The SU Follows Up New Voting System With Gerrymandering
Issue 15, Volume 112
By Eshaal Ubaid
Stuyvesant High School is the epitome of the United States’s political situation. Competition, prestige, a lengthy admissions process only to still get dirty looks from administrators… Yet amid these structural pitfalls, the leading student organization within our school embodies a whole separate issue with the rise of a strange system of voting for the next Student Union (SU) presidents. Paralleling the drawing of district lines, many have voiced concern that this will lead to manipulation in the form of gerrymandering.
“To address the potential issue of individual voting not representing each grade’s needs, the BOE is switching to a system of electoral votes for SU and caucus presidency. We have decided on a ratio of approximately one representative for every 50 students, totally separated by grade. Good luck!” This was stated in a schoolwide email from the Board of Elections (BOE) yesterday (following no indication of said issue whatsoever).
Inside sources state that this switch may have been motivated by the upkeep needs for a platform that intakes hundreds of individual votes as opposed to only a few. In the words of an anonymous interviewee from IT, “I still have PTSD from the COVID voter turnout. So. Many. Bugs. It’s not designed for more than two percent of the school voting at maximum.”
Furthermore, different grades have different needs. Seniors vote for intense emotional help with the endless turmoil and tortured gifted kid syndrome that college season holds over their void-like souls, while sophomores prefer getting better lighting in the sophomore bar. How else will they validate themselves if not via internet approval?
However, with any new system comes the prospect of new ways to wiggle around it. Namely, the SU has been adopting their own form of Stuy gerrymandering (SG). SG exploits a rule that the BOE issued to accompany the change, which allows honorary grade members (e.g. that one awkward junior with an all-sophomore friend group) to be selected and added to a district. The issue lies in that there was no imposed limit as to how many of these honorary members can be added, and the SU has found ways to manipulate inter-grade friendships to increase the chances of more upperclassman cohorts, thus increasing certain vote counts in their favor. In other words, they have been utilizing a culture of adopting freshman friends.
This means that if a junior or senior candidate is too antisocial to garner any support outside their grade, despite higher voter turnout amongst the freshies who believe that their voice really makes a difference, they can manipulate voting sections.
“I’ve been invited to, like, eight social events this week,” stated one anonymous sophomore. “I went to one. It was a trap. It was an all-senior event. I was scared. I wanted to go home. I still got some hot dude’s Instagram though, and he’s introducing me to his other totally-not-freshie-hunting friends. I honestly don’t mind, since I’m kind of lonely right now, and my parents’ divorce really hasn’t been helping…” The student proceeded to turn our interview into their personal therapy session. Tissues were provided.
The fact of the matter is that many of these soph-frosh children are being invited to typically upperclassmen-only events via secret, non suspect accounts online. Examples include “freshiefresh420” and “2024hottieeeeeee” which garner interest under the guise that other underclassmen will attend. Then, these underclassmen mingle more with the older students and get added to new cohorts of voting as honorary juniors or seniors. The underclassman sectors dwindle, the antisocial candidates gain an advantage, and bada-bing bada-boom—the most American thing to happen to Stuy politics is effectively carried out.
Despite calls for anarchy and overthrowing student government as gerrymandering becomes more prominent, the SU has declined to comment. However, there have been more reports of uncomfortable shuffling in the SU room and a “general sense of disarray.” Perhaps anarchy is not the answer, but finding the beauty in this new situation is. Freshies are now befriending almost-18-year-olds. That is a rare, beautiful, and only occasionally legally questionable dynamic.