Council Debates 8th Grade Elections – Council Update (4/10/19)

Council quickly entered into its first item on the agenda, Tom Hanlon Council Award voting. In general, members of the body seemed remarkably at ease. The winner will be announced at the Underclassmen Awards.

The duration of the meeting was spent discussing 8th-grade elections for 9th grade Council representatives. The discussion was brought by the Organizational Engineering Committee in response to several meetings with 8th-grade staff members at RMS. Throughout the discussion, OEC members emphasized the point that regardless of the body’s decision, RMS could simply decide to not hold the elections. Junior Representative Ian Nolon immediately stated his view that a Council lacking freshman representatives for all of 4th quarter would be “weird” and unrepresentative of the school. Several representatives mentioned the potential stress freshman fall elections could pose, with the benefit of entering high school with the knowledge that you would be on Council a clear reason for keeping freshman elections in the spring at RMS. In stark opposition to that view, Sophomore Representative Tom Lyons spoke about his unease about being elected before high school, disagreeing with the statement about early-fall stress. Several on Council seemed to support him, showing the divide within the body.
Although the majority of the discussion fluctuated between voices of support for either spring or fall elections and OEC’s constant reminder about the power of the 8th-grade staff, a few unconventional solutions were mentioned. New in-Tuition Student Representative Haiden Marshall floated the idea of running all elections in the fall so that the Freshman elections would not feel odd. However, the idea was quickly met with criticism, as members felt it would lead to a feeling of discontinuity and uncertainty at the beginning of the new school year. Junior Representative Tessa Stewart spoke of bussing 8th graders to HHS in the spring for elections, if RMS refused to hold them. She admitted it was an unpractical and far-fetched idea, but the body seemed to respect her out-of-the-box thinking.

The discussion also bred thought about furthering students’ pre-high school Council knowledge; further discussions to that end will likely come in the future. With a final comment by Sophomore Representative Casey McGuire repeating the idea that a new year beginning with an old Council would be difficult, Council adjourned.

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