Name recognition. Candy. Posters. Slogan. Party support.
Ask any student who has ever participated in TeenPact’s State Class Elections and they will tell you that these five things are some of the most important tools in running a successful TeenPact campaign. As a focal point of our curriculum and class experience, Elections during the Four Day Class allows students to simulate the process in which real political leaders throughout their state get elected to public office. At TeenPact, students are broken up into political parties and it is each party’s responsibility to develop a stance on specific hot-button issues. Just like in real-life, parties run primary elections in which they nominate and select members to represent their party as senatorial and gubernatorial candidates during the general election.
Once students have been elected out of primaries, the intensity of the simulation begins to build as candidates campaign, persuade, and participate in an open forum to earn the votes of their peers. During the general election, the entire student body votes for who they would like to represent them via secret ballot. Once the ballots are thoroughly counted and the winners announced, the elected Senators and Governor address the student body during graduation.
You don’t need to be elected to have influence.
While the personality and manifestation of this process is unique to each individual class, the purpose of this element is the same: to understand the political process in a hands-on fashion. By having the opportunity to experience the entire electoral process in a condensed format, students gain a greater appreciation for the actual system in their state. Such understanding leads to action. Many students find that after they have run for office or supported a campaign at their State Class, the idea of doing the same thing in the real-life political arena becomes not only possible, but exciting.
Going further than simply gaining an understanding of the political process, students who participate in class elections get to practice representing a cause and a group of people. You don’t have to be elected into political office to be a person of influence. No matter what our students become, they will be looked to for leadership in some capacity. We desire to train students how to articulate what they believe with the courage to represent those who follow them. State Class Elections spur students on in this area.
At the end of the entire process, some students will win a seat and some will loose. However, winning is not the most important factor when considering Elections. Rather, a commitment to their party, clear and authentic expression, and a genuine desire to be a servant-leader is what makes each campaign a success.
For more information, or to register for a Four Day Class in your state, visit teenpact.com/fourday.