During the first few weeks of school, the upper school student council (also known as “STUCO”) was relatively quiet. Besides a couple announcements about paying for the STUCO package to get into all their events, the school was in the dark about who belonged to the governing council and what was planned for the year.

Unbeknownst to the rest of the school, STUCO was quietly working on a few projects that have since been introduced and implemented.

The first project introduced was the “House system,” modeled after a St. Gregory Day theme about seven years ago, in which all grades were divided into separate groups who collectively earned points to be the victor.

“At the end of last year, STUCO thought about re-introducing the House system as a way to increase school spirit, and encourage students to participate in activities and attend events. We decided to mix grades and assign students and faculty to the list randomly, in the hopes that everyone will meet someone new through getting House points together,” said President and senior Riley Matulewic. This is Matulewic’s second year serving on Student Council.

“I believe the house system implemented by STUCO is ingenious and incredibly unifying,” said sophomore Zakaria Lamri. “Some improvements that would make the house system better would be more group activities where the houses meet and compete, tutorials where each house is grouped together, and perhaps more incentivizing rewards for gaining points in a certain house.”

Matulewic also emphasized how the Student Council was working towards having a bigger presence in the Tucson community, “We have a food drive lined up for the month of October, and Penny Wars set for the month of November. I am in the process of coming up with a big Holiday thing, since we are no longer hosting the MDA Christmas Party/Toy Drive.”

Junior and Treasurer Brian Liu said, “So far, the general direction of student council looks different from what it has been in the past. In my previous years, the events and plans seemed fairly formulaic and stale. Plan a few dances, hold some fundraisers, have St. Gregory Day, call it done. It looks like this year will be about breaking from the routine, with respect to both meetings and events.”

Liu explained student council’s goal to rekindle interest in school events and school spirit. “A lot of STUCO’s focus this year is on school spirit and building a sense of community, so I hope the students warm to the idea that they can have fun as a whole school.”

While the optimistic and driven attitude of the STUCO members is inspiring, the council has a history of promising large and entertaining events, only to fail through with these same promises later on in the year. Matulewic and Liu both credited these previous failures to the decaying internal dynamics of the team in last year’s article “Student Council needs some counseling.”

Last year STUCO hosted only four events – Homecoming, one movie night, the MDA Toy Drive, and St. Gregory Day. STUCO had also promised more spirit events, a Casino Night, and a Disco Dance, all of which fell through due to lack of planning. In fact, the MDA Toy Drive almost failed because not enough toys were collected in time

With new leadership, and new hopes and plans, one can only wait to see if this year’s STUCO will actually follow through on its promises.