The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

Student Council and Civic Responsibility


Student council should have a voice in the administration of our school

Malvern’s Student Council is one of many student organizations on our campus. The Executive Board is voted on by the student body in the previous year which gives the candidates-elect time to warm up to the position. The students and faculty look to the student council for leadership. More importantly, the students look to the council for the advocacy of their beliefs.

This year – as usual – the student council has planned many events. President John Monday ‘14, said, “We have coordinated Spirit Week, the Thanksgiving Food Drive, the Dodgeball Tournament, a Shoe Drive, Dances, and we collect money for Dress Down Days.” Each of these events represents a lot of manpower, and a lot of effort behind the scenes. But does Student Council truly play a role in representing students interest to the administration?

Maybe it’s my long-standing interest in politics, but I see many windows of opportunity for Student Council to involve itself in school affairs.

One option is having a representative from Student Council on the Board of Trustees. The faculty have one, so it seems only right the the students have an equal voice in how their school should be run. Also, a Student Council representative should be on a Disciplinary Committee. A student could serve as an advocate for the population on campus.

When the issue of putting students on School Boards arose in The Atlantic, Dr. Starr, professor of political science at Yale University said, “While it’s highly unusual for them to be given a vote, students were able to assemble opinions, engage in deliberations and felt they were actively representing their peers’ interests.” Part of the description of Malvern’s Student Council says, “It acts as the liaison between administration and students, initiates new policies for administrative approval…” How can it act as a liaison between students and the administration if there is no official venue to communicate?
Many issues prevent Student Council from being more civically engaged. One of the issues is the Student Council speeches. On the day that the speeches are given, student voters are looking for something to laugh at. When the find it, they burst into laughter and mumble to their friends “that’s who I’m voting for.” Candidates have learned not to put deep-thinking issues into their speeches. Instead their speeches are filled with topics ranging from cafeteria food to dances.

There are already few opportunities for students to get involved in civic engagement offered by Malvern. Student Council could have real potential if we instituted some changes. With a new educational philosophy being implemented, students need to feel like they have a voice and that can come through student council.

If Malvern’s Student Council won’t change maybe it’s good timing that I’m going to GW next year, a school whose Student Association is very active in school affairs.

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