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What to expect while running for office
Step 1: Campaigning
The first thing you will do at convention as a candidate is campaign! Campaigning is an important time to get to talk one-on-one with the students attending convention, while it can seem really intimidating, its genuinely so fun! You'll get to explain your campaign ideas to students in a more personal way. Consider having materials to hand out to students like a pamphlet that explains your campaign, wristbands and stickers with your slogan, or other little things that tie back to your campaign and what you believe in! There are a few requirements to hand outs and campaigning such as:
Candidates are allowed one poster up to 6' by 6' and it must be hung in the courtyard. All campaign materials will be limited to the courtyard. Any material found in the in the hallways, or the ballroom area will be removed. You must have a clean up committee to clean the Courtyard after speeches Sunday evening. The only materials that will be allowed in the courtyard after the speeches will be the 6' by 6' poster.
The candidates will be allowed 100 sheets of 8 1/2 by 11 paper to be handed out to voting delegates in the courtyard.
The candidates will have will have an eight-foot table in the courtyard that they may decorate, and hand out campaign material. Please do not hand out any other paper products. The cost of buttons, pencils, wristbands, etc. will be limited to $200.00. It does not matter if it is purchased or donated, the value should not exceed $200.00.
The candidates will be allowed to select their table and location in the courtyard at 1:00 P.M. on Sunday afternoon. Please do not hang your single poster before 1:00 P.M. From 3:30 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. candidates must clean their campaign area.
No food, beverages or candy is allowed during the campaign
Step 2: Speeches
The next step in your process as a candidate is a speech! You will give your speech in front of the whole conference, and is a great time for students to see your public speaking abilities! Topics your speech should address is why you would like to serve as a state officer, it should be serious in nature, and it should be reviewed by your student council advisor. You are able to also use a video/skit to further explain your campaign. Your speech and video combined cannot go over three minutes, this includes skits, introductions, and entrances. If you do happen to go over, you will be cut off and you will not be able to finish your speech or video. The guidelines for speeches and skits are as follows:
Candidates will not be allowed to throw candy or any other objects during, before or after their speech. No food beverages or candy is allowed during the campaign.
No cross dressing is allowed during the skits or videos.
If a candidate uses a video it can only be one minute and thirty seconds. The remaining times should be a live presentation. NDASC will provide a computer and video projector.
Sound systems are not allowed. The state officers will provide music for the courtyard area.
Step 3: Mini Sessions with delegates
As a candidate, you will get one block of time to interact with just the voting delegates. The block of time is during the third mini session and it is in the courtyard. This is a unique experience to interact with the delegates since they will be able to see your leadership style in action. You will be placed in groups within the area of office that you are running for. For example, President and Vice-President candidates will be in groups together, Class A Representatives will be in groups, and Class B Representatives will be in groups together as well. From there your candidate group will be sent to a group of delegates, and you all will work together to choreograph a dance to a song that the current state officers choose. You will have a few minutes to do this, so it is important that you make good use of your time.
The next part of the mini session that you will be doing is a question and answer time with the delegates. The delegates will be split into groups again and your candidate group will go around the room and have time to talk to each of the delegate groups. The delegate groups will have a few minutes to ask your candidate group any question they would like. Questions can range from clarifying your campaign and how you to plan to implement it to what your favorite Shrek movie is, so be prepared for anything! While this can seem really daunting, don't worry! You have already spoken with many of these students during campaigning, so do your best to relax and have fun!
Step 5: Primary Election
Your fifth step as a candidate is the primary election. During the election, there isn't anything you are able to do other than hope that the time you spent campaigning, giving your speech, and interacting with the delegates during the mini-session was impactful to the delegates so they vote for you.
Step 6: Second Speeches
Congratulations! Now that you have made it through the primary, you will be giving another speech. The way this speech is formatted is different each year, but the two things you can count on are that the speech will be between 1-3 minutes, and you will have time to prepare. Some things you may consider including in your speech would be a quick reminder of your campaign, thanking the students for voting for you, and your goals.
Step 7: Hot Seat Questions
The seventh step in your process of candidacy is the "Hot Seat." During the Hot Seat questions, candidates for all office positions are called up on stage, then each candidate will take a turn sitting in the "Hot Seat." Candidates will then pull two questions out of a hat, one will be of serious nature, and the other will be a question of funny nature. Hot Seat questions are important because student delegates will be able to see how you as a candidate can answer questions on the fly. Hot Seat questions are a great opportunity to tie your answers back to your campaign, or your ideas of what leadership is. Here is what an example Hot Seat Question may look like:
State Officer: "If you were any kitchen appliance, what would you be, and why?"
Candidate: "I would be a blender because when you use a blender you put in all kinds of different ingredients to make a good smoothie. Kind of like in leadership, we have different gifts and talents and our teams will be stronger when we all work together as a team. That way we can make a better "smoothie."
Step 8: Relax and have fun!
At this point in your candidacy, there are no more scheduled opportunities for you to speak as a candidate. Now you will be able to have fun at night activities and wait for the election results in the morning!
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