At the local elementary school, the Ultimate School of Alexandria (USA), the recent student government election has been full of drama and excitement. The student body president election between fourth-grader Jolene Bryden and fifth-grader Donelda Turnip heated up as the two competed ruthlessly for the spot.
In January of this year, Bryden announced her bid for the presidency in a video shown during an assembly in the elementary school’s gymnasium, but her classmates showed little excitement towards the idea of her as their president…at first.
Turnip, the incumbent, who has a reputation for being rude at student government meetings, consistently refusing to pay for her school lunch, and initiating food fights, still found supporters at the elementary school when she announced her reelection bid well before Bryden’s.
The campaigning soon began, which included going around the cafeteria at lunch to talk to different lunch tables, making sure to play with everyone at recess, and even tutoring their classmates. Well, Bryden did those things at least.
Turnip, on the other hand, campaigned on her schedule, hosting rallies after school on the playground and handing out homemade hats that proclaimed “Make USA Great Again.” She was even sent to the principal’s office months in advance of the election for conspiring with elementary school students at another school, Rusha Elementary, to help swing the election in her favor.
Turnip was also known for her feisty and odd comments on Canvas and Google Classroom discussion boards, and during online school, in the Zoom chats. She would call out classmates that disagreed with her or were known for supporting Bryden.
When it came to the candidate’s so-called “political parties” (or their friend groups or classmates), Bryden represented students whose favorite color was blue, supported an average amount of homework, called for equal recess time for all the grades, and for everyone to have an equal amount of time in encore classes such as Physical Education, Music, Art, and Library.
Turnip, on the other hand, represented students whose favorite color was red, supported the no homework cause, wanted an excess amount of recess time (but only for the older grades), and to only have Physical Education as an encore class.
Both candidates found support among their classmates, friends, their friend’s siblings, their friends’ friends, anyone who knew who they were, and informal student clubs.
“Vote Bryden for SGA prezident <3” read an email sent by Encore For All Club founder, third-grader Arti Stic.
“I’m only voting for Turnip because my sister knows her,” said kindergartener Norman Singleton.
However, the novel coronavirus caused the USA to go fully online, which meant that the candidates lost precious campaigning opportunities in person, such as in class, on the playground, or at recess. They made up for this by campaigning in Zoom breakout rooms (against the wishes of their teachers) and over email.
The format of the election also changed, with students having the option to either cast their vote through a Google Form in the weeks leading up to the election or by emailing their teacher their vote on the day of the election. Turnip’s supporters mainly chose the emailing option, while Bryden’s supporters mainly chose the Google Forms option.
As the principal was counting the votes on the day of the election, the students of USA Elementary were anxiously waiting for the results. However, it turned out that the votes cast through Google Forms were going to take longer to count in some grades than others.
Bryden was confident in getting the votes of 2nd and 4th-grade students, whose favorite colors tended to be blue.
Bryden and Turnip were both fixed on winning the kindergartener’s votes, because if she won, Bryden would make sure that all of the grades, even the younger ones, would have an equal amount of time for recess, but if Turnip won, then it was claimed that they would have less homework.
At first, it seemed like Turnip had won 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade, but as the Google Form submissions continued to be counted, Bryden inched closer and closer to winning 3rd grade.
When the election was finally called, Bryden had won kindergarten, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade, leaving Turnip to win only 1st grade and 5th grade. Bryden had won the election.
Turnip was shocked, and in the comments of a Google Classroom discussion, claimed that there was cheating involved and that the votes needed to be recounted.
“STOP THE DEMOCRACY!” said Turnip in the comment section.
“I’m not really sure what she [Turnip] wants me to do… The votes were counted and the election was won fairly by Bryden.” said Principal Liberty Furall.
Bryden is the Ultimate School of Alexandria’s official student government presidential elect, but won’t be officially the president of the student body until she is formally sworn in over Zoom.
Many students are pleased with the results, but still, believe that there is much to be done at the Ultimate School of Alexandria.
“The student body president does play a big role in general, but the PTA is where things really get done, but that’s a whole different issue.” said fifth-grader Smarty Pantz.