Don’t let stunt speeches sink the impact of SA

Rebecca Rusiecki

SA hosts its weekly meeting after speeches and elections were concluded for the 2012-2013 school year.

Cameron Kritikos, Sports Manager

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Like all of you, I was in attendance at the S.A. Officer speeches last Monday, and probably like most of you, I left there a little confused as to what was going on. Sophomore Kristin Tomecek, who ran for secretary, gave her speech in a rather unorthodox fashion. She began by stating emphatically that she was excited to be running for office and looking to make serious change in the school. She even threw in some pop culture references that seemed to get the attention of the audience.

Then she broke into song.

She began to hum the theme song to Titanic. At this point I began to feel uncomfortable with what was going on, but it didn’t stop there. Tomacek took it one step further by singing the lyrics to the song.

At this point, I began to feel angry.  Angry at what, though?  Was it because the speech had been turned into a mockery?  Was it because it seemed as if the student body had become judges for American Idol?

I took a few days to think about it, and I think I have come to the root of the problem.  I am not angry at Kristin Tomecek, the other candidates, the teachers, or Student Association.

I am angry at us, the student body.

It is the role of Student Association to represent the opinions of the student body and do everything in their power to make the high school experience a more enjoyable one through their numerous fundraisers and the planning of prom. Why is it, then, that the beneficiaries of their great work do not care about who is in office? We see this assembly as a thirty minute break from class rather than as about being informed students and becoming a part of student government. It is our responsibility as students to look out for the best interests of the school, not only for ourselves but for future classes that will be affected by our decisions.

It is the job of the candidate to gain the attention necessary to attract votes and appeal to the different groups to whom he or she is speaking. In this case, because we as students are more interested in what stunt a candidate can pull while speaking rather than their position on a topic, these candidates must feel obligated to do these things.

Tomecek  isn’t the only one to have done this. RB has had several class officer speeches over the past few years that included these theatrics. The problem, then, obviously does not lie with one particular person or one group of people. The issue has to do with our society and the culture we have at school.

Voting for class officers is really something that should be encouraged more at RB. Voting takes place during lunch, and the voter turn out from what I saw, was minimal. It’s disappointing to know that a large majority of our school couldn’t care less about who is in office. Student government is something that should be taken more seriously within the confines of RB.

SPONSOR’S NOTE:  Clarion would like to correct Cameron Kritikos’ original statement in his column that Kristin Tomecek sang the lyrics to “My Heart Will Go On” during her SA speech.  While using the melody of the song, Kristin sang her own original lyrics.  Her lyrics are re-printed in her letter to the editor, linked at the top of this article.

About the Writer
Cameron Kritikos, Sports Editor
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Cameron Kritikos is a senior, and returning member of the Clarion staff. He is looking forward to another great year as a member of this wonderful newspaper. His favorite food is steak, but his favorite restaurant is The Q in LaGrange. It’s just delicious! Cameron has two favorite movies that always put him in a great mood. They are The Pursuit of Happiness with Will Smith and Glory Road starring Josh Lucas. He plays football for  the Bulldogs and runs track in the spring. Along with being a two-sport athlete, he is the Vice-President of Best Buddies for the second straight year. He is a fun loving type of guy who likes to crack jokes, but also knows how to buckle down and get to work.

Cameron can be reached at [email protected].


9 Responses to “Don’t let stunt speeches sink the impact of SA”

  1. IS Sol on May 10th, 2012 11:39 am

    Cameron Kritikos, you are unfairly critical of Kristin Tomecek’s speech for SA secretary. If you actually listened to what she was saying, and actually take in the whole of her speech, the point that she was trying to get across with her speech, was that if elected she would inject school SPIRIT into the exec board, and then into the school. The delivery of the speech then carried her theme.

    What a great way way to get this across than doing creative cliche busting expression. Did you want more ‘something something something’ in the speech? You missed the point apparently. But you did note in your piece here the apathy of the student body, which Kristin was trying to address..

    RB needs to think differently to get by these times.Kristin actually obviously cares about RB and cleverly got this across.

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  2. GS Benn on May 10th, 2012 2:06 pm

    It is supremely ironic that Cameron Kristikos’s big discovery of the source of his anger is the apathy of the student body, but then he trounces a student who had the guts to step up and try to do something about that very thing.

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  3. Sue S on May 10th, 2012 3:40 pm

    “probably like most of you, I left there a little confused as to what was going on. ”

    Please don’t speak for me, Cameron. You speak for yourself only. I was very clear about what …was trying to get across – we have some trying times at RB now and we need a dose of school spirit and creativity to help address this. I witnessed lots of people coming up to … and acknowledging what she was trying to say. They got it, too.

    We need MORE of this and not less at RB.

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  4. solve this on May 10th, 2012 5:02 pm

    We dont need school spirit, we don’t need caring representatives. We need someone who WILL WORK blood sweat and tears with a solution already in mind.

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  5. John M on May 10th, 2012 7:21 pm

    Cameron misstated some things in his story. One was that she sang the lyrics of the Titanic song- with the suggestion that she was trying to do some sort of loose cannon ‘american idol’ scenario. No, Cameron. She artfully changed the words to apply to the message on which she was running for Secretary of the exec board – that she would never let go of caring about RB.Her point was tht she would put some spirit in RB.

    He also suggested that others were confused as to what the speech was getting across when it was he himself who was confused.Everyone I spoke with got it.

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  6. need spirit to solve it on May 11th, 2012 6:07 pm

    Yes, absolutely, WORK, ‘blood , sweat and tears’ are essential. But the raw ingredient of WORK, blood , sweat and tears = SPIRIT. That girl got it. She got spirit, which is the elemental energy needed for solving problems and positive changes at RB. It means risk taking, guts, willing to think and work differently and , obviously, caring. That was what the speech was about and it showed these raw ingredients for an effective leader at RB.

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  7. Disappointed Alum on May 13th, 2012 4:53 pm

    First of all, it is COMPLETELY inappropriate that the sophomore speech-giver’s name was used in this inflammatory opinion column. It is also highly contentious that the Clarion chose to print it at all.

    As an RBHS alum, I have witnessed four years of what Cameron Kritikos has dubbed “stunt speeches” and I completely disagree with his assessment that such speeches somehow taint the offices of Student Association. If nothing else, such creative and enthusiastic speeches are the key to getting students interested and engaged in the elections. Apathy about SA has always been a problem at RB and the overly serious speeches are often laughed off by students. In my experience, the best class officers have been those who have brought a real spark to the office and, with great charisma, are able to ignite a fire in the hearts and minds of the rest of the students. The arguments presented by the author are completely off base. Although I was not present for Ms. Tomecek’s speech, it seems like she is full of more life and vigor than any of the other students’ more orthodox speeches. Cameron, you said it right there in your column: Kristin’s speech “seemed to get the attention of the audience.” That’s it–BINGO! Kristin succeeded in portraying a genuine enthusiasm for an officer position and she had a captive audience. There is absolutely no mutual exclusivity with a creative speech and being serious about SA! Rather, such creative speeches instead exhibit real enthusiasm for the position. Kristin must have put a lot of thought and effort into such a speech, probably more than any of the other candidates, which demonstrates that she must care deeply about the duties of SA.

    Who I really feel sorry for is you, Cameron. It is disappointing that you were so wrapped up in your “anger” that a student chose to deliver an unconventional speech that you completely missed its message. Perhaps the real problem at RB is judgmental people like you. Lighten up and have some school spirit!

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  8. An Onion piece on May 17th, 2012 10:27 am

    The article’s title and its content did not mesh with each other. A title that more accurately reflects the article’s content taken in whole would be something like,

    ‘Thunderous applause for SA speech betrays basic apathy of RB student body’.

    If this sounds like nonsense, like something from ‘The Onion’, that is what I felt about his piece, too. This piece would be laughable except for the personal attacks to the one who gave that SA speech.

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  9. dmancoff on May 18th, 2012 7:06 am

    At my discretion, I am closing further commentary on this article and its companion piece. -D. Mancoff

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Don’t let stunt speeches sink the impact of SA