Humor or Purpose: What Elects Our President?

Written by Luc Hebert.

It’s that time of year again. It is the time when our leaders have to start making campaigns for future roles of leadership, or the time when they ponder resignation. From early speculation within the student

One of the candidates for next year's president is Austin Grashoff. (Photo by
One of the candidates for next year’s president is Austin Grashoff. (Photo by

council, two names of possible future student council presidents have surfaced. These students are current juniors Leland Van Deventer and Austin Grashoff. Both of these students have had years of experience in the student council and both are said to be well-qualified candidates. So with that being said, how will the successor be decided? After all, most of their accomplishments in office go unrecognized. So, I set out to interview my fellow students in an informal voter survey.

Leland Van Deventer, one of this year's candidates, also has a brother in student leadership. (File photo)
Leland Van Deventer, one of this year’s candidates, also has a brother in student leadership. (File photo)

Four students out of four (representing every grade except seniors, because they do not vote) noted that the speech was the only factor in their vote. After learning this, I was curious, so I questioned what kind of speech would appeal to them. Four out of five students, a staggering 80%, agreed on the deciding factor. After promised anonymity, these were their answers.

“A funny one.” -8th grade

“The funniest speech has my vote.” –freshman

“The past two years I’ve just voted for the funny one.” –sophomore

“The funny speech, I guess.” –junior

So our leaders, the people that make big decisions for us, are put in office according to how much they can make us laugh? This appalled me, so I thought I might sit down with an actual representative of the student council to find out how they might prepare.  This is how my interview with 9th grade President Ashton Van Deventer went.

How would you prepare for a future election?

“I watch a lot of stand up comedians and discuss with other student council members about plans for the future.”

Do you make your “plans of the future” known in your speeches?

“It will be revealed in this year’s speech.”

Was it revealed in your previous speeches?

“We had a change in our moderator and a change in leadership; therefore I could not disclose what I planned to do.”

Throughout this interview I did not really get a straight answer, and sat through a lot of vacillation.  So I ask you, the reader, are you going to let your outlook be swayed by raw humor?


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