By Justin Broomfield ‘15
Vows to fix bathrooms, get rid of homework, and reduce crowded halls are a few things heard in many speeches at Midwood’s city council election every year. Candidates say they will “try their best” to do this and do that, but everything is the same and has been since my coming to Midwood in 2011. All talk and no walk makes me wonder whether or not our school really needs a student government.
“It’s been around since I went here,” said Ms. Marcia Kaufman, “but much has changed.”
Student Government elections for 2014-2015 are coming up soon and the nominees all have prominence in the school. They’ve either participated in SING, are on a team, or are just known by a majority of students around the school. They’re the same ones who want to take part in student government elections each year.
Once our leaders are elected, some come into office without much knowledge of their role. There are formal and informal requirements expected of them, just as there are of real politicians. The formal requirements are stated in the Midwood Constitution, which any Hornet has the right to retrieve. The Midwood Constitution differentiates the roles and the titles of student government and their responsibilities.
“If every student government leader truly abided by the Midwood Constitution, the student government could do wonders. Unfortunately, that is not the case,” said Almas Shafiq ’14, the Mayor of the City of Midwood.
One role of the student government engages in is the meeting with the principal once each month, presenting the new ideas that the Midwood community has brought to their attention. Students are limited to what they can do due to tight budgets and the practicality of the implementing their ideas.
“Having students that are well-known as leaders is good because many students will feel comfortable going to them if they would like to express an idea,” said Ms. Kaufman.
She explained that giving students a voice allows the student body to feel like they have some say in what goes on. If we didn’t have a student government, students would feel like they’re in a prison because they would have no voice and would have to live with the school’s problems.
Our school has a Parent Association (PA) that is involved in events and fund raisers. If the two could meet, their organization and regular meetings would be beneficial to the Student Government. This representation of a student body would make our council look professional and organized, and it would bring great ideas to the parents. Shifting the parents’ focus to student concerns, such as adding air conditioning or starting classes later than 7:15 a.m., would make students happier and would stimulate others to pitch ideas for improving the school. Parents don’t come to school with us, so students explaining their problems and adults considering them would be extremely useful and efficient. Of course the parents’association doesn’t make decisions for how the school is run, but they may have some influence over the principal.
“Being part of the student government and being the school-wide representative has definitely increased my activism in attending school-spirited events,” said Mayor Almas Shafiq. “I attend many events and meetings for a variety of clubs and organizations, as well as for sports games, to show them my support. I feel it’s important for our students to know that there is someone who is there to listen to them and someone who truly cares and supports them.”
Our student government consists of great students, but not all leaders live up to their words and don’t take the responsibility of learning what actual meetings consist of. Not every leader actually cares. The PA has meetings, elections, and events and gets tasks done. Joining forces with our PA would be beneficial to all and would improve the Midwood community.