During the summer, members of the Student Executive Council (SEC) went on a one-day retreat to brainstorm and discuss action points for the upcoming school year. Goals that the SEC has set include putting on better events for the school, providing a voice for the students, monitoring the student government’s budget and soliciting information and opinions from the students.
While these goals are feasible, the SEC may not be reaching its full potential in terms of the impact it has on the school and the student body. However, through better communication, increased publicity and mandatory prerequisites, the SEC can create more opportunities for positive change within the school.
Communication is a major goal for the SEC this year. According to Student Activities Director Lisa Hall, communication is the key to understanding the viability of the SEC as a resource for students and student organizations at school. In recent years, the SEC has reached out to students through social media outlets such as Formspring, Facebook, and Twitter with some success, and it hopes to continue using these outlets and potentially others to communicate with students. According to Hall, the SEC is now considering using Infinite Campus and Schoology to communicate with students who do not use Facebook.
In order to fully capture the ideas and opinions of students, the SEC should
take more initiative to ask for feedback. As of now, members of the SEC participate in focus groups within the organization for ideas and goal-setting. In order to improve communication with the entire community, the SEC should ask for direct input from the students. The SEC can communicate directly with students by conducting annual surveys in the classroom on ways to improve, asking for feedback from teachers and students in Titan 101 and communicating with clubs and organizations at Gunn. This way, the aspects of school that the SEC influences most will have the opportunity to contribute to the system that governs them.
Another major goal of the SEC goals this year is to set up better dances, rallies and other spirit oriented events. The SEC has already improved from previous years with 200 more people in attendance for this year’s Back to School dance. This can be accredited to the different atmosphere of the SEC this year. According to Hall, while the student government has been perceived as more exclusive in the past years, it was a great mix of students from a variety of backgrounds this year. This way, a wider array of ideas and opinions can be incorporated to accurately reflect the student body.
One way to guarantee that students in the SEC are passionate about being a part of student government is to create a prerequisite for the class. Students should be required to participate in the SEC for a semester as part of the class council first to get a better understanding of the class before becoming eligible for running for office. Middle schools may also offer this prerequisite class for incoming freshmen interested in running for student council positions. This way, students who run for elected office will understand what they are getting into and will be more likely to run because they are passionate about being a part of student government.
By reaching out to the entire student body, the SEC can not only fulfill its proposed goals, but also increase interest in the SEC for years to come. The SEC should continue to find ways to better communicate with the Gunn community both through social media outlets and on campus. Although the members in the SEC may change each year, the stronger framework will guarantee that the SEC will become a more influential force in school.