The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

BOSA campaigning: Keys to success

Conrad Berke
To get campaigners for the March 16 BOSA elections, leadership members created posters around the school.

With BOSA (Board Of Student Affairs) elections right around the corner, Woodside’s BOSA candidates have strived to broadcast their campaigns and make sure their voices are heard. The election process can be intimidating, especially for campaigners new to the leadership process. To make it easier, Paw Print staff have composed a how-to guide on running for BOSA.

This year’s BOSA elections will take place on March 16, but before then, campaigners need to have 100 different signatures from Woodside students. To ensure diversity, the candidates need to make sure these 100 signatures come from different grades, rather than just one. The current BOSA staff use social media platforms, similar to other campaigners, as a way to advertise their campaign. Natalie Melgar, BOSA’s current vice president, created an Instagram account in 2019 in order to try to gain voters.

Current BOSA Advice:

“I actually ran with someone else last year,” Melgar said. “Carlos for president, and I ran for vice president. We had a shared social media page, but we still did things on our own.”

Personal connections were also a big part of Melgar’s campaigning strategy.

Current BOSA Vice President Nathalie Melgar campaigned alongside Carlos Osuna on Instagram, under the account @candnforbosa. (Natalie Melgar)


“My biggest strategy was to kind of interact with everyone,” Melgar said. “It was between those interactions, people got to know who I was, rather than posting about it everywhere because I did that too. I thought one on one interactions counted so much more than asking people to put up posters for me or just asking them to run for me. So I kind of reached out to everyone that I could.”

Melgar ran for the vice president position in the BOSA team and was successful, her efforts and strategy paid off. For other BOSA members, holding previous leadership positions allowed them to get an extra boost in their campaigns. Adin Helfand, current secretary for BOSA, was originally class secretary for two years.

“In my sophomore and junior years with the leadership program, I had the opportunity to work with the last two BOSA administrations, finding that the positions attracted very compassionate and engaged leaders,” Helfand said.

Campaign Inspiration

Many of this year’s campaigners currently hold leadership positions, demonstrating experience that could prove valuable.

“My name is Benny, I’m a junior, and I’m running for BOSA vice president,” junior Benny Bogyo said. “Right now I’m currently the junior class vice president. So I have some experience.”

Deciding to run a campaign is not a random decision. Many run in the hopes of changing the school for the better and in the hopes of gaining prized leadership experience. Inspiration, particularly from individuals, can be a great source of fuel for many candidates.

“My brother was president of Best Buddies, and I [was] treasurer,” said Amanda Marcos, a junior running for the vice president position. “By seeing his leadership, seeing how it’s cool being able to be a leader, [and] seeing how much responsibility you have, it’s a lot of fun that you get to be able to plan stuff that people actually go to.”

Campaign Challenges

Marcos is currently running for BOSA vice president and has encountered a couple of campaign challenges.

“I think that the most challenging part is getting your name out there,” Marcos said. “And knowing about the whole school before you start to run for BOSA because you’ve got to be able to know a lot of stuff.”

Reflecting back on what was most difficult in her campaign, Helfand mentions getting out of her comfort zone.

“The most difficult part of a campaign is convincing people outside of your friend group/regular acquaintances to vote for you,” Helfand said. “It can be uncomfortable to go up to people you don’t know and strike up a conversation, ask them about Woodside’s opportunities for improvement, and even encourage them to vote for you.”

Campaign Tips

Every year, people run for BOSA. But what makes a candidate stand out? What did BOSA members do to become successful?

“I made some posters, social media story posts, we did some personal posts, kind of got my name out there,” Melgar said. “[I communicated] who I am, what I’m doing, what I plan to do.”

Ensuring Woodside students know you are running and who you are is crucial. Advertising one’s own campaign is composed greatly by simply stating you are a candidate and summarizing why students should vote for you. For this year’s campaigners, social media has played a huge role.

In the race for the 2023 BOSA positions, candidates Lorenzo Pepe and Benny Bogyo created the Instagram account @bozo4bosa to help their chances. (Benny Bogyo)

“Instagram posts [have] been pretty active, a lot of people [have] interacted with that, and I say they have been working pretty well,” BOSA president candidate Lorenzo Pepe said.

Pepe, along with his co-campaigner Bogyo, has created the Instagram account @bozo4bosa in order to spread awareness for their campaign. Posts range from videos of the candidates dancing to photos outside Target to pictures taken with Principal Van Putten.

“I think social media is actually working pretty well because a lot of people are figuring out we’re running,” Bogyo said.

This same strategy of using Instagram accounts is being incorporated in other campaigns, including the co-campaign of Amanda Marcos (@amandaforbosavp) and Sierra Pestoni (@pestoni4president). To many, social media has been a huge advantage that has helped boost many people’s interactions and votes with and for the candidates, hence its popularity.

Junior Amanda Marcos has appeared on numerous posters around the school, in the hopes of gaining new voters and promoting her campaign. (Xamara Carillo)

“Most of my campaigning was done via social media. I made digital flyers, Instagram stories, and posts that I advertised myself and recruited friends to help share,” Helfand said. “My fellow BOSA members this year also had some great strategies, such as making accounts dedicated to their campaign, hosting IG Lives where they addressed FAQ, and polling students to determine which issues they’d like to see fixed.”

Using social media has become a strong method for advertising one’s campaign and presence in the BOSA elections. Getting to people without social media has clearly been different in terms of advertising.

“As far as people who like aren’t on social media, I think that having visuals like posters and things you can see is a good way to demonstrate it,” current junior class secretary Josephine Meade said. “People often ignore posters, so it’s good to get it, either in person like representation or over social media accounts.”

But while social media has been an effective tool, simply informing the public about WHY they should vote for you is vital. People need to have something to go off of, rather than just a face.

“BOSA-hopefuls should convey their mission in their campaign,” Helfand said. “Which aspects of Woodside are you passionate about? What are tangible changes you would make if elected? What unique qualities would you bring to the BOSA team?”

There are many factors that should be considered if you’re running for a BOSA candidate position.

“Think about making your campaign inclusive. Don’t just ask your friends what changes they want to see; go up to people you don’t know,” Helfand said. “Make posters in English and Spanish. Broadcast your candidacy on social media and in person.”

There are many ways to campaign and get votes. The best way to run a successful campaign is to display your true self and values.

“Be yourself, people always try to put out this persona, especially running for leadership positions,” Melgar stated. “They want to be that gold standard, per se that’s expected in a member. They’re not showing themselves and that lack of being genuine is what makes it really hard to determine who would be best for that position.”

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About the Contributors
Conrad Berke, Co-Editor in Chief
Conrad Berke is a senior and third-year journalist. He enjoys writing about sports, culture, and opinion pieces. In his free time, Conrad enjoys watching soccer games, listening to music, playing Magic: The Gathering, and spending time with friends and family.
Xamara Carrillo, Online Editor
Xamara Carrillo is a junior and third-year journalist. She enjoys writing about local and campus news. She hopes that she can improve her writing while telling others about what happens on campus. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering.