On April 22nd 2016, the elections for executive committee for Student Council took place for the 2016-17 school year. For the first time since anyone can remember, all four members in the upcoming executive council ran unopposed.
The executive council consists of the Student Council President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. This year, junior Jaiveer Katariya ran unopposed for President, junior Caitlin McCormick ran unopposed for Vice President, sophomore Oliver Bates ran unopposed for Treasurer, and his twin sister sophomore Alice Bates ran unopposed for Secretary.
As quoted by the Student Council Constitution, “the president shall be responsible for representing student views and concerns to the faculty advisor, the Headmaster, and Head of the Upper School. The president shall determine the agenda for the executive council meetings and shall act as chairperson at such meetings. The president shall take a leadership role in various campus wide committees when called upon to do so.” Finally, it says that, “should any STUCO officer be temporarily unable to fulfill the his/her duties, the president shall assume those duties or appoint another officer to fulfill them.” In order to run for President, the student has to be a rising senior and have a year of STUCO experience.
Because of the prerequisites required to fill this position, there were only three students currently attending The Gregory School eligible to run for President. Upon being “elected”, Jaiveer Katariya said, “I’m really looking forward to establishing new and exciting traditions, in addition to building on old ones, like Drive-In Movie Nights, Food Truck Fridays, and campus improvements.”
As quoted by the Constitution, the Vice President essentially assumes the duty of the President if anything were to happen to the President. He or she must assist the President in communicating with the administration, student body, and the council during meetings. Like with the President, the Student Council Vice President must have a year of Student Council experience, but can be a junior or a senior.
“It feels fantastic to finally have an executive position”, new Vice President Caitlin McCormick said. “Plus, I’m sure Vice President is the best job. I mean, look at Joe Biden”.
The Student Council Secretary is arguably the most difficult position on the Executive Council. As the note-taker for every minute of every Student Council meeting, the Secretary always has to be alert. In order to run for Secretary, a student has to be a junior or a senior, and needs no other experience.
“The secretary shall be responsible for the minutes of all STUCO meetings. Minutes must be distributed electronically to the STUCO not more than one day after any meeting,” the Student Council Constitution reads. “It is recommended that a Google Document be maintained for this practice. The secretary shall be responsible for posting all official STUCO announcements.The secretary shall keep a list of Student council member accomplishments for the purposes of accountability.”
As this year’s new secretary, Alice Bates says, “I feel like I’m supporting more to the Council now, because my job is one where I support the team and make sure everything is organized.”
The Student Council Treasurer is the one that manages the money. He or she makes sure the funds are in order, and works with the TGS business manager to ensure Student Council operates within budget. As the new treasurer, Oliver Bates said, “I’m really excited to look at Student Council from a whole new, financial perspective to balance what we want to do with what we can do.”
Some people have complained that every single Student Council executive member ran unopposed. English teacher Robert Mossman, when discussing the required Student Council experience, said “This system doesn’t allow for any Donald Trumps, in the sense that no one without experience can run for the highest office positions.”
The reason Student Council has this policy in place is to ensure that the people in the two top positions in Student Council know what they’re doing and have shown commitment to the activity.
The class representative elections then took place on April 27th, and even though there is no experience required to fill the position for the two class representatives per grade, two thirds of the grades (rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors) only had two people running for the two positions per grade. Only in the rising sophomore class were there three people running.
The class representatives for the upcoming sophomore class will be Kiran Ramakumar and Chloe Goorman, both for the second year. The upcoming junior representatives will be Michael Artzi and Victoria Ainza. This will be Ainza’s first year on STUCO and Artzi second. Artzi was on Student Council his freshman year as well. Both Ainza and Artzi also ran unopposed. The senior representatives will be Dora Pezic and Charles Chen, who both also ran unopposed.
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