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Pro Tips for Chapter Elections

February 25, 2019
Mikayla Geisner

Mercer Island, Washington, United States

Ah yes, chapter board election season is right around the corner. Tired of watching opportunities to lead pass you by? Want a chance to serve on chapter board? This article is for you!

First off… here are the basic steps of preparing to run (although steps may vary depending on region).

Step 1 - Look at your region’s chapter board election guidelines to see the requirements for running for board (not all regions have this so ask your current Godol or N’siah).

Step 2 - Declare to your current regional and chapter Godol or N’siah, as well as chapter advisors, that you are running for board. Typically this is done by emailing in a declaration.

Step 3 - Come up with creative ideas for your platform! On your platform, be sure to include a list of your previous qualifications both inside and out of BBYO, goals for your position, as well as ideas to help support your chapter.

Step 4 - Start writing your speech! Your speech should include things as such as why you want to run and be on chapter board, a broader explanation of your love for BBYO as well as highlighting some of the most important ideas you highlighted in your platform. Most importantly… why people should vote for you! Don’t forget your fraternally/ respectfully submitted with undying love section!

Step 5 - Election day! Come to elections dressed in something that will boost your confidence (dresses or cocktail attire for BBG/a suit or slacks and a nice shirt for Alephs). Also, make sure you are wearing some of the pins as you have acquired in your time in BBYO with a big smile. Remember, confidence is key!

Now that you know the basic steps of running, here are some real tricks on how to achieve the most success in your upcoming election!

Tip Number 1 - Make your content memorable, people want to vote for the standout candidate.

Tip Number 2 - Rehearse your speech so that you can make good eye contact with members of your chapter, people will want to vote for someone who is confident and comfortable!

Tip Number 3 - Still stuck on coming up with ideas for your platform? Well, check out the Fisher Platform Database where you can find platform ideas for all positions. http://fisherplatformdatabase.weebly.com

Yes, this comprehensive list of tips are surely ways that you can prepare for your election, there are numerous other factors that go into chapter elections. The most important thing to remember when you run is why you run. This underlying theme should be present throughout everything you do leading up to and during the election. Your speech and platform should be able to accurately convey the passion you hold and the effort you will put in throughout the upcoming term.

Also remember that, even with BBYO’s universal rule against politicking (campaigning) you are never alone during the process. Your chapter Godol or N’siah is always there to support you and so are your chapter’s advisor, regional presidents, and regional staff. Many of them have been in your shoes before and would be happy to help guide you through the process.

Even then, losing is not the end. There’s always future terms and taking a a term off of board can help you gain perspective, apply for regional leadership, and and truly experience BBYO through a new lense. Losing an election should never be a reason for someone to lose interest or become less involved in BBYO.

Board positions are amazing, but that’s not the only way to make an impact in BBYO. People remember people. People remember their personal interactions with them, too.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou, Poet and Activist (1928-2014)

Mikayla Geisner is a BBG from Evergreen Region who has never missed a BBYO meeting and attended CLTC 8 2018 this past summer.

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