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Student Council Decides Senior Song

By Ben Gelderloos in Student News

After months of trying to orchestrate a vote among the senior class for the senior song, Student Council has decided that the senior class song will be “I Lived” by OneRepublic. The song was settled upon after a vote among the seniors in student council at the beginning of this calendar year.

“It [I Lived] talks about having a good life,” said Senior Class Vice President Connor Cantrell. ”High school is a good time for all of the seniors and we hope that you guys ‘lived’ while you were a senior.”

This decision marked the 3rd and final attempt that Student Council has made to come to a decision about the senior song after trying to use the input of the entire class. This new popular voting system has never been used in past years but holds hope for the future.

“I’m hoping that next year perhaps we can have one of those elections,” said Treasurer Nick Gunther, “Where first the seniors suggest candidates for the senior song, those are put in a ballot and everyone in the class votes.”

Facebook Poll

The first vote was on the senior class page that consisted of 95 voters that chose the song Africa by Toto. Backlash from seniors soon arose because the song was thought to have been chosen as a joke.

“I think they are kind of goofing around and pushing for a song that they think is kind of funny,” said Student Council supervisor Mrs. Kraemer. “They want to push through a song that doesn’t necessarily have meaning to their school. A lot of seniors have been coming to me upset.”

Senior Sam Crist, who introduced the song to the facebook pole, has held strong to the early-80s song and believes it is the right choice for the senior class.

“The point of the senior song is to represent what the senior class went through all four years that we’ve been in school and it needs to be unique, it can’t be something generic pop song that came from 2011 when we were freshmen to 2015 when we graduated,” he said. “[Africa] shows how diverse we are in a way. We’re unique.”

As student council worked to find a solution and some seniors became increasingly polarized about Africa as a class song, the role and importance of the senior song was questioned.

“There’s been accusations that it’s not a serious song,” Nick Gunther said, “That’s true to the certain extent that the student body doesn’t want a serious song. We want a song that we’ll enjoy and a song that’s memorable and if you’re going by a song that represents us as high school seniors.”

Others became passionate that the senior class song was not something to be taken lightly with a song like Africa.

“It [the senior song] is something that you chose in the present, that you remember about the past, that you look forward to in the future,” said Head Boy Fernando Zuniga. “It’s like something that you represent your class with and it shouldn’t be taken as a joke. It should be something memorable that you’re not going to regret later or even regret now.”

The song, however, is not completely for the seniors and may have impact on other members of the Fairview community.

“It is our day, we graduate, but it is also for parents and family and for them to experience their kid graduating and for some families this might be their first kid graduating high school and their first kid going to college,” said Head Girl Alice Bonan. “It is very important for some families and so when it is turned into a joke it gets really offensive.”

Questioning the legitimacy and value of the original election instead of the choice of Africa, Student Council planned to hold another vote to dispel conflict created by the song.

“I have listened to this song for like 10 years,” said Zuniga. “I probably listen to it once a week just in my car... but I just don’t think that it is a song that represents our senior class that should be played at our graduation. It wasn’t really there during our high school [experience].”

Class Ballot Vote

The second attempt was a vote with seniors in LA classes on Friday the 12th of December. It would have allowed students to choose between “I Lived” by OneRepublic, “Safe and Sound” by the Capital Cities, and “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons, which were all chosen by Student Council. “Africa” by Toto remained on the list.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Crist at the time of the revote. “I know a lot of people are going to vote for ‘Africa’ because not many people know what StuCo is going to pick out. I think it’s okay to have a revote, I’m not too conflicted about that.”

The vote was continuously pushed back until it was to be held the Friday before finals weeks. Treasurer Nick Gunther, who has been in support of a popular vote for the song, worked to push the election through.

“We got enough support and Ms. Kraemer allowed there to be an election with certain guidelines,” said Gunther. “I contacted the head of the English department about dates but where we made our mistake was we had held the election in the week before finals weeks and had not contacted all the english teachers.”

However, the elections lasted for first and second period before they were shut down.

“It was going fine,” said Cantrell. “We tried it for two periods and then the head of the department got annoyed and contacted Ms. Kraemer and said, like, it’s not fair.”

“There was enough friction created between the english teachers and student council that in the end Ms. Kraemer cancelled the election,” said Gunther.

The lack of success in holding the election drove student leadership to give up on the idea of a popular vote and instead decide based on the vote of seniors in Student Council.

“Here’s the thing,” said Mrs. Kraemer. “Traditionally it’s just the senior class president and vice president who pick the song, so we just decided to do it different this year and put it up to a vote. We tried and it didn’t work so we’re just going to do this.”

Student Council Vote

After attempting to allow the senior class to decide on the song for much of the first semester, Student Senate held a vote when they returned from winter break.

“At the beginning of the year we were all elected as Student Council representatives for the seniors,” said Connor Cantrell. “I mean, they voted us in to make decisions for them so I think that it is extra fair that we do that because we’re here to represent them and if it doesn’t work to contact all of them then that’s what our decision is.”

Despite not involving all seniors, the vote is an improvement from years past when only the senior class president decided the song.

“It really was one last year when one guy decided the senior song and the rest of senate went along with that,” Gunther said. “In the future years it can be an election involving the entire senior class with a song suggested by the senior class and not just something that involves senate.”

Finally, Student Council decided on the song being “I Lived” by OneRepublic after careful consideration of the other songs that seniors would have voted on in the popular election.

“‘I Lived’ is actually a good song because we listened to the lyrics in Student Council,” said Cantrell. “If kid's voted for [Africa] I’d be fine with it but if the election actually ended up happening, I don’t think that would have won.”

Although Student Council has not and will not officially announce the new song, little objection has so far been raised against the decision.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people and they are not upset about it,” Cantrell said. “Personally, I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal. How many years down the road are you going to go like ‘oh I remember when so and so’s song was our senior class song’?”

Although Africa was not chosen as Crist and other seniors had hoped, “I Lived” should not cause any more controversy or disruption.”

“I think that it is safe choice. It is a song that came out when we were in high school that I’d say most of the senior class would accept as a senior song,” Gunther said. “It just hasn’t had the approval of a majority of the senior class.”

Throughout the whole ordeal, the meaning and purpose of the senior song has been questioned and reconsidered. The successes and failures experienced by Student Council while attempting to hold a popular vote have set a new pathway for the future of this long standing tradition.

“I’m glad that we at least made an effort,” said Gunther. “Hopefully it set a precedent that in the future there will be elections for the senior class song.”

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