Broken Link Between SGA and Students
by Natalie Perlov on Friday, April 25th, 2014
A long-standing group at Milton, the Student Government Association (SGA) has gone through many changes over the years. Most recently, the administration implemented two new reforms: there is now a preliminary round in which Class II students cut down Head Monitor candidates to four boys and four girls before the all-school election, and current Head Monitors now have the power to make changes without an all-school vote. While both of these changes maximize efficiency, we lose critical voices and opinions.
Head Monitor elections are a busy time for everyone: candidates go through a tiring campaign while voters sit through a variety of assemblies. The recently passed reform which allows juniors to make preliminary cuts reduces this process; instead of choosing between a big group of candidates, we only need to consider four from each gender. However, through this practice, we lose vital perspectives. A candidate may present ideas that Class II students may not look upon as favorably as the whole school would; what holds weight for the rising senior class does not necessarily benefit the Milton community as a whole. By allowing the junior class to eliminate potential Head Monitors, one class holds the power to represent the opinions of the whole school. In addition, the junior class may look upon a candidate differently than the whole school might. While this method may save time by removing candidates who are running as a joke or running to simply receive attention, it might also eliminate truly promising candidates.
These same principles apply to the SGA’s ability to pass changes without a school-wide vote. If Head Monitors simply go ahead and put a faulty plan in place, the Milton community is not able to get the most out of that proposal, and SGA loses out on valuable opinions that could make its ideas even better. I acknowledge that unaware voters may sometimes reject a potentially brilliant idea. However, if SGA spends time to ensure that the school truly understands the idea before voting through informative assemblies, we could establish a really effective line of communication between students and elected representatives. SGA, after all, is meant to act upon public opinion. With the incorporation of the student body’s input, perhaps the SGA can refine its ideas and compromise on an even better solution. Through a process of presenting, workshopping, and voting on ideas, we can then implement the changes that will truly benefit our community as a whole.
These recent changes to SGA may maximize efficiency, but detract from unification and improving our Milton community. As a school that encourages discussion and collaboration, Milton needs to take the time to open up the floor to entire student body.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=6027