Freshmen utilize social media to campaign

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Credit: Taylor McGuire

The Wayland High School class of ’24 has had to get creative with ways to campaign for the class officer elections. Students often made Instagram accounts where they posted endorsements, polls and explained reasons why they are the best fit candidate.

Brasen Chi

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those running for officer positions in the Wayland High School class of ‘24 elections had to find new and innovative ways to campaign as they were remote. There were not any great opportunities for poster campaigns, nor were there many opportunities for in-person speeches. Instead, many candidates decided to take to social media and campaign from there.

Freshman class President Tanas Kazlas was one of these candidates who turned to social media for campaigning.

“A few days before school started, I reached out to about twenty kids in my grade through Instagram and asked them a few simple questions about what they wanted to happen this year,” Kazlas said. “I got a lot of positive responses and began seriously campaigning. For the most part, I campaigned using Instagram, making campaign posters, funny memes and videos, and posting polls and Q&As.”

Freshmen secretary Missy Prince approached it this way as well. Similar to Kazlas, she also created an Instagram account and gathered advice on how she could secure the votes of her peers.

“In addition to my speech that was shown in advisory, I made an Instagram account to let my classmates know I was running and why I was running,” Prince said. “I also reached out to classmates over that Instagram account on what I could do to secure their vote. Everything these days is being done electronically and over the internet, so it felt like the best option. I also noticed some other students running for call officers who made accounts, so that was a source of inspiration too.”

While the difficulty of the elections and campaigning during this unconventional time is now out of the way, the plans of the freshman cabinet are also impacted. Many social event ideas have been canceled because of COVID-19.

“Besides talking to more of my classmates in person, I would have also made posters to hang up around the school and discussed my ideas with kids in my grade who don’t have social media,” Kazlas said. “Also, I would have promised to throw a lot more events that are now limited by the CDC guidelines, such as a freshman dance.”

Even with the current restrictions, the freshman cabinet still has some plans that they hope they can pull through. Not only that, but they are looking forward to creating a properly structured government even during these strange times. President Kazlas hopes to create and collaborate with different groups to focus on specific issues within the grade. In addition, Kazlas has many plans on how to grow the class revenue.

“I plan to have multiple fundraisers this year, including selling Wayland apparel and having raffles,” Kazlas said. “One of the fundraisers I plan to do this year is selling sweatshirts with a design that will be decided during a design contest. If the numbers allow it, I also want to throw an outdoor social event this spring, such as an outdoor movie night.”

Although the class of ‘24 had to deal with their first year of high school in such a strange fashion, they are finding new ways to effectively fundraise and adapting to the already difficult transition. At the head of it all is the freshman government that has already overcome the challenge of running a campaign during the pandemic.

“The obvious challenge is the pandemic,” freshman Vice President Carson Boyer said. “With that constantly in the back of the class officers’ head, it shapes what ideas are executed. We would love for the class to bond in regular normal ways but with all of the guidelines, I think most would prefer a different creative approach. I may be wrong, but this is where we ask the class for their opinion. Their voice is key in all of our ideas for the future.”