Student leaders need a designated class to convene

November 10, 2015 — by Spring Ma

A group of students huddles in a circle, rapidly sticking Post-It notes on a large poster board sprawled on the ground. Soon, the once-white poster is smothered in a rainbow Post-It notes, covered with hundreds of valuable ideas from every commission, ASB and class office member on campus.

A group of students huddles in a circle, rapidly sticking Post-It notes on a large poster board sprawled on the ground. Soon, the once-white poster is smothered in a rainbow Post-It notes, covered with hundreds of valuable ideas from every commission, ASB and class office member on campus.

This is what true, active brainstorming should look like, but because of scheduling difficulties, it doesn’t happen for student leaders at Saratoga High as often as it should.

In neighboring high schools such as Cupertino and Lynbrook, there is an opportunity four days a week for this exemplary example of conceptualizing and consolidating ideas to happen during their leadership classes. For everything from Winter Formal themes to Spring Fling dress-up day ideas, this active group of leaders has the opportunity to productively and actively work together to plan the next steps of student leadership.

At Saratoga, however, the student leaders who organize school events such as prom and Homecoming and represent valuable voices of the school’s student body never spend full class periods together, let alone have a designated time to discuss their plans in person.

Currently, class officers and commissioners waste countless hours on Facebook trying to assign fundraising jobs and brainstorm on “SHS Leadership” groups to no avail; the reality is that not everyone has or checks his or her social media.

Though some may argue that student leaders shouldn’t be asked to add another period to their already-bursting schedules, the truth is, these three periods a week would take less time than attempting to communicate outside of school. If these students are truly dedicated to bettering our school community, the extra period should be a benefit, rather than a drawback.

Furthermore, in a highly competitive school environment where students inevitably load up their schedules with extra APs and Honors courses, a designated period for communication and work among student leaders would be a much needed stress reliever.

Although students would have to reserve a period of their schedule for such a class, preventing them from taking another academic course, the class would be filled with the “cream of the crop”: the most dedicated students willing to make space in their schedule to be a student leader.

Last year, the Class of 2015 officers resorted to weekly lunch meetings in order to discuss current events and fundraising options without the fuss of social media. Though these officers agreed that in person meetings were the most productive, it was hard to accomplish all that they wanted to within the short 40-minute periods.

On the flip side, if these officers saw these 40 minutes as a productive time period, what could 97 leaders do in twice that amount of time? In neighboring high schools such as Cupertino and Lynbrook, students are blessed with the freedom of open discussion among commissions, advice sessions among class officers and even bonding opportunities, all conducted under one roof. This is a privilege that would Saratoga student leaders would flourish with.

This year, I have never been prouder to be a Falcon; compared to the past three years, school spirit is at a high. As a student body, we have achieved so much — junior Quad Day has reached over 4,000 views on YouTube, the seniors built one of the finest displays in the history of Homecoming, and underclassmen are piling into the gym for rallies and feeling good about themselves.

Student leaders have been the masterminds behind these successes, and it is amazing to imagine what a class period of ASB officers, commissioners and class officers could accomplish together. In one class period, countless posters publicizing Spring Fling could adorn the tan school walls, numerous ideas for spirit week dress-up days could be brainstormed, influential leaders could be working together to create the next big changes for our school — the possibilities are endless.

 
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