and they’ll have a president and depending on the vote count, they’ll have their two representatives. So, you’ll probably have your president, vice-president, and your speaker.”
The high school elections will proceed a little differently.
The high school primary election was conducted last week for grades nine through 12, Ohan said, from which four candidates were elected. On November 20th, those candidates will then hold a debate, which will also be moderated by Dianda. On the 21st, the count will be declared, then on January 20, will be the swearing in of the winners, at which time a State of the Bulldog Address will be given.
“This is not the popularity contest it may have been before,” Ohan said. “This is not about people. It’s about issues, and how to serve the common good. So, respect the process and truly respect the office. You can disagree with the person, but do not disrespect the office.”
The debates and election will be held in the school auditorium at 11 a.m., and Ohan said the parents are encouraged to attend.
“I want the community to come in,” he said. “I want the Bulldog Nation there. “I want the community to come on out, and that in itself will demonstrate to our young people how important education is. Be a part of it, not apart from it.”