Junior Jacqueline Metzger ran unopposed this month in the 2022-2023 Student Staff Council (SSC) presidential election. Metzger, who was the first candidate to run unchallenged in at least five years, will succeed graduating senior Aidan Kohn-Murphy.
On Friday, Assistant Principal for School Life Quinn Killy told the student body at an assembly that he was unsure whether SSC by-laws call for voting with only one presidential candidate. Metzger delivered a customary stump speech, though circumstances rendered it more of an acceptance address.
“Running unopposed only furthers my need to do right by you all,” Metzger said in her speech to the student body.
The council consists of four representatives from each grade, one of whom acts as president. The SSC charter states that any elected eleventh- and twelfth-grade representatives may run for council president. There are no provisions in the by-laws concerning a single presidential candidate.
Duties of the SSC president include running and planning council meetings, keeping faculty up to date on decisions and organizing schoolwide events to discuss SSC initiatives. The cabinet includes a vice president, a treasurer and a secretary, all of whom are elected by their fellow representatives. Metzger will preside over cabinet elections on Monday, May 23.
Metzger has been on the council since she was a freshman, serving as secretary her sophomore year and vice president her junior year. She told the Bit she is inspired by what past presidents Gigi Silla ’20, Ella Farr ’21 and Kohn-Murphy were able to achieve. “Aidan did a great job accomplishing what he intended to,” she said. “But I will naturally try to finish up any loose ends left over from the previous administration.”
Metzger added that she plans to start conversations with the student body about mental health and plastic waste. She also said she looks forward to working with incoming principal Yom Fox.
“I think strengthening and fostering new relationships with the faculty is always a priority,” Metzger said. “I met Yom briefly, and she seemed spectacular, so I’m excited to form a great relationship with her and hope to see her at our meetings.”
SSC first allowed the entire student body to vote in presidential elections in 2018. Before, only grade representatives could vote. While both rising juniors and seniors are eligible to, and have, run for president, only rising seniors have been elected since the change to the charter in 2018.
Killy described the single-candidate election as unusual in his address to the school before Metzger’s speech on May 20.
Junior Jacob Getlan told the Bit he had already noticed that many eleventh graders do not like participating in student government. “Jacqueline is one of the only people in our grade that has the drive to take a high-maintenance position like SSC president,” he said.
Metzger believes the lack of interest in SSC—which, she said, was apparent during her sophomore year as well—is a byproduct of the pandemic. “People’s lives have been flooded with information about COVID, and SSC fell out of interest,” she said. “That definitely contributed to why people didn’t run against me.”
Getlan said he thinks Metzger could help create a more effective council. “As seniors, some of our most important events are SSC-sponsored, and in the past, our grade has not gone to many SSC-run events,” he said. “I think Jacqueline has her work cut out to get more people to show up, and I think she will do her level best.”
Junior Max Wang said he does not feel inclined to attend SSC meetings, regardless of who the president is. “I just don’t care about SSC,” he said.
In addition to holding meetings, which are open to the public but rarely well attended, SSC coordinates grade-wide events, including senior prank day and the senior class trip.