WHS introduces Student Senate to foster campus unity

ASG held its first Student Senate meeting on March 3, and meetings will take place in the Faculty Lounge on the first Tuesday of the month during the beginning of fifth period. Each class will send one representative to the meeting which should last about 15 minutes. 

The Student Senate is gradually being implemented. Meetings are being held in order to avoid overwhelming students at the beginning of the next school year and encourage student feedback and participation to develop a more unified student body. 

“[Student Senate is a] way to communicate with the rest of the student body,” said ASG Board President Jeremy Garelik ‘20. “It is another avenue for students [to get information].” 

After each Student Senate meeting, the student representatives from each class will go back to their class and share the discussion from the meeting with their peers and teachers. Representatives will be given an agenda sheet with bolded action items to notice and talk about with their class. 

According to Garelik, the students will give their class a “SparkNotes version” of what is talked about during the meeting. This will help students gain more information about what is going on around campus and how they can participate. 

Another addition is the introduction of “thank you” cards. The purpose is for students and teachers to recognize why they appreciate each other and further relationships between teachers and students to contribute to a more positive environment. 

“Some students may feel under-appreciated by their teachers,” said ASG Board Vice President Kyle Huemme ‘20. “The idea is that a few students will be given a card to thank their teachers. Teachers will then write to a few students.” 

After the first meeting, each representative was given five “thank you” cards and envelopes. Five students in each class were able to volunteer to write one thank you card to a teacher, counselor or faculty member of their choosing. A student can directly give their card to their intended recipient or have someone else deliver it. 

“[Students] can give it to ASG and we will deliver it,” said Garelik. “[It is preferred that students] try and address it with their name.” 

During the first meeting, Garelik and Huemme told representatives five spirit week ideas, including family week, beach week, opposites week, movies/ Hollywood week and sports week. Representatives brought back these spirit week themes to their classes to vote on.  The spirit theme with the most votes would have determined the spirit week for April 6-9; however, due to the current school closures, the spirit week will no longer take place.

According to Assistant Principal of Activities, Vicky Torossian, the purpose of voting on spirit week was to “increase school culture.” If students vote for what they want, it is likely that more students will participate. In the future, student representatives may suggest alternative spirit week themes. 

Selecting different students encourages new ideas and opinions. This way Student Senate meetings will change every time and keep students engaged. Meetings will not be predictable and therefore will have a greater impact on students and teachers. 

“[Teachers are] supposed to pick different students each time [for each meeting],” said Garelik. 

Now that school is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, the Student Senate has been put on hold with hopes to resume when students return to school tentatively on May 4.

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