As the Youth In Government season starts up again, we delegates look ahead as well as behind. At last year’s Model Assembly, not everything went according to plan. When election time rolled around, it came to light that rules had been broken. An emergency State Steering Committee meeting was called, and it was decided that Jack Ellis and Carly Fredericks’ campaign would be terminated. It was an unfortunate set of circumstances, but now, months later, Jack Ellis states that it was a “blessing in disguise”.
This weekend is the annual State Steering Committee Retreat (SSC). SSC meets to discuss and change election rules, team build, and elect the Vice-Chair of SSC. The question is, is it okay for Ellis, who last year was terminated from his candidacy for breaking election rules, to chair a committee voting on election rules? The answer, it seems, is yes. None of what happened last year affects Ellis’s ability to lead now, and in fact, he said that he “wouldn’t be the same person today if it wasn’t for that experience”.
When Media talked to Ellis about last year’s events, he stated that they “were something that I personally was unaware of in the election rules”. Because of that, Ellis is working to tighten up the election rules even more, and, as stated by James Farnsworth, an SSC member, they have cleared up the specific rule that was the cause of the campaign termination. To do so, SSC changed the rule stating that no campaigning can take place within 15 feet of the polling place, to instead create a “campaign free zone”. When asked if he thought the atmosphere of SSC had changed as a result of last year, Farnsworth said that he thought most people were mainly over it, but it does “linger in our minds, and really stresses how important creating the election rules are”.
All around, it would seem that this experience really has turned out to be a “blessing in disguise”. When tough situations, as this one, come up, our delegates choose to rise to the occasion and improve on their mistakes, instead of taking the fall. Jack Ellis has done that, and has come out on the other side even better suited to be the SSC Chair. At the end of Ellis’ interview, he told us the Youth Governor position, for him, wasn’t the right place for him to be. He stated that “the events that happened last year were meant to be so that I could continue the work that I’m doing in the ways that I am. State Steering Committee Chair is something that I have been able to dedicate more time to because I don’t have the duties of a Governor and I believe that I can have more of an impact on the program and be able to better the program more when I’m fully devoted to one job instead of being spread thin throughout the program.”