Council Moves 8th Grade Elections and Approves Budget – Council Update (5/8/19)

Council opened to a smaller body as the graduating Seniors who had just been replaced on Council did not attend. The new leadership opened the meeting quickly and efficiently. After the minutes were approved, Council began with reports. Most committees announced no report or mentioned that they’re planning for the coming year. CPP Rep Andrew Chen spoke of the debate within his committee on the issue of no-homework weekends for the 2019-2020 school year; according to Chen, the major positive arguments relate to SAT prep and the lessening of stress, while opponents of the idea point to class flow interruption and a reduction of teacher power.

The first item on the agenda was the introduction of new members. Moderator Nolon asked each member to say their name and favorite TV show or book series, leading many members to launch into long discussions about their favorite entertainment.

After the introductions, Moderator Nolon asked committee chairs to give a brief description of their committees and then requested that members write their top three committee choices on a piece of paper. Assignments will be announced next Monday, and the new committees will hold their first meetings next Tuesday.

The first legislative item was the 8th Grade Election Bylaw Revision, which would move 8th-grade elections from the spring at RMS to the fall at HHS. One of the co-authors, Mason Winter, requested that the motion be passed quickly, so as to allow OEC to prepare. The other co-author, Mrs. Ceplikas, reminded the body that the 8th-grade staff had outrightly refused to hold the elections. Debate was immediately closed, and the motion passed. 21 voted in favor, Freshman Reps. Seigne and McCaul voted against it, and Sophomore Reps. Lee and Phipps, as well as Freshman Rep. Versteeg abstained.

Following the vote, Moderator Nolon invited representatives from the Rainbow Alliance to speak about their proposal for the day of empathy. Neve and Amelia asked Council to consider spending the 5/29/19 meeting doing an empathy workshop with Ms. Cynthia Monroe, who has led several similar workshops. In a straw poll after the discussion, Council unanimously expressed support for the idea, making it near certain that the 5/29/19 meeting would be used for the workshop. Neve and Amelia expressed a desire to specifically invite athletic team captains to participate, though it will be open to everyone (as all Council meetings are).

The final item on the agenda was the SAC 2019 Budget Allocation, backed by SAC and brought by former Committee Chair and current Treasurer Tom Lyons. The motion sought to allocate $12,450 to the clubs of Hanover High; the money would come indirectly from the taxpayers of Hanover and Norwich. The one club that was not set to receive all of the money it requested was the Broadside, which requested $1750, and was budgeted to receive $1000. Treasurer Lyons offered an explanation for the discrepancy, which involved exploring the cost of a website and the printing of print issues. Debate closed immediately. The motion passed, with 14 in favor, 7 abstentions, and 6 opposed. Representative Phipps cited the lack of thorough examination of the Broadside funds discrepancy as the cause for his abstention. Council adjourned as the votes were counted, and the official results were released by email.

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