Council Votes Down Freshman Off-Campus Motion After Weeks of Debate – Council Update (10/31/18)

Council solidified the rules of the Student Handbook by discussing a motion that had been introduced last week: the lateness motion, and also continued their recurring debate on whether freshman should get off campus privileges.

The lateness motion intends to change the handbook to create more manageable rules for lateness policies and excusable tardies. The motion itself proposes changes in the handbook to ensure that there is little question as to what is and what isn’t considered a cut. Questions in the debate were mainly concerning the penalties that would take place if someone was marked absent. Many students noted that several teachers lack a participation grade, making it difficult to attach a punishment to a participation grade in general. There were also queries to what certain teachers consider late, given some students are marked absent by missing 10 seconds of class, while others are considered late at four or five minutes. One teacher suggested another five-minute grace-period for students who needed to get food, and a student wondered if there could be an increased flexibility from the teacher’s side. Council finalized the motion with the rule that: “Penalties for tardiness must be included in the course standards” of that class, making it clear to students when they need to show up for classes. The majority were in favor of revising the motion, however, it was noted that Mr. Campbell still has to pass it as well as the school board.

The Freshman Off-Campus motion was the other issue on the agenda. Barely one minute into the debate, a representative against the motion called to close debate: but this failed due to an all-but-one majority turning down the attempt to close the debate.

Thus, the off-campus debate continued.

As usual, the majority of the council representatives in favor of the motion were underclassmen, specifically freshmen. However, there were some upperclassman representatives who were torn on the motion. A few believed that it would remove the divide between lower and upperclassman if all grades were able to go off campus. Others thought that freshmen didn’t have very much pressure when it came to college to provide any argument against letting freshman go off campus. Teacher Rep. Devon Voake pointed out that this was not true. Rep. Voake warned those who took first-year grades lightly that if their scores suffered because of time spent off campus, their college applications would suffer as well. As for the divisions between freshman and upperclassmen, those voting against the motion reasoned that the divide between grades might increase, especially due to those who thought it was unfair that this year’s freshman class would get something no one else had. In addition, it was added that having different privileges doesn’t directly translate to inequality in every instance. Those against the motion also put forth that due to the 50/50 divide on the matter when it came to freshman parents a great deal of the class of 2022 would be unable to go off campus anyways due to lack of permission, thus creating a divide in the freshman grade itself.

Once these points were stated, HHS council closed debate. With this, the vote took place. By the end of the count, votes were totaled with thirty against the motion and eight for the motion, with only one member abstaining.

After the vote, the meeting was adjourned.

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