Update on the Student Council Election: Or Lack Thereof

By Morgan Walsh  

As Covid runs rampant through the streets and students are filled with terror, the Student Council has found an opening amidst the chaos to establish their master plan. Behind the closed doors, they did away with their beloved Democracy and established the Bureaucracy of their dreams right under the nose of their advisors Mr. Wren and Mr. Pertucci, gaining full control over the student government. 

Okay, so that might be stretching the truth, but let this be a lesson that not everything online is true. In reality, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the student council has had to change gears away from their normal agenda. It has taken a lot from the year, such as airband, school dances, and football games, and now the election falls another victim of 2020. Though many members of the club were disappointed that there would be no election, they understood why it needed to happen. 

“No elections being held is definity a big difference from years past…”reflected Amelia Gaffney who, along with Georgia Wood, is the secretary of the Student Council, “It’s kinda a big thing, they send a google form out to the entire student body. This year was definitely interesting because we just kinda picked whatever we wanted and how we could best help the student council. It was necessary during these times. We couldn’t really swing a full blown student election just because we had to get stuff done…we started school late, we ended school early last year, so it was just kinda what needed to happen to get stuff done this year.”

From left to right: Jacob Connelly, Amelia Gaffney and Guy Sanchez

If anything, the lack of elections has allowed more students to take part in the decision making of the club. All students who attended the first meeting and wanted to take part in the consul were given positions according to their strength. 

“I feel pretty good about the setup of the club this year,” said Gabriella Giuliano, the Co-Vice President of the council with Sara Gomez, “I think that with Covid-19 everything is different so it’s nice that StuCo is able to adapt with the world around us. Personally, I think it was really nice that this year every person who wanted a leadership position was able to get what they wanted, so there wasn’t really a need for elections, unless someone decides to contest a position.”

The Current Set Up

Not only did the student council have setbacks due to school being delayed and the inability to host events, but they were also facing a change in leadership. Though the club is usually directed by Mr. Rath, who is currently  teaching fully online, this year Mr. Pertucci and Mr. Wren took the reins (and all the responsibilities that come with them) as advisors. 

“Just as people I like Mr. Pertucci and Mr. Wren a lot, and I think they do an excellent job of being the advisors of the club,” said Social Chair, Jacob Connelly, “They are very focused on making sure that students are the ones running the club and students have voices in the club…They do a great job at making sure that everything stays on track and everybody knows what they’re doing and we are as efficient at helping people as we can be.”

Student Council members bagging food to give to the community for Thanksgiving.

Meeting every Monday in the auditorium, the club members get together to discuss ideas for school wide projects, approve money for clubs, and debate ways to bring the school community together. Though in the past they’ve met only once a month, this year they plan to be meeting more regularly, scheduling general assembly meetings which are open to all students to suggest ideas and executive board meetings to ensure they are taking care of business. Students should feel free to voice any ideas, opinions, or concerns they have for the school to the consul. 

“We do not currently have any formal way for students to suggest ideas,” noted Cayentano “Guy” Sanchez IV, the Representative to the School Committee, “If anyone has any suggestions, they can let anyone know who is a member of the general assembly or executive consul and they can present the idea on your behalf.”

Plans For this Year 

Despite everything, the club still has exciting projects for this year in the works. As many students are likely aware of, they are currently hosting a thanksgiving food drive. Thank you to everyone who brought in food this Thanksgiving. 

“Right now, we are working on the thanksgiving food drive which is in conjunction with Operation Help the Homeless,” Amelia explained “That is run by a group of juniors at our School. So that was a really cool project that we took on and kinda a good way to kick off the year, especially with the community service based project.” 

Food being loaded into trucks for delivery.

The club’s goal is to make 50 Thanksgiving baskets to give to the people of the town, and helping out is as simple as bringing in spare boxes of canned goods you know no one in your house is ever going to eat. As Jacob said, “I know, myself included, sometimes some of the things that student council does comes off as tacky and a little silly and everyones just like hahaha, but being apart of student council I know that everything we do has a purpose and everything we do is to try to help the community… So, I would just say to everybody, just give into it! Just laugh a little and have some fun, make the most of it.” 

In addition to the food drive, other ideas have been pinned to their drawing board. Right now the club is looking for ways to bring together the two sides of the alphabet which no longer see each other in school. Without large events, it has become a struggle for kids from the first and second half of the week to mingle. Even simple things like making sticky notes from one class to leave on desk from another could make a difference. 

Members such as Guy have been concerned about the divide in students.“We’re not speaking to them like we normally would,” he said , “All the people you normally talk to in class and you would have interactions with, half of them are gone. You’re just not talking to them anymore unless you’re hanging out outside of school. So we’re trying to bring some of those interactions back and bring people together, because it will be better for everyone’s mental health and for the school unity.” 

Other upcoming events could include the beloved airband if it is allowed to continue this year. Another one on the table is the Sc-Avenger hunt. Just as the name says, it is a scavenger hunt for avenger students. Jacob, in particular, is hoping for the event to be held this year. “I’m really interested in making sure we can get a very good scavenger hunt to encompass the entire town. I know in years passed we’ve had all these nice fun tasks, with the student council planning all of it out. I would really like to help connect the school and parts of the town itself and I think a scavenger hunt would be a great way to do that.”

***

Although this year has brought with it many changes, hopefully it will open way to plenty of promising ones. Though the student council election may just be another tradition trampled over by the pandemic, there is still hope for things to go back to the “old normal” and a sense of comradery that can be felt between students as moments in school are appreciated now more than ever. 

As Guy wisely said, “This whole pandemic has made life much more difficult. We can’t play all sports, we can’t visit our friends, and we can’t see extended families. However, as hard as this time may be, we must all try to make it as tolerable as possible. If we all put out effort into school, and practice social distancing, we will be able to make this school year a good one and get through this pandemic.” 

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