You've heard the calling. You're ready to bring on the change. Now it's time to win the election.
Step 1: Pick an office Choose an office. If you're good with numbers and have an interest in finance, consider treasurer. If you want to set yourself up for becoming president next year, try vice president or secretary. And if you're already prepared to be top dog and take on all the responsibilities that go with it, make a run at president.
Step 2: Cultivate an agenda Hit the hallways, cafeteria, and other places students congregate to chat up your fellow classmates. Find out what's on their minds and the changes they'd like to see. Don't make any promises -- just get a feel for common concerns.
Step 3: Build campaign team Start recruiting a trustworthy campaign team. Ask friends you know will devote time to your effort, and hold weekly meetings to bounce strategies and ideas off each other.
TIP: Enlist the help of friends from different social circles to build a broad network of support.
Step 4: Advertise Spread the word. Launch an advertising juggernaut of posters, buttons, and T-shirts that feature a memorable slogan. Blanket the school premises with them, school rules permitting.
Step 5: Campaign online Set up a campaign web site and blog, and a message board for user comments. Monitor all comments before they post to your board. Ask aspiring directors and tech-savvy friends to help you produce a campaign video to upload onto your site. Then, e-mail the link to the entire student body, and post it on your social-networking profile.
Step 6: Talk to anyone and everyone Begin generating positive buzz by approaching classmates when they're alone or in small groups. Let them know why you're running and your plans after you take office. Be prepared to answer questions, and always respond considerately and honestly.
TIP: When discussing school politics, never get defensive or personally attack an opponent -- no one wants to vote for someone they don't like.
Step 7: Deliver a killer speech For your big pre-election speech, write a short speech with a clear message and only offer promises that are both realistic and tangible. Because you'll be addressing a room full of impatient students, try injecting some humor -- it's a great way to grab attention and stand out from the competition. Just don't turn the whole speech into a joke.
TIP: Recruit the school's class clown to help write a few clever jokes into your speech.
Step 8: Last-ditch effort A day or two before the election, ask teachers for permission to speak to their students a minute or two before class. This is a good way to put your name and message out there one last time before election day.
Step 9: Wait for results After you've handed out your final flyer and shaken your last hand, it's time to sit back and let democracy take over. No matter the results, you can take pride in knowing you ran a diligent and professional campaign.
FACT: George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama were all voted class president.
You Will Need
A few trustworthy friends
Campaign materials such as posters
pins and t-shirts
A video camera (optional) (optional)
A computer with editing software (optional) (optional)