Once a year, a special group of people are chosen by the entirety of the student body. This group is entrusted the responsibility of being the voice of their classmates to their teachers and administration, and are expected to bring about positive changes in the community. We know them as the Student Council (StuCo), but who are they really and what do they do during their meetings?
It’s Monday lunchtime. I am sitting in the room that I was told I would find the find the StuCo meeting in, above the chitchat and the friendly conversations, I await the President’s sign to start the meeting. Max Stroemer (‘19) holds his hand up, the room is instantly silent. The meeting has begun.
There seems to be numerous events on the agenda, among the first : the assembly that will take place this Friday. On the program so far, clubs who did not get to speak during 2017’s last assembly will get the chance to do so, and sports captains will also have the opportunity to recount memorable moments during their season. The atmosphere is full of electricity: every choice on every aspect of the event is carefully discussed, and everyone in the Council has a say on the topic. Someone proposes the idea of an arm-wrestling competition during the assembly, people laugh, then an awkward silence falls on the Council. We continue onto the next item: an assembly that will take place on Wednesday the following week. Again, the Council seems to take the shape of a debate club: the arguments seem complex and the structure confusing, but every member seems to understand what the other is saying.
The main discussion during today’s meeting finally arrives: the organization of the Casino Night in April. Last year, the event did not take place due to complications, but the Council is determined to bring back the gambling night. Max asked the Council to come up with some ideas about the organization of the event, but my hand started hurting from writing down the amount of propositions that came up. Among others, the discussion covered new ways the event could appeal to the student body, a medium through which the rules of the games could be explained (mass mail, dealers’ explanations, … ) and some improvements of the atmosphere of the event (such as setting up a bar section or inviting a band for live music! I personally like the Prickly Pears).
We are joined by Nurse Helma and the discussion resumes. Max presents us with a picture of a hammer. “We are going to hammer this semester down!” Part of the StuCo’s job is to come up with new projects that can improve the student-teacher relationship and answer the demands of the student body. Some important topics are the question of non-seniors leaving during lunch if they have a free block before/after it and a clear indication of where clubs can place their posters. The reestablishment of sofas in the Greenhouse Coreway is also brought up. A major investment that the StuCo is trying to pass through the administration is a Teqball (a ping-pong table whereon people play table football). The members seem motivated to bring this game to ZIS.
As we can see, the StuCo is a group of students fully equipped to change the landscape of the ZIS community, and fortunately enough, the Lion’s Journal got to interview four members of the Council.
Irene Facchin (‘19) is a Grade 11 Representative in the StuCo.
Lion’s Journal: What do you think of female representation in the SC?
Irene Facchin: It is lacking, but the girls who are present in the Council are actively sharing their opinion. I think it is better to have an equal amount of males and females who are willing to contribute to the Council.
LJ: Do you think that the Representatives interact enough with their fellow classmates?
IF: I am not sure about everyone else. Up until now, we’ve been focusing on specific projects. I think that with an initiative such as Google Classroom we tried to open up to students and the smaller projects that we now focus on help us nudge out the problems of each student.
Andrzej Czernuszenko (‘18) is one of the Grade 12 Representatives.
LJ: Do you think there should be more grade 12 students in the SC?
AC: We (the grade 12 Representatives) have this discussed already. We tried to make at least one of the executives be a twelfth grader. This year, it is very surprising that the whole executive team is made up of eleventh graders. Does it worry me? No, they are a good executive group.
LJ: How many students, do you think, are aware of the StuCo’s activities?
AC: I think that many people are concerned that the StuCo does not do much. People think that we do not do anything, yet have high expectations as to what they want us to do.
Max Stroemer (‘19) is the President of the SC.
LJ: How do you feel being the President this year?
MS: Being the President is humbling. There is definitely a lot of people who count on the StuCo and with that I try to cultivate the group effort. It truly serves the students.
LJ: What kind of projects are planned for the second semester?
MS: I was heartened throughout the meeting to hear people thoroughly excited about certain StuCo initiatives, like the Teqball or the cashier system in the cafeteria, free blocks, reintroduction of couches and even the issue of smoking.
As we have a lot of expectations for our SC, it is encouraging to see how dedicated each member of the group is to advance the projects and initiatives they believe would serve the needs of the students at ZIS. Until next time, look out for some events organized by the SC, and do not hesitate to share your opinion on how ZIS can be made a better place for its staff members and students.
Alex Karapancsev (‘18)