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Changes coming to Student Council?

Major changes could be coming to Student Council.

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Changes coming to Student Council?

Cade Westberry, Staff Writer

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Student Council’s role in the Upper School and across campus is something of a mystery to most. So when we heard there was some “change” brewing for the Council, we had to take a minute to figure out just what the Council is, and what those changes may mean.

Student Council is a governing body of students that acts as a liaison between the student body and administration.  It also coordinates student events throughout the year, and it helps to foster school spirit.  Effectively, if a student wants to see change, or take part in the direction of the Upper School administration, they can meet with the council or try to get on the council.  

Few people know it, but Student Council meetings are open to the public.  Meetings are every Tuesday at lunch, and if a student wishes to voice something, they may attend.

StuCo is made up of class representatives from every grade level and an “Executive Board,” consisting of a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, publicist, and member at large

Like any well-run government, StuCo has a constitution that directs its actions and identifies its functions; the constitution covers elections, meetings, fundraising, and spirit event protocols.

When I first arrived in the Upper School, I thought Student Council was pretty insignificant, just another school club, but as the years have gone on, I’ve realized the importance that StuCo’s influence has on the student body. The student body looks to council for direction, communication, major events, and as a voice in the goings-on on campus.

As a senior class representative this year, my hope for the council is that we represent the student body as well as possible; we exist for the people, and our number one goal should be to please the people.

For many years the organization has been relatively informal, some would say unstructured, but Student Council has many responsibilities and tasks to take care of, and if they don’t act effectively, everyone knows right away.

Membership on the council is an elected duty that comes with requirement to serve the student body as the student body sees fit. The council is not a dictatorial government; Student Council should act based on the will of the people.

So what are the “changes” that have been reported? 

One major change recently was the way a president is to be elected. In years past, a candidate had to serve on Student Council for at least a year before being able to run. Last year, this methodology was changed to an open election, similar to America’s democratic election process (anyone could run).

Open elections are great, but they can can also lead to ill-prepared presidencies. On the other hand, the openness brings new, fresh ideas and energy to what can become a stagnant council.

Other potential changes have come on recently when senior Carter Beckstein presented a various new ideas and proposed changes to reorganize student council and revise the constitution.

According to a source in the Student Council, Beckstein suggested proposals including cutting the Executive Board to only president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer, leaving out publicist and member at large.

The publicist position would be then become a position filled by a presidential selection.

Perspectives regarding potential changes vary widely.  I think open elections are a great way to elect a president for student council; it opens the door to any good leader.  However, many think there should be regulations as to who is elected (such as that the person must be someone who can handle the responsibility). 

In terms of removing positions such as member at large and publicist… As a new member of StuCo, I would say those members are extremely important. Everyone in Student Council serves an important purpose, whether it’s as a freshman class rep or senior president: we need them all.

Going forward, it will be interesting to see the direction that StuCo takes.  Vote in the polls below to add to the conversation.  Perhaps you could be the next president.

Should the Executive Board be "cut" down to P, VP, Secretary, Treasurer?

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Should the election for president be open to all students?

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About the Writer
Cade Westberry, Sports Beat Writer

Cade Westberry is a new member of The Gauntlet this 2018-2019 school year. He covers all things sports for our team as the Sports Beat Writer.

1 Comment

One Response to “Changes coming to Student Council?”

  1. Carter Beckstein on November 29th, 2018 2:17 pm

    This is a great article! The Student Council is a very important part of our school body. That being said, I do have a few comments.

    There is a constitution, but it is not listed anywhere nor is it available online; it exists solely as a word document in Mr. Forrester’s files. The document was written in 1996 and the last time it was updated was in 2003, but at some point fell out of use and was not found until this past summer.

    The Student Council does not currently adhere to the constitution. All but one of the officers’ duties have been simplified and reduced, the member at large position has been added outside the bylaws, there are no standing committees for non-STUCO involvement, and meeting attendance is not regulated as heavily, among other things. STUCO and its policies have no set written rules at the moment until the co

    I agree that students entering officer positions on the Council should ideally be qualified, but do not agree that candidates need to have been members of the student council beforehand as some people have argued. A good club or class treasurer is arguably more qualified to be a STUCO treasurer than a person who has been only a representative. Leadership is fairly universal. The student body should decide whether or not a person running for office is qualified.

    The proposed amendments do revise the constitution and bylaws, changing the way the Council operates, but the changes are understated. They currently would alter sections regarding officers, elections, responsibilities, powers, meetings, committees, and likely a few other things. I appreciate that they’re being recognized as a positive step forward, though! I hope the amendments continue to be improved and accepted soon.

    Thank you for writing this article! I’d love to see more news about progress and action in our student government.

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