One day, everything was normal.
Then, bizarre posters with dramatic smoke effects, goofy pictures, and repurposed memes covered every inch of the billboards in the library and the Grewcock Student Union. Campaign slogans, revolutionary Viva Lucchese shirts, and a 35-minute live Q&A flooded our Facebook feeds and we received personalized emails.
It worked. According to John Quint, assistant director of career services, student participation in the race for senior class officers was higher than he’s seen it since he started working, at 230 ballots cast (despite time constraints from spring break and an early convocation.) He also said the competition was stiff because students campaigned legitimately for the first time.
The campaigning had one fatal flaw: People nominating friends and voting for officers didn’t know what senior class officers actually do.
“What we do is probably the most common question I get about my job,” senior class president Jacob Thackston said, “even and especially among members of my own class.”
So let us break it down for you, because we needed this crash course as much as our voters did: Officers meet once or twice a month to discuss their duties, but their biggest jobs include planning four senior parties (we really appreciate this one!), choosing the commencement speaker, running elections for outstanding seniors and the next class officers, and increasing senior giving. In the fall, the officers compile an initial list of potential commencement speakers for President Larry Arnn’s approval, and then narrow it down to a consensus — this year, it will be Anthony Esolen.
The president also gives two speeches over the year: one to the graduating class at a senior dinner a week before commencement, and then at commencement itself.
Quint attributed the confusion about what senior class officers do to the lack of glamour in a senior class officer, but that with the help of the next officers, he would like to create more defined roles and responsibilities that he would share with the student body.
But for now, job training is passed down year to year, Thackston said, but “passed down is a strong word for it”: Duties were passed down, but practices were lost. The officers have mostly figured things out as they’ve gone along, he said.
The posters will come down and the emails will be lost to clutter forever. But next year, after a tailgate, you’ll know who to thank.