Student Body President Elections

HUDSON, OH – A flood of green and white fills the pews as students slowly slide into their respective seats, the first few rows left empty in remembrance of the senior class. Deep footsteps and indistinguishable voices echo from floor to the balcony to ceiling as students and faculty wait restlessly for the commencement of today’s events. 

Non-Seniors students poured into the Western Reserve Academy Chapel on April 11 at 9:25 am to hear the Student Body Co-president Election Q and A session before voting for the future of WRA.

In past years, the elections for the highest position in student government have been shrouded in an air of secrecy. While a Q and A session and subsequent election were held every year, the Student Life Office (SLO) provided very little information regarding how votes are counted and whose opinions are taken into account when choosing the co-presidents. 

In light of past controversy regarding this issue, the SLO began the session by having Neil Mittal, a second-year teacher in the Math Department, explain how he will be counting votes: ranked-choice voting. Ranked choice ensures that every student’s voice matters, regardless of who they selected as their first choice.

Barth continued on to explain the addition of four senior student leaders to monitor the counting process and ensure accountability. This year’s leaders include Natalie Ham, Ella Bump, Jin Lee and David King. 

The four junior candidates were Landon Allis, Elba Heddesheimer, Kelly Janssen and Jordanne Nichols. Each was given 20 seconds per question to answer three out of six questions written by the SLO and given to the four students previously. The candidates were also given 60 seconds to present closing remarks.

Landon Allis focused on “consistent communication” that “build[s] a sense of community.” He also emphasized the “unique, wonderful and entertaining story” of each WRA student that makes the school an amazing place, even sharing one of his own special stories. 

Elba Heddesheimer chose to address a major problem worldwide: mental health. She cited the need to “address the amount of stress and anxiety” and rebuild the connections that have been lost as a community. She committed herself to finding common ground and “advocate for [a] better Reserve.”

Kelly Janssen focused on maximizing the potential of WRA. He acknowledged the greatness of students and the community and how they helped him through his first year on campus. He wished to help the WRA community achieve “maximum love.”

Jordanne Nichols’s central message was “you are what the face of a pioneer should be,” referring to the fact that for too long WRA has forced students to change to fit the pioneer standard rather than the other way around. She promised increased interactions and transparency between students and those in positions of leadership or power.

After the Q and A, many students felt that the session only confirmed the rankings they had in mind before hearing the stances of each candidate.

“It solidified what I already thought about each candidate; I didn’t really change my mind,” Nea Mentor ’23 said.

The student body will receive the results of the election during Morning Meeting on Friday, April 15th, 2022.

-Logan Amos ’23

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