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WHS faces void in student leadership


WielandAs the 2014-15 school year draws closer, for the first time Wilsonville High School will not have a student body president. What will the school be like without that significant leadership figure?

Many would argue that this role has no value to the school and is merely a title bestowed upon a popular student. There is some truth to this, but is it fair to take away this opportunity from willing students? After asking countless teachers about why this position is no longer part of WHS, it was apparent most were dumbfounded and unaware of this decision.

Without a student body president, students lack a voice to speak in accordance with them, staff lack the opportunity to confer with a trusted student and the students who would have run for student body president lose the experience and scholarships that result from the title.

On the other hand, the battle for becoming student body president is often drawn out. The time spent listening to rehearsed speeches could be better spent in the classroom learning, and the school will technically run the same way because student body presidents tend to become lackadaisical in their duties.

One teacher stated that having a student body president neither helped nor hindered the school. Basing his opinions on the past, he said that the student in the leader position “did not do anything.” Instead of removing this opportunity for a student to have a voice within the school merely because of past student work ethic, the principal and supporting staff should acknowledge that past student body presidents have not given much time and effort to the title, and work towards finding ways to get them more involved.

There is never a shortage of things to accomplish within a school, because a school that is perfect in every area does not exist. Having a student as both an advisor and a colleague opens a door to new success. The student body president becomes the eyes and ears of the students for staff. They have both the ability to be with students and the capability to discuss issues and find resolutions with adult support.

Adult staff will make great decisions pertaining to the welfare of students, but adding a student to this team would broaden the spectrum of thought and decision making. Getting a student involved not only teaches the student responsibility but also offers adults a trusted individual who is there to serve and make the school a better place.

The decision to not have a student body president next year was based upon the thought that having one would make no more difference than the absence of one. Only time will show whether this will have any effect on the atmosphere of Wilsonville High School. Rather than deciding that the student body president doesn’t do anything, action should have been taken to find a number of duties that could be placed upon the student to better the school.

More teachers and students should have been aware of this far before the school year ended. With the school year at an end, Wilsonville High School says goodbye to old traditions and will start anew with a hole in its student leadership.

Anne-Marie Wieland will be a senior at Wilsonville High School next year. She submitted this column as part of her application to be a student columnist for the Spokesman for the 2014-15 school year.