[April 2017] Student Assembly representation of student body questioned

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By: Phoebe Mendelson ’17

Instead of a traditional student government, Staples has Student Assembly to convey student opinion to the administration. The assembly is made up of about 15 students per grade, and new members are selected by the club advisors and members through an application process. However, there are some Staples students who are dissatisfied by the representation offered by Student Assembly.
Since Student Assembly deals with important issues around the school, Thea Collins ’19 feels that the greater student body should have some involvement in the selection of representatives process.
“I think that if Student Assembly acts as our student government, then we should have a say on who is a member. An application that is read is very different from what a person is really like,” Collins said. “I think students have a good idea on who individuals are as people, so should therefore have a say in who is picked for the group.”
Another student, Carrick Keenan ’20, said he doesn’t feel as though Student Assembly has reached out for outside opinions.
“I’ve never been asked to give my opinion on an issue. I don’t really hear much about what Student Assembly does around the school,” Keenan said.
If students feel underrepresented, Staples Principal James D’Amico advised students to approach Student Assembly and offer suggestions to the group.
“They welcome feedback from students, and if there are students that don’t feel well represented, they should let the group know that,” D’Amico said.
To further address these complaints, some members of the Assembly, like Taylor Githens ’17, try to accurately represent the student base by listening to her peers. “I usually will have my friends or other people coming up to me saying things they have issues with,” Githens said.
The group meets once a week and from those meetings, the presidents, Jacob Bonn ’17 and Zachary Edelman ’17, and Student Assembly advisor, English teacher Jamie Pacuk, take the issues discussed to Collaborative Team. The Collaborative Team includes members of the faculty and administration who discuss the school climate and any problems that have been encountered.
According to Bonn, Student Assembly also utilizes conversations held during Communication Time in order to gain insight on issues students may be having.
“We stress the importance of getting feedback in Communication Time conversations about the school year, and if there is anything their Student Assembly representatives can bring to the meetings to discuss anything involving the school,” Bonn said.

Jamie Pacuk is proud of the work the Student Assembly members do and believes they serve an important role in the school..
“I feel it is a great representation of the students at Staples,”Pacuk said. “This club, so far, has been an excellent resource to gather information and hear concerns, ideas and feedback directly from students, which we then take to influence positive changes within our school.”