Recently, Student Government has been hounded on by the reactions and comments following the NWN article about spirit days and assemblies. We would like to clarify the role and responsibilities of the Student Government. It seems that the student body fails to see the work we do behind the scenes and why we make the decisions that we make. This letter will hopefully add some insight about the Student Government to the student body, and what the students need to do to help us help you.
This year, the Student Government has spent the majority of time discussing the Annual Review. We surveyed the students via email on what you all thought about one of the biggest issues, the Calendar Change (in which a slight majority favored the suggested change). We asked around and listened to what students had to say, if anything, about the changes in the review, including the Board wanting to take out some honors classes. Then, the executive board of Student Government and the Cabinets had a meeting with the Board who wrote the Review. We, along with teachers and parents at the town meetings, successfully persuaded the Board to not take out the Honors classes and continue to execute the schedule changes. In addition to this, we are in charge of Senior Send-off, organizing sports teams and clubs for the assemblies, and creating the assemblies themselves.
Now, it’s time to discuss what has been happening with student life this year. To start with, I would like to address assemblies. Assemblies, although fun and loud, still need to be kept at some safety levels. For example, raging through hallways and crowd surfing is not okay. I like to call these out-of-school activities. Secondly, I realize that in the midst of teenage spirit, it is easy to forget simple formalities. By this, I mean the respect towards our faculty, staff, athletes, students, Major League Baseball star pitcher George Kontos, and the children and teachers who lost their lives at Sandy Hooks. This respect was lost. Furthermore, I would like to point out that not one of us received respect, either, because we did not give it to ourselves. The most juvenile example of this is the revitalized “Go Home Freshmen” chant. Oh, how 2009 of us.
We are borderline adults, meaning that the way we act determines whether we will be treated like adults or children. A perfect example of this is the banning of the color wars, and the behavior after. We acted like children, so we were punished as children. Then, instead of proving ourselves as mature adults who can handle a little competition, we tried to revolt. But against who are we revolting? I am asking you all to realize that it is all up to us. We will be treated and given opportunities according to the way we behave. It’s the golden rule, plain and simple.
So let’s talk about the color wars. They, at one time, promoted school spirit and fun, but now they promote bullying, reckless behavior, and school separation. Even within a grade, there are threats on Facebook towards students who want to wear red and show school spirit instead of showing just class spirit. Since when does having class spirit grant someone the right to attack a person with school spirit? If you have taken any history classes, this should sound familiar. Remember that quaint, old Lincoln speech about a House being divided? Yeah, not a good idea. Divided school spirit is no longer school spirit, which, in my opinion, we are severely lacking.
We have the privilege of coming to school without fear of our safety. That’s huge. The next step is to stop the fear of each other. Nothing but ourselves is threatening us. This alone should give us school spirit and the drive to band together and show other schools what we are made of. First, a couple things need to change. Student Government has taken the first steps. We sent out letters to all the homerooms asking for representatives to talk to the Student Government once a month. We also plan to have a poll up for the next spirit days on the NWN website. The Spirit Day options will come from your homeroom representatives’ suggestions at our monthly meetings. So, make sure to communicate with your homeroom reps! If you promise me that you will participate in giving the Student Government and me feedback, I promise to you that the Student Government will continue to work on opening our doors to the student body. However, I would like to remind everyone that the Student Government is run by your peers who are all ears to your suggestions. Furthermore, anyone is welcome to join. We meet fourth period Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the back room of the commons
We have to spend four years in this place. Your mission as students is to get out ready for the world, and our (The Student Government’s) mission is to get you out safely. Like a mother, our main concern is everyone’s health and safety. So, please be careful. And, once we stop throwing the small students around bleachers, we can start focusing on what we students really want and how to get it. We need to stop fighting each other. It’s a long four years. Each of us has the time to affect this school in one way or another. Imagine if we put our powers together. We can achieve almost anything. Let’s do this.
Stephanie Knorr, Student Government VP, on behalf of the Student Government