By Natalie Adams
The Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils’ (CRASC) held a clinic for Student Member of the Board (SMOB) nominees along with their regular meeting on Wednesday, February 13th at Arundel High School. Nominees were taught how to form a platform and participated in a few exercises that helped them pinpoint their most important traits before CRASC ran through their regular agenda.
CRASC President Anthony Liberatori and current SMOB Josie Urrea led the meeting. Liberatori explained that they would be “delving into your actual platform” and explaining how nominees should market themselves and develop their brand as a SMOB candidate.
“Marketing yourself” means pinpointing core values, knowledge, and skills and deciding what changes to make while in office. Urrea reminded nominees to “make sure you know what you’re talking about,” because it will be very easy to tell which candidates have done research and have a strong platform during the interview and debate portions of the election process.
To help attendees figure out what to include in their marketing, they participated in a partner activity. Each person had 90 seconds to explain who they are to their partner, the point being to effectively communicate the essentials of who they are in a short amount of time, which nominees will have to do during the election process.
After time was up, they went around the room and each attendee had to introduce their partner by saying their name and one fact about them. After everyone was introduced, Liberatori explained that nominees would need to learn how to talk about themselves and that “a big part of this process is listening to people from around the county,” which is necessary for creating a platform.
Next, what Liberatori described as a “vintage TED Talk” was shown. In the video, the speaker explained the Golden Circle, a three-ring diagram with “why” in the center, “how” in the middle, and “what” on the edge. When creating a platform, one typically moves from the outside of the circle inwards, but the most important part is the “why.” According to the video, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” This is imperative to nominees developing their platform because during the interview and debate, the panel will want to know not just what changes nominees plan to make, but why. The “why” is what gains nominees support.
The next topic was “developing your brand.” Attendees participated in an independent activity, during which they answered prompts like what I enjoy doing most is…, the best time in my life was…, my most fulfilling experience was…, and my leadership goals are…
While attendees found the activity difficult, they also found it helpful, with one attendee who stated, “it’s good to know your ideals and convictions… and know what your passionate about.”
One CRASC member commented that while it’s great for people to get to know you, “once I introduce myself, I get down to business.” Urrea added that “people love charisma.”
To close the SMOB Clinic portion of the meeting, Liberatori reminded nominees to consider their class schedules for next school year, review their social media presence, and attend or livestream a board of education meeting. Attendees were also reminded that the deadline for their nomination is March 1st, applications are due March 7th, and applications can be withdrawn at any time.
During the regular portion of the meeting, the recent Maryland Association of Student Council’s (MASC) legislative session on Saturday, February 9th was debriefed. Middle and high school students could attend and according to the MASC website, “delegates will be given opportunities to practice learned leadership skills, develop new ones, take stances on youth-related bills in the Maryland General Assembly, and participate in electing the final two candidates for student member of the State Board of Education.” Most CRASC members who attended said it was fun.
The MASC Convention held at the Clarion Fontainebleau Resort in Ocean City, Maryland was also mentioned. The convention is from March 27th-29th and includes the election for the 2019-2020 MASC officers, leadership workshops, an awards ceremony, and recreational activities like movies and a dance.
The meeting was closed per usual with the Round Table Officer Reports. Eric McAlexander, Secretary of Service, mentioned making a video for a fundraiser that raises money for third world entrepreneurs, Rida Alvi, Secretary of Legislation, asked for contributions to CRASC’s public comment on the act for building new schools, Nick Medlin, Secretary of Communications, reminded officers to send him any changes they wanted to make to their biographies or pictures on the CRASC website, Savannah Quick, Secretary of Education asked for contributions to the regular CRASC board report, Coleman Campbell, Vice President of CRASC, highlighted a kindness assembly that emphasized the importance of self worth, resilience, and mental strength, and Liberatori reminded SMOB nominees to complete their applications.
The next CRASC meeting and second SMOB Clinic will be held on Wednesday, February 27th at Old Mill High School.