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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

Resolution Reprisal

How the administration responded to a Student Government Proposal
Resolution+Reprisal
Photo credit: The Parker Weekly

The gap between the student body and administration is one that is not easy to bridge. But when given the opportunity to collaborate on a passed proposal in Student Government, the forward thinking of two juniors to participate in a faculty meeting seemed impossible to pass up. The proposal, created by Julia Josephson and Zarin Mehta, aims to expand PSAT/PACT opportunities for high school students. It suggests that students who do not plan to take the SAT should not be required to take the PSAT in their junior year. Instead, they should have the option to take the PACT if they prefer.

When passing a resolution in Plenary, the process is deliberately slow to ensure the Student Body is fully informed about the important details and facts. Before the vote, the resolution is thoroughly presented, followed by an extended period for comments and questions. Once everyone in the auditorium has reviewed it, the resolution can be voted on. After this particular resolution was passed, the President and the resolution writers were given the opportunity to present it at a faculty meeting.

When walking into the faculty meeting this past March, Julia Josephson was excited to represent the student body and address an issue they have been working to solve. “When walking in, we were pretty intimidated. It was all of the teachers we saw on a daily basis,” Zarin Mehta said. “I wasn’t entirely sure how they were going to respond, but I was hoping for good feedback.” 

After presenting the resolution, the juniors looked back to face the faculty. “There were many hands in the air, and it was evident that there was going to be a lot of feedback right from the start,” junior Julia Josephson said. Questions were raised about the credibility of this change, the logistics of holding the test on a Saturday instead of a school day, and the reasons why the Student Body wanted this change in the first place. If given this opportunity again, the resolution writers would make sure they had all the information and knew the plausibility of their idea. 

Although on paper the PSAT/PACT resolution seems like an easy accommodation, logistically, the faculty didn’t respond well. “Although our faculty meeting presentation didn’t go as planned, we had an opportunity to meet with specific counselors who were able to find pieces of our resolution that were still plausible and usable,” Mehta said. After the faculty meeting, the juniors were able to follow up with faculty members in charge of Testing Day at Parker. These experienced administrators offered insights and expertise, helping to guide the students in refining and implementing some of their ideas. Through this collaboration, the students were able to adapt their resolution to better fit the school’s logistical needs while still achieving some of their original goals.

Reflecting on this rare opportunity, Josephson stated, “This experience has shown me that creating change in the Upper School is a difficult process that requires a lot of detail and experience, but it is still possible due to our Student Government. If used correctly, it can produce great change.” Despite the setbacks, Mehta was encouraged. “Although our proposal didn’t go as planned, I would highly suggest people create ideas that they can take to present to the administration. Always think about the plausibility of your idea and make sure you get important details down and know who your audience will be before you present,” he said. This experience underscores the importance of preparation, collaboration, and persistence in advocating for change. It highlights the potential of student government as a powerful tool for making meaningful improvements within the school, demonstrating that with the right approach, student-driven initiatives can indeed come to fruition.

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About the Contributor
Annabel McIntosh
Annabel McIntosh, Opinions Editor
Annabel McIntosh is a junior in her third year on "The Weekly" and her first as the Opinions Editor. Last year on "The Weekly" she was a Culture Critic and enjoys writing about new locations, exhibits, and movies. Annabel loves nothing more than drinking her Strawberry Açaí (light ice, extra strawberries) and reading or editing each opinion article. When she isn't reading emails in the Library, you can find her playing field hockey, ordering Senate food, or writing poetry.