Given the unprecedented situation that the Covid-19 Pandemic has created, speeches from the six candidates were moved online.
“The transition from in-person to online went really smoothly,” said STUCO moderator Bradley Mueller. “A lot of that was because of conversations with current seniors on Student Council, (co-moderator Megan) Menne, and myself. They thought a similar process to in person but online would work.”
The decision was made to keep the voting asynchronous to let students vote when they wanted to and to embed two-minute videos from each candidate in the Google forms to serve as the speeches.
Some candidates used the opportunity to add more creativity to their pitches.
“I feel like whenever I gave my speeches before I would always try to add character and flair to them, but I realized I was just saying the same thing every year,” said Brunts. “When this year came around with the video opportunity I was kind of excited because I got to be a little bit more creative and open instead of just holding up a piece of paper and talking into a mic.”
Because of the large number of candidates, a primary election was necessary to cut the number of candidates for Student Body President in half from six to three. Since nobody ran for Vice President, the person who finished second in the voting for President would be the Vice President.
One hundred sixty-six juniors voted in the primary, as did a select group of STUCO seniors who knew each candidate well.
“Typically the turnout is a little bit more than that when we’re in person because voting opens right after the speeches in the Field House and people go immediately and vote,” said Mueller. “Because it was asynchronous and people view it whenever they want, the voting was less.”
The general election garnered 252 responses from juniors and seniors combined. This was the first year that the current senior class has been allowed to vote. In total 99 seniors voted and 153 juniors voted.
“I think especially now that things are virtual and seniors may feel as though they have lost some control of the ending of their senior year and potentially the future of SLU High this could give them an opportunity to have a good impact on the future of SLU High,” said Mueller.
Browdy, who spent this school year serving as the Public Relations and Media Officer, and Brunts, who served as a Spirit Leader, are humbled for being selected and excited for what the next year will bring.
“Being separated so long I have had a lot of time to reflect. Part of that reflecting is, I miss my class, I miss the school, I miss everything about junior year, even the hard stuff,” said Browdy. “I am feeling excited though for having stepped into the role but I guess it is kind of a testament to how ready I am to get back together as a class.”
Both Browdy and Brunts are looking ahead to next year and a return to more normal times..
“I want to make sure that we are going into the school year as easily as we can,” said Browdy. “I guess the first thing I would say is that everyone has a crack at normalcy.”
“Given that we are so separated right now, miserably so, I want everything to be about community and making events that people want to go to, gatherings that people are drawn to rather than they feel like they have to go to,” said Brunts. “We want to give them a reason to go.”
Browdy also hopes to continue classic SLUH traditions even if restrictions spill over into the next school year.
“Who knows if we’ll be able to do a BTSM or something like that. Should anything happen I would like to shift those maybe towards the end of the year,” said Browdy. “As far as ideas I think those are definitely going to accelerate as we get into the school year but you should be able to see some new events as some of the older events drop out because of the situation we are in.”
Browdy is excited to follow in the footsteps of the presidents that have come before him.
“I would say that I have to give a lot of credit to the guys I saw above me,” said Browdy. “Specifically seeing (current Student Body President) PJ (Butler) take the lead and really seeing what that position could do and the change and all the joy we could bring to the student body. I was inspired to continue to do that.”
One part of Browdy’s plans for the school is looking at ways to increase attendance at sports games and come out with more creative STUCO apparel.
“One thing that we have discussed with the moderators of the student council is that we were thinking of adding a position for art so someone that could help us create art and talk to our art supplier and graphic designer in making sure that we could get the production quicker and that it is not too much of a hassle to produce really cool t-shirts,” said Browdy.
“There were a lot of times that there should have been really big games but for whatever reason, we didn’t see the turnout,” said Browdy. “You can definitely expect to see some plan to increase attendance at sports games.”
The STUCO moderators are looking forward to working with both leaders.
“Mrs. Menne and I are both extremely excited to work with them mostly because they have had a lot of Student Council experience and they have both done a really good job in their roles and positions,” said Mueller.
Despite the difficulties, Brunts and Browdy want to see the student body come together under their leadership.
“Right now we are all feeling the reality of separation but in a few months we will be back together,” said Brunts. “When we are back together it will be the job of STUCO to bring us back together in a time we have never seen before with the greatest possible outlook on community and the class of 2021.”
“We are missing out on the transition to leadership, we are missing out on Junior Ring which is really integral for every single class to be stronger and unified than we otherwise would be, we are missing out on spring sports that we would really be shining in because that is when juniors really start to take leadership roles,” said Browdy. “I just really want to see our class and the classes below us strive for unity and come closer together.”