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School Site Council (SSC) elections wrapped up with a poll for students to choose new representatives, once again with the false promise of changing and resolving issues in school.
Competition is high as the number of applicants for prestigious and sought-after colleges grows. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be admitted, especially since many schools are no longer considering SAT or ACT scores. To stand out, students are turning toward extracurriculars to punctuate their resumés, and what better than joining School Site Council?
School Site Council is a committee of students, parents and school staff that aims to bring to light issues in our school and discuss solutions to solve them. Or at least, that is what they say they do.
As promising as SSC sounds, candidate elections appear to just be a popularity contest rather than a genuine election of people who wish to represent and implement changes in our school.
Even though the election process promises that the candidates are “chosen by yourself, a friend or a teacher,” as Simone Yu, former Wilson student and SSC President stated, it is clear that those with more friends and connections will garner votes through their friends, making the elections come off as a popularity contest. When we vote for our chosen SSC member, there is no campaigning where candidates could explain their qualifications and achievements—just their names.
Moreover, there appears to be a lack of genuine care about issues at school during SSC meetings, which was just six meetings throughout the school year. For one, many SSC members would be absent from meetings as the school year progressed, some even missing up to four out of six of the meetings. The very few meetings that were held throughout the school year also reflect just how little time SSC spends discussing and resolving school issues. Meetings are also too ceremonial—most of the time, members just say “aye” to whatever the admin say without any input of their own.
Yu agrees that some meetings can proceed without any real conversation. “It all depends if you are willing to speak up,” Yu stated. But if no one is willing to talk during meetings, what is the point of the School Site Council?
But while Yu agrees that there could be more input at meetings, she praises SSC for allowing her to be more involved at school.
“I liked that I could be more involved in helping out at my school through School Site Council,” Yu said. “[SSC gave] me opportunities to pitch in my ideas to the school.”
An anonymous student member of SSC also shares the positive impact that SSC has had on them.
“School Site Council goes over many important aspects of the school, and thus it is important to make sure everyone is on the same page through the use of ‘aye,’” the anonymous member stated.
School Site Council has huge potential. It has the ability to benefit not only the school but students, admin and staff, giving students a way to feel like they have a voice in the school. But this can only be if their practices change—-competent and caring leaders who do not treat it as a low-commitment extracurricular are imperative.