With the election of officers for the class of 2012, senior meetings are guaranteed to go on for one more year.
Last week, the current junior class voted four of its member into office—Tyler O’Neill as their president, Gordon Barratt as vice president, Kelly Grant as secretary and Brandon Paraharm as treasurer. Although having their names put on the ballot required gathering the signature of 40 juniors, the new officers had to do very little campaigning.
“I don’t need to over-broadcast myself,” Paraharm said. “I’d just get people to vote who were in 2012. I just said vote for who you think is going to do the best job possible.”
“I just tried really hard to make sure my friends at least voted and then for those who didn’t, I just put a lot of effort into a ballot statement,” said Barratt. “That’s how they’re going to know who you are.”
Now that they’ve been elected, the new officers will have several duties to complete. In addition to planning the weekly senior meeting—a traditional Wednesday night event for seniors, who meet at a local bar—they will serve “as a liaison between the class and the student body as a whole and the Board of Trustees and the faculty,” Barratt said. They will also help organize the commencement speaker, assist with class of 2011’s senior week and plan next year’s senior challenge, an effort to get every senior student to donate to Knox.
Although just elected, the new officers are already planning the efforts to find their class’s commencement speaker. They plan to start tabling within the first week of winter term to solicit suggestions for a speaker, which they will then compile into a list of twenty or thirty finalists for the class to vote on as a whole. The final ten or so will be presented to President Roger Taylor to be contacted for final arrangements.
“We’ve had a bunch of politicians here. Not that that’s an issue, but I think 2012 requires some differentiation,” said Paraharm. He mentioned Garth Fagan, who won a Tony award for his production of “The Lion King,” as an example of the type of speaker he would like to see.
Knox does not pay its commencement speakers, which can make the effort to find a speaker frustrating, but the officers all expressed excitement for the coming year.
“Prepare for change,” Paraharm said.