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The Boiling Point

Shalhevet news online: When we know it, you'll know it

The Boiling Point

Shalhevet news online: When we know it, you'll know it

The Boiling Point

EDITORIAL: Elections – We can do better

Ella Hoenig
VOTE: Except for just minutes before voting, there were no active campaigns for Just Community representatives last October. Above, 10th-graders watched a candidate’s video.

From absolutely no campaigning by any candidates in any grades to voting links that allowed unlimited submissions, there was no aspect of this year’s Just Community Representative Elections that went right. 

This election seemed doomed from the start when The Fairness Committee announced elections were taking place and gave students only a week’s notice to campaign, though the Just Community Constitution requires two.

MULTIPLE: A mistake on this year’s ballots made it possible for people to vote again and again. (Emma Kotzen)

Then, after posting a new voting link to rectify their mistake, they insufficiently publicized it to students, sending only one text to individual grade group chats with a new link requesting that they vote again.

Unsurprisingly, the number of votes collected in the second election decreased by almost half. 

Election issues are not foreign to the Just Community. It was partly because of constant election mistakes that students organized a constitutional convention in 2019. It suggested transferring the responsibility of running elections from Agenda to Fairness, and passed overwhelmingly by Just Community vote that spring. 

As the Boiling Point wrote at the time, there had been years of “dilemmas, complications and mistakes,” including problems with Agenda’s management of elections in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2010 and 2007.

Clearly, the shift in power has only made matters worse. This election, where two out of the three Fairness executives did not know how to count the votes, confirmed a suspicion we’ve had for a while: that the Just Community mesorah, or tradition, is slowly becoming lost.

The values of the Just Community, its foundations, importance, laws and procedures are not being passed down to the next generations who are tasked with continuing it. 

This is why our Fairness leaders are not to blame for not knowing proper voting procedures; they were never taught them. The Boiling Point firmly believes our elections require more oversight and our student leaders require more guidance. 


We have ideas. A guide book, created by departing Fairness chairs for incoming chairs enumerating all election procedures.  An annual presentation from the Fairness faculty advisor to the committee explaining the election process. And an annual Town Hall on elections and campaigning, created specifically for the entire Shalhevet Just Community. 

 We also suggest that Fairness consider reevaluating the way we conduct voting altogether, and consider creating a new committee – whether composed of student-selected faculty, grade deans or a combination of faculty and student representatives – to focus solely on the challenging task of running elections. 

But whether you see the value in these suggestions or not, we implore you to care. It should not be the status quo for every aspect of our elections to fail, but for every aspect to succeed. If the Just Community can unite around our democratic principles, and if people who lead committees – faculty and students – can take their responsibilities seriously and implement practical yet effective solutions, this can one day become our reality.

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