Monday, December 10, 2007
Leadership Advisor Francis Rojas has tweaked the Student Senate to engender more discussions of student concerns rather than simply provide a way to distribute ASB announcements.
In a letter to The Courier, Rojas said "Traditionally, Student Senate has been a forum for giving announcements about what ASB and graduating classes are doing or planning. However, it is my hope, together with our ASB Leadership, that our Student Senate meetings become a forum for students to voice their ideas on issues affecting the student body, and to help me, the Activities Director, and Leadership to provide solutions for problems or activites that promote a better experience for all students.
The first meeting, held last Thursday, focused on student behavior during dances.
That first meeting and comments about it confirmed "that this change in the function of the Student Senate is in the right direction," Rojas wrote. "A place to have "courageous conversations" with such a general population of the student body is something we've needed to do. We will discuss things that we normally don't talk about or are considered taboo."
The need to change the approach of the Student Senate became clear to him after the Homecoming Dance, he wrote.
After that dance, which was marred by student misbehavior, school administrators told Rojas "that there are plans to just cancel the next dance. However, they appreciated that I was thinking about my values and kept an open mind, and encouraged me to find a solution to this problem that is getting worse and worse. My solution was to seek advice from students about the appropriateness of the behaviors I witnessed and really see what students think.
"So, I made it my goal to find ways for me seek the voices of our student body and in turn educate ourselves about the problem," he wrote, "The administration supported me in taking this route with the hope that this will make everyone, both students and adults on our campus, more aware of the choices we make and how we should help each other to develop this consciousness. The change in the Student Senate meeting is one place to start."