How can you prevent Schreiber’s students from losing their voice

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Dylan Lyman, Staff Writer

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On Mar. 21, the student body of Schreiber will vote in a referendum to adopt or reject a new constitution for Schreiber’s Student Government.  All students will be allowed to vote, and are encouraged to express their voice by doing so.  Schreiber’s Student Government was formed so that the student body would be able to make their voice heard within the school.  For many years, it was able to accomplish this goal through a strong student-led organizational structure.  However, over the past two decades, the power of Student Council, and, by association, the power of the student body has been waning.  

Through a myriad of changes to its organizational structure, the Student Council has become something completely unrecognizable from the advocacy organization it once was.  There was a time when the operation of the Student Government was an important topic of discussion, and the news of its proceedings occupied its own recurring section in the school’s newspaper.  Back when Student Government was truly effective, it fought, and won, many battles with the school’s administration, whether it be over the right of students to sit in the circle in front of the school, or to force changes in the physical education curriculum.  It established popular programs and events in the 1980s and 1990s, such as a student discount card program and a battle of the bands contest. 

Back then, the Student Government had a strong form of organization, one where the roles of the officers in charge were specifically carved out and defined.  There was a President who led the agenda, a treasurer who handled the finances, and other important positions that each attended to their own important duties.  Now, however, the Student Council’s Executive Board is composed of officers who are not given specific roles or titles. 

Due to this format, the ability of the Executive Council to effectively govern the Student Council has, to a great degree, been hindered.  This is because the lack of specified areas of functioning has led to reduced productivity and efficacy.  As a result, the power of the Student Council to advocate on the behalf of the student body has itself been diminished.

The feeling that Student Council isn’t as powerful as it should be is being felt by students from all different areas of the school.

“Student Council does advocate for certain parts of the student body but not the whole of what it should be able to do,” said junior and Student Council member Abigail Masri.

The idea that Student Council should be serving in some capacity as the voice of the student body is not uncommon, and many students agree with this viewpoint, and believe that it should be allowed to function in this capacity.  

“Student Council representatives should definitely advocate on the behalf of the student body,” said junior Youmin Park.  “StudCo is one of the few organizations that allow students to voice their concerns and interests.” 

Student Council was designed to be the voice of the student body, and many students believe that action needs to be taken in order for this purpose to be restored.  

“StudCo should advocate on behalf of the student body, it only makes sense,” said junior Jordana Flisser.  

Despite the nearly unanimous agreement on the part of the students about the importance of having Student Council act as a representative of the student body, the issue of its inability to act in such a manner remains.  

This problem can be solved by voting for a new Student Government constitution during the referendum.  The new constitution replaces the current format of the Executive Council with one where all the members have specified positions, with specified duties.  Furthermore, the new constitution also lays the groundwork for a stronger Student Council in general, so that it can become the great proponent of the student body that it is meant to be.  With this in mind, those who believe that all students should have a voice in what happens at Schreiber should vote for the new constitution on Mar. 21.

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