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Student Senate, a Force for Some Students

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Orono Student Senate is an organization of elected high school students from each grade that meet to plan school events and coordinate and organize happenings of the student body. They provide a link between the administration and the student body, and provide communication between the two. Without Student Senate, many school events like dances, the blood drive, class competition, and others would not be possible.

Some of the students elected to the senate have been a member since they were elected in the spring of eighth grade, when the election process was not based solely on students with leadership abilities, but those who were well known and had many friends, per classic middle school operations. Every year any student has the opportunity to run and campaign to be a senator, but this process may not be as unbiased as many are led to believe.

I think we see the most issue with kids coming in from eighth grade because it is pretty much a popularity contest alone. Sure, people put up signs and campaign, but a lot of it turns out that way. I definitely see it the most with the freshman class”

— Carolyn Fritz

“I think we see the most issue with kids coming in from eighth grade because it is pretty much a popularity contest alone. Sure, people put up signs and campaign, but a lot of it turns out that way. I definitely see it the most with the freshman class,” senior senator Carolyn Fritz said.

As each class has more opportunities to bond and get to know each other throughout high school, leaders may emerge and this may be reflected within the senate election process. They aim to represent the student body in the best way possible, but they may not be able to stand for all students, especially in younger grades where the popularity contest may still be leveling out.

Regardless of the process by which a student was elected, it is undeniable that senate kids do a lot for the school and give much of their time to bettering the community. While they devote Wednesday mornings, school days and out of school hours to make many school events possible, they also gain the privilege of getting excused from more school than a typical student does. It has been brought to question if these privileges are an abuse of power, since many of the ‘errands’ the students run include them getting lunch off school grounds.

Many of these students work very hard to put themselves out there and gain the trust and support of their peers. There are some students who may not feel as confident doing so, and this could exclude certain opinions of the student voice that are underrepresented in the senate. Yes, it is an important role of a leader to be personable towards the whole class, but to have more social diversity among the senators is key to making sure that the senate is performing its most effective job.

“I think that sometimes people vote for popularity, but a lot of times people vote for who is the best for our grade. Personally, I vote for people that are personable and understand what the class wants as a whole,” sophomore Elle Johnson said.

These same students also have a connection with the administration. If they have a personal issue that needs to be resolved at an administrative level, it will almost certainly be taken care of in an efficient and lenient manner that other students without the senate title may not be granted. Another simple privilege these students gain is an insight and knowledge into school happenings that the common student body may not be aware of. For example, while the senate is well-versed on the blood drive, the general population may be unaware of its presence in the school up until the event.

The student senate is a group of students who bond over shared interests and a passion for the school. Many other students would share this interest, if given the chance. Ways to include greater numbers of the student body should be implemented.

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About the Writer
Caroline Robson, News Editor

Hi, I'm Caroline Robson. I am a senior at Orono and I am a news editor and part of the advertising team on The Spartan Speaks. I am super excited for...

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Student Senate, a Force for Some Students