What does the ideal student government look like?

Senior Class Treasurer's Perspective

Aidan Morley, Staff Writer

Student government is quite possibly one of the most sought after yet most criticized positions a student can hold at Scituate High School. Trust me–I’ve been on both ends of it—yet what is the ideal student representation in student government supposed to look like? 

Since becoming the treasurer of the senior class last June, I’ve found a new appreciation for the people, organization, and fundraising that goes into yearly events such prom and senior week. These are by no means small tasks. 

I find it amusing to hear members in any given grade expressing concern or disappointment that their government officers are uniquely disorganized. Yet when I walk down the hall I hear different students from different grades with the same complaints: “They don’t tell us anything.” “We’ll be having Prom in the gym.” “We have no money.”   

Officers are often dismissed as simply wanting to build up their resume for their college applications. I can promise you that if that were the case, it’s not nearly worth all of the work they put in.  Rather, they share an interest in improving the school and students around them. They engage in hours of rigorous debate, planning, and collaboration over many weeks to roll out the events that their classmates will remember for the rest of their lives. 

All the while many students inside and outside of student government are criticizing the decisions at every turn. I am certainly guilty of this, but so is just about every student. Needless to say, I think everyone, needs to respect the efforts of those who are dedicating countless hours to creating long-lasting memories and happiness. 

I understand the typical students’ perspective: the biggest frustration I’ve found among students is the lack of ingenuity from year to year. It seems as though every student meanders through the year before realizing, “Wait, why do we have almost no events or spirit?” Indeed, the event schedule from year to year is largely the same, but that doesn’t make it is any less difficult. 

My frustration was there were so many ideas to be implemented, but time and resources were strenuous, which made them nearly impossible to complete. Even so, many students still want something more. They often look to other schools and see spirit days and events and have staked their right to them, wondering why we can’t do the same. To be honest, it is possible. 

Through my experience as an officer, I understand such events require work that comes from both the student body as well as the class officers. As student government members, we are tasked with not just planning and mediating with administration, but making the events happen. Such a task is not overbearing (I mean, it is what we signed up for); however, for such events to be worth anyone’s time, students must voice and show support. Tossing out ideas and getting upset when they don’t happen isn’t productive. Sometimes it feels as though people disregard the work that goes into making big stuff like the proms and dinner dances successful. They just expect it. 

Making the most of these events requires students who are willing to participate! This cannot be stressed enough. After all, it is frustrating to be doing all this work behind the scenes only to be criticized in person. Any officer would tell you we are students first and care just as much as anyone else about creating fun, memorable events.

Some readers may dismiss me as another officer covering for their failures. A fellow officer might think all of this is rich coming from someone who criticizes the current state of affairs as a whole. Nonetheless, I assure you that no critique is personal, and if it is, it’s unfair—no matter who it comes from. Rather, I’m just another student looking to make their school a better place and seeking action to do so. 

We are all one of the same: searching for the best possible high school experience together. So my best solution is this: when you see your class officers, thank them for the hard work they’re putting in behind the scenes and give them your suggestions. I promise they’ll be glad to hear your input, and they will help you make them happen.