Assistant Secretary Motion Fails in Council – Council Update (06/13/2018)
This past week’s meeting was the final Council meeting of the 2017-18 school year. Moderator Colm Seigne began the meeting by reminding Council it was the last meeting and wishing everyone good luck on exams. Assistant Moderator Romaney Granizo-MacKenzie added that she would send out information on the upcoming Council retreat once it was planned. She also gave a shout-out to the Student Life Committee for getting the cafeteria to install a salad bar. Dresden School Board Representative Oliver Minshall then gave an update from the most recent Dresden School Board (DSB) meeting. Rep. Minshall said that DSB took issue with the fact that Community Service Motion wouldn’t be imposed on the people who passed it, but that the Board was generally supportive of renaming the track field after former track coach Chris Brown.
After these updates, Council moved on to the Grill Allocation. Co-Treasurer Tessa Stewart explained that the allocation was for $375 to repair the grill. Stewart further explained that the grill has been used a lot over the past 2 years but that it was severely damaged in a wind storm over April break and needs repairs. It was then clarified that the money would also be used to figure out a way to chain the grill down so it wouldn’t be blown over in another wind storm. The allocation passed unanimously. Next on the agenda was the continuation of the Assistant Secretary Motion discussion.
Moderator Seigne began the discussion by saying that he would be keeping the discussion to 10 minutes and if it didn’t pass the motion would be moved on to next year’s agenda. Junior Representative Elizabeth Napier began the discussion by saying that Council has to either make committees more useful or create the Assistant Secretary Position; she added that creating the Assistant Secretary Position is the better solution. Sophomore Representative Stephen Wang then addressed the concern that an Assistant Secretary would get an unfair advantage in an election for Secretary, saying that it could actually hurt them in the Secretary election if someone doesn’t do a good job as Assistant Secretary. Sophomore Representative Trevor Siegel argued that this is not a problem Council can run away from and that saying committees could try harder next year isn’t a good enough argument against adding the new leadership position. Freshman Representative Sage McGinley-Smith then said that the solution has been in the bylaws and Council just hasn’t been using it, and that Council has to use the system that is in place. AMOD Granizo-MacKenzie immediately took issue with this, saying that if the system hasn’t worked for so many years, she doesn’t see why Council wouldn’t make the leadership position. Ultimately, Council voted on the motion at an almost 50-50 split, but as it was a bylaw revision it needed a ⅔ majority to pass.
Last on the agenda was the Staff Senate Motion. Before the discussion even began one could sense disapproval among Council members. The motion would introduce a second democratic chamber at HHS just for staff, with one voting staff member from each department. Teacher Representative Ms. Ceplikas said that the Senate would be unnecessary and that staff discontent has more to do with a lack of communication between administrators and staff. New Freshman Alternate Representative Ben Wagner brought up the issue of what departments (such as those for mechanical engineering and art) would be included in the senate. Rep. Napier added to this that Council can’t even fill all of their staff spots, and then asked why Council should create another body for them, and that she would like to hear the voices of people who say they don’t have representation. Sophomore Representative Ian Nolon finished the discussion by saying that another chamber would make everything even slower than it already is, and therefore nothing would get done.
Editor’s note: It should be noted that Ben Wagner was elected to represent the class of 2021 as an alternate in an online vote by his classmates last Tuesday. Additionally, the class of 2019 has had some major shifts in its Council delegation. Sheila McCarthy has chosen to step down from Council, and will be replaced by Mason Winter (who won in an online election). Ellie Hackett was also elected to fill the empty alternate seat for the class. Finally, Bauti Gallino was chosen in a special election serve as a representative during the first semester of the 2018-2019 school year to make up for the absence of Rep. Elizabeth Napier, who will return to Council for second semester.