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.