Student Council must prioritize communication
April 19, 2018
Student Council and Cultural Union have become ingrained into the school’s culture. There is an illusion that the two groups are the connection between students and administration. But this isn’t a reality. To many, it feels like StudCo and CU only plan the dances. While members of the two groups dispute this internally, students’ inability to fully understand the need for a Student Council is the root of why some students believe the groups are irrelevant. This lack of understanding further fuels students’ inability to take the group seriously.
The roles of StudCo and CU haven’t been fully explained to the student body. The distinctions are unclear between the responsibilities of a CU member and other elected students. It’s hard to understand that these groups do anything beyond planning social events when their roles aren’t clearly communicated to the student body. Thus, StudCo and CU have to redefine their responsibilities. StudCo should be making a more valiant effort in sharing what they do on a regular basis with the student body.
It appears both groups spend too much of their time planning social events rather than working on other issues required of them. For example, StudCo could start conversations about diversity and social awareness, or they could host community service events. From these conversations, StudCo can learn more about student issues.
Another solution to this issue could be to disband CU completely, with the exception of one person elected by students who would lead a committee to plan dances, just like Prom Committee does. The committee could be made up of students who want to help plan the dances and other high school-wide events. This would allow elected leaders to focus their time on other relevant student issues. At a minimum, there needs to be a clear division between the two groups.
While there has been a recent attempt at transparency by publishing a quarterly report of what the grade-level leaders accomplished last quarter, there need to be more interactions between these leaders and their peers. The elected students currently seem disconnected from the needs of their peers, which is rooted in students not understanding the full potential of what StudCo and CU could do for students.
Whoever is elected next week should actively reach out to people in their grades and have conversations about their concerns. This will create a greater sense of community, and the student body will know their elected officials are actively working to improve the school.