By Gabe Brison-Trezise
Council has met thrice since my last update. Here is what we have been working on:
Common Ground Switch motion—referred to the Student Life Committee
This motion, which would have students switch Common Grounds annually, was referred to the Student Life Committee. The Committee on Instruction, a committee comprised of the heads of all the school’s departments and Curriculum Committee representative Dmitry Steesy, is planning to evaluate Common Ground and its goals at some point during this academic year. When COI completes its evaluation of CG, Student Life will examine the committee’s findings and report back to Council.
Wednesday Schedule motion— passed
As you may have noticed, the lunch break on Wednesday is now five minutes longer than it was previously; this is because Council passed a motion to extend the break so students have more time to get lunch in between fourth and fifth period on Wednesdays. After talking with the administration, the Student Life Committee got ap- proval to bring this motion back to Council and put it to a vote. The motion passed easily: school now ends at 2:00pm on Wednesdays, and school bus schedules have been adjusted accordingly.
Extended Study Hours discussion—ended by moderator
Extended Study Hours is a new after-school opportunity for students to work in a quiet, supervised environment. Council discussed how to make the program more successful; suggestions included holding it in the library and having teachers encourage their students to attend. Of course, we do not want ESH to become a detention to which teachers can send their students. Rather, it is designed to help students with their coursework. Council may revisit this discussion in the future if ESH continues to be poorly attended.
Robert’s Rules Customization notification—will be discussed by Council at a future meeting
To provide a little context, Council is governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, a relatively lengthy guide to parliamentary procedure. This motion, brought by Rachel Finlayson, is intended to modify Robert’s Rules to make it more in line with how Council is actually run. The modifications include eliminating the ability to call order of the day or for an informal poll, and permitting the same person to speak more than once over the course of a discussion (this happens anyway). Council will vote on each modification individually, rather than vote on them all as one package.
Athletic Funding motion—disallowed by moderator
“I move to form an ad-hoc com- mittee to reassess the athletic activity fee to free up funds and to ensure greater efficiency in the allocation of funds process.” Brought by Ethan Winter, this motion would have created a committee to examine the distribution of funds to the school’s various athletic teams. Students who play athletics all pay the same fee to do so, regardless of sport. Given that some teams require more money than others, proponents of this motion thought it would be worth studying how athletic funds are distributed and whether there is a more equitable way to distribute them. Because there is already an Athletic Advisory Committee, whose job it is to “[maintain] fairness among all the sports offered at HHS,” moderator Jacob Kornfeld rejected the motion on the grounds that the AAC, which includes several Council members, should meet before Council discusses the matter. A motion to reconsider the moderator’s ruling was made but ultimately failed.
Test Return motion—referred to the Administrative Committee
This motion is to require teachers to let students keep their tests. The impetus behind it is the fact that a number of teachers, primarily in the science department, do not allow students to keep their tests for good once they have been graded. The author of the motion, Carl Tischbein, asserted that the fear of cheating is getting in the way of learning and that it is problematic for students not to have their past tests to review come exam time. The discussion surrounding this motion was very contentious; partly for that reason, it was referred to the Administrative Committee for further research and discussion.
For the latest Council information, visit our website, which can be found under “Resources” on the HHS homepage. Have an opinion, a criticism, or some other thought about the school that you would like to make known? Submit it to the Nick Beard Opinion Board box outside of the library. Thanks for reading!