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EDSS goes virtual with election for student council

Lauren Rintoul, Connor Cortes and Georgia Perry, three of the four candidates for EDSS co-president, alongside teacher Irene Protopapas. [Sean Heeger]

It’s an anything-but-usual year for EDSS students, so why should voting for their student council presidents be any different?

As with much of their learning, the election of two co-presidents is being carried out online.

From the campaign right down to the voting, everything is being done in the digital world. Such are the COVID-19 realities at Elmira District Secondary School.

Irene Protopapas, instructor for the Leadership and Student Activities program, says this campaign gives all candidates the chance to be creative and showcase what they can do for a year where things will be much different.

“We really need these candidates to kind of think outside the box because we haven’t been able to really have our students all connect with each other and we still want to create that sense of community here. We want to make sure everybody’s still having a good time at school, while obviously learning. It’s kind of like that balance that students need, so we really need them to get creative this year and try to figure out ways that they can connect – obviously mostly virtually – with the students, to still have that fun, Lancer experience,” said Protopapas.

“We want everybody to kind of have their voice and feel welcome here. And so that’s what we’re trying to do with the elections and have those co-presidents be able to represent the students.”

The election has run all week long, beginning on Monday, and will conclude tomorrow (Friday 25) with the election and announcement of the winners.

This year’s candidates include Lauren Rintoul, Lexi Runstedler, Georgia Perry and Connor Cortes.

Protopapas says in a normal year the election would have run in April, with the elected officials chosen and ready to go for the new school year. In addition to the early election, students would normally have the time to campaign in person to conduct meet-and-greet events while hanging posters, banners, and other campaign paraphernalia. Because they are so pressed for time this year, students are relegated to using social media for their campaign which still includes posters, videos and other things over platforms like Instagram to connect with students and get their messages out.

Students will have the opportunity to vote online through a Google form being sent out by teachers. This will allow students to have their say even without being at school.

While the campaign has been going on, Protopapas says the only thing they wanted from the four candidates is to ensure they are being smart while doing their online campaigns.

The school is making sure they are being good digital citizens, she said, noting she needs them to be smart about what they are posting online. She is also asking them to practice social distancing if they are interacting with anyone in order to keep everyone safe.

Links to each student’s Instagram can be found below:

@rintoul4coprez, @runstedler4coprez, @cortes4coprez, @perry4coprez.

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