Council Discusses New Health Services Motion and Freshmen Rep. Elections – Council Update (4/3/19)
Council opened to a smaller group today, as all non-council election seekers had already attended their one meeting requirement. Moderator Seigne began the meeting with a cautionary note to members seeking reelection to stay civil, as members will have to continue to co-exist, even post-election. He specifically mentioned that interactions should not be like the 2016 presidential campaigns, an interesting commentary on the fact that Council tends to be far more civil than outside politics.
The first major item on the agenda was the Tom Hanlon Council Award nominations. The award recipient, voted on by Council, can be any member of the HHS community. They are supposed to exemplify the ideals of the now-deceased Tom Hanlon, who strove to connect HHS and Council, and to truly make HHS a better place. Nominations were given by members, who gave a brief explanation about why they thought their nominee deserved the award. A brief summary follows. Nominees included PR Rep. Leila Trummel, Freshman Rep. Alex Rockmore, DSB Rep. Oliver Minshall, along with other noteworthy Council members and students.
After the nominations, Council members filled out an evaluation of the Council Executive, Mrs. Addante. Mrs. Addante will be reapplying for the position for next year, but the leadership committee will consider all candidates.
Next, Stephen Wang introduced his Health Services Motion. The motion seeks to bring hand sanitizers to every hallway in the school, along with instruction on proper handwashing techniques in every bathroom. He cited statistics about disease as a reason for an increased need for cleanliness, and spoke of the convenience of hand sanitizers for busy students. The washing instructions would serve as an even better way to help students stay clean. A brief question session followed, during which it was revealed that no logistics have been figured out. During the debate, a few speakers voiced their agreement with the goals of the motion, but felt that the logistics needed to be arranged prior to the passing of the motion. Following through on the ideas of other members, Sophomore Representative Casey McGuire proposed a motion to refer the motion to the Student Life Committee, which would determine the logistics before bringing the motion back to the general body. The motion for referral passed unanimously with no debate.
The final item on Council’s agenda was an Election Discussion, brought by OEC. Ellie Stannard, Sabin Mitchell, and Mason Winter visited RMS recently to discuss Freshman elections with 8th grade staff who had a few suggestions. They felt that the elections should be moved to the fall as the students would have greater maturity, or Council members should pay a visit to the middle school to assist candidates with their speeches. Junior Representatives Trevor Siegel and Tessa Stewart both voiced their opposition to moving the elections to the fall as they felt 9th graders already have enough on their plates in the fall. Senior Rep. Oliver Minshall questioned the maturity change between the end of 8th grade and the beginning of 9th grade, as it is only three months. Minshall also took issue with the staff’s complaint that the elections were merely popularity contests, citing certain campaign posters at HHS as evidence that such a popularity contest might be occurring at the high school level as well.
Moderator Seigne expressed his frustration with middle school guidance counselor John Lacrosse, as he failed to consistently bring the new representatives to meetings at HHS. Seigne also articulated his satisfaction with current Freshmen representatives, and his feelings that such a change was not necessarily needed. As a whole, the body agreed with the idea to send Council members to HHS, but rejected the election schedule change.