Meet Carmel Shaka, candidate for student body president


Junior Carmel Shaka. Photo by Daphne Yu.

Lauren Puckett

Why are you running for this position?
I’m running for this position because I just really want a leadership role this year in Student Council. As a representative, I really learned what it is that makes student council run smoothly because I helped with almost everything. So now I want to go to a leadership role, because I want to help it run well this time, so that everything gets done and everybody on student council participates. I just really care about the school and I have some really great ideas for next year, so I think a leadership role would be great.
What impact do you hope to make while in office?
The impact I want to make consists of two different things. I want as many people as possible involved and I might do that by publicizing more, because a lot of people don’t know what certain activities are, so just getting the information out there better to the students will get more people involved. And then the second most important thing is that people know that student council helps the school; what exactly that it does, because a lot of people don’t know and so they don’t care much for student council.
What have you done to campaign?
So far, I have put up multiple posters around school, and I’ll continue doing that tomorrow. And then I’ve made a Facebook page about it, more of like an event, which is scheduled for the day of the elections, which is April 11th, so just to make people aware of that. And, I mean, so far I’ve just gone up to random people and said ‘hey, vote for me’ and, if they were to ask why, I would tell them.
What makes you qualified for the position?
Well, I’ve been on student council for a year so far and I’ve helped with almost everything, so I know what needs to go on for homecoming and courtwarming, I know exactly what we need to do next year for the dance marathon, because I was the committee chair for it this year, so I know what to do to make it better, and then I’ve just done various things within student council so I know the background for it. So I feel like that would make me qualified for that position.
What qualities do you have that would make you a good candidate for the office?
I think I have some good leadership skills. I listen to people and I take their suggestions, I know how to stay organized, and stuff like that. I try to be friendly too. I’m willing to ask just people, not just student council but the people who go to Rock Bridge, to ask them what they think, like how homecoming things should be. So, yeah, I guess I’m very inquisitive and open. I have a lot of care for this school and I’m approachable, so anyone could ask me questions or give suggestions. I’m just willing to have fun with everything, and I’m also very dedicated to everything I do for the school. I get things done, and I’m creative so I look for more efficient ways to go about things.
What politician do you model your approach after?
Well, I’m not sure. I mean, if someone came up to me in the hall today and was like, ‘Hey, Carmel, I wanna vote for you!’ and then was like, ‘You’re like Obama!’ So I guess I could see myself modeling after Obama, not because of his views but because he’s always say[ing] ‘yes, we can.’ And he actually goes for things—he doesn’t just say he’s going to do things, he actually does something about it. So I would do the same thing. I’m not just saying that publicity is gonna be bigger next year, or that things are just gonna be fun, I’m gonna actually do my best to make that happen. I’m gonna go out and ask what people want me to do, I’m going to make sure that information gets out quickly and efficiently so that people know what’s going on and so that they’re able to participate if they’d like to.
Where do you see yourself politically in 10 years?
Well, I mean, I’ve always had the thought that I’ve wanted to be mayor of Carmel, Calif. I mean, Clint Eastwood was the mayor of Carmel, Calif. so that would be highly appealing. But I’d like to say I’d like to be President, but that’s not exactly possible for me, seeing as how I wasn’t born in the U.S. But I definitely think that a political office is something I could see in my future.
How are you reaching out to the community to help your campaign.
I’m literally just going up to different people and telling them, ‘vote for me, I’m different, I have a different approach to the way I want to do student council.’ It’s not going to be the same as Carmen. Carmen’s great, but Rock Bridge needs a little something different. That’s what makes it Rock Bridge, the fact that so many people are different and they have a lot of appeal that you can reach out to … I’m trying to make it possible so that people see what I’m talking about. I’ve put my posters in places that I know people will see, so and that’s kind of an example of what I’d do as president. If I needed to get information out there, I’d use posters so that people can clearly see what’s going on.
What are your ideas on the playground additions on the north side of school?
Honestly, I didn’t know a lot about that going on, but I think that’s a great idea. I know my little sister went to that preschool and she loved it. She loved playing on the playground—she would always come back with a little bit of sand in her hair, but she loved school because of it, and because she got to learn, so I think it would be a great addition.
What do you think the student body is looking for in a candidate?
I’m pretty sure the student body is looking for someone who is fun, engaging, isn’t too corny or anything but has a serious plan of what they’re going to do. Someone who won’t, like, give them false promises but will do the best that they can. And I guess they’re also looking for something different this year, and I think that’s what these elections are about this year. I mean, we’re doing a whole new system and, you know, we have different people with different ideas. I think that’s what the student body is looking for.
By  Lauren Puckett