In the midst of a hotly contested political race for next year’s student council president, one student is refusing to play by the rules.
After being denied a place on the ballot, 11th grader David Gilinski is taking his campaign to the street. Signs featuring big red letters reading “Revolt!” have been plastered around the school, as well as signs that say “The Revolution is Nigh” above a picture of Sesame Street’s Bert, apparently a reference to Gilinski’s well known uni-brow. A manifesto, too, has been taped up as a means of understanding the purpose and message behind the Revolution.
The revolution, initiated after Gilinski was denied the ability to run for student council president, wants to send the message that those allowed to run are in the minority. During student council elections Friday, Gilinski yelled “rip up your ballots!”
“The revolution is saying, think for yourself,” Gilinski said.
Many potential student council candidates were also turned away because of newly enforced criteria. The criteria stipulates that students must have a 3.0 GPA and, additionally, the administration must approve their candidacy. Assistant Principal Rabbi Assaraf said approval of candidacy can be based on past behavior, tardiness, and general conduct.
According to Assaraf, the rules are meant to ensure the success of student council.
“We do not feel it would be fair to any student for the school to allow them to run, which in turn would harm their grades next year, due to the fact that Student Council must invest so much extra time in and out of school, which naturally adds to the already hard workload,” Assaraf said.
Gilinski and campaign manager Jacob Rosmarin (11th) claim the rules do not represent the student body and are therefore unfair.
“We would like to get the administration to acknowledge the fact that students shouldn’t have to have a 4.0 GPA or a 3.0 GPA to run for the presidential spot,” Rosmarin said. “The 4.0 GPA is the 1%. David represents the majority. David is the majority. David is the revolution. He represents the people that should be speaking for the school.”
During the student council debates earlier in the week, a video suddenly appeared on the screen with a masked man speaking in an electronic voice. Many students thought it was Gilinski and his revolution, but Yosef Nahon revealed Friday that it was his video meant to promote himself as head of PR for student council. Nahon, who was named as head of PR in an uncontested race, thought the mysterious video would entice the school.
“The video that Anonymous had me work on was so that he could get his message across to the school,” Nahon said. “He wanted people to know that this school may be full of cliques and small groups, and everybody is in their own groups but we have to be a family.”
Although the main goal of the revolution was not for Gilinski to become president, but rather to question the election process itself, Gilinski couldn’t help but ponder what he would do as president.
“First of all, I’m not a popular person. I’m a very approachable person,” Gilinski said. “If anyone has any need, they can come to me, and I don’t care much about school, so it’s not like I’ll be doing homework or community service. I don’t care about my community. I care about the school. I don’t care about Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, America. I care about this school. Maybe in the future I will care about those places, but right now, I care about, first of all, myself and second of all, if I became president, all of the students of this school; and I would make sure to not only help them but also represent them.”
By Raquel Zohar (10th Grade)