The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

The student news site of Francis W. Parker School

The Parker Weekly

Student Council Commences

A New Student Council is Formed in the Lower and Middle Schools
Student+Council+Commences
Photo credit: The Parker Weekly

On Friday, December 1, the Upper School Student Government voted to remove  eighth grade participation from its Constitution, simultaneously releasing them to their new self-governing body: the Middle School Student Council. 

The new Student Councils are split into two groups: third, fourth, and fifth grade, and sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. There are eighteen representatives for six-eighth , ideally one from each advisory. This system should ensure every student’s voice is heard during the advisory period. These representatives will deliberate and vote on things such as extracurriculars, workload, recycling, and the schedule. They will not vote so much as communicate the needs of the Middle School to teachers, according to eighth grade representative Sloane Truckenbrod. So far, the MS Student Council has polled the eighth grade about food in the cafeteria.

Unlike the Upper School Student Government, the MS Student Council doesn’t include everyone but operates similarly to a representative democracy. While all 18 representative slots have been filled, not every advisory has had a student who was interested. “Me and my classmates aren’t a big fan of Student Council because it feels like a lot of work, but we still want our voices to be heard,” eighth grader Olivia Forbes said. As the MS Student Council makes changes, the hope is that more students will get involved.

The MS Student Council meetings will look a lot like Upper School Student Government Plenary meetings, Upper School Director of Studies Sven Carlsson said. There will be formal idea pitching, a budget of some sort, and structured meeting schedules. However, there will be a little more faculty involvement, and the meetings will be once a month before the school-day. “We don’t want to have a similar government because we don’t have the capability to do the things you guys have access to,” Truckenbrod said. 

In addition to these meetings, MS Student Council was added as an option for the Middle School-wide community service program “Parker Partners.” This would mean more council meetings would occur once every month for three hours during the day while other Middle Schoolers do other work with their Parker Partner’s groups. 

“I think the idea is to have structures that don’t get in the way of the ultimate goal, that is them having a very positive, meaningful, impactful experience,” Carlsson comments.

The Upper School Student Government position of Director of Crossgrade Communication (DoCC) has been a subject of concern. A main part of their job has generally been to acclimate the eighth grade to Student Government, so Student Government will need to rework the way this position gets its job done.

The faculty leading the MS Student Council want the DoCCs heads to stay mentoring. Intermediate and Middle School Dean of Student Life Anthony Shaker believes that it might be beneficial for students to learn from people closer to their age who are already upholding a student council-like body.

“Even just practicing democracy is going to be an important skill for them to be a part of ‘Hey, here’s how I speak for others and not just for myself,” Shaker said.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Christina Merikas, Staff Writer
Christina Merikas is delighted to join the Weekly team as a Staff Writer. She is new to Parker and absolutely loves reading and writing. In between boba runs, she likes to bake, watch Gilmore Girls, play guitar, and run.