Graphic by Allie D'Angelo '20
As administrative decisions grow ever more consequential, the need for student opinions is greater than ever. However, despite the countless surveys sent out by the administration in an effort to acquire perspective, many students refrain from taking advantage of such opportunities to say what we want.
We risk losing the opportunity for student input permanently if we refrain from using our voices now. The consequences of silence will be damaging, and there are obvious benefits provided by student participation.
The first consequence is that the majority of the student body will not see their preferences reflected by the administration. With a lack of participation in student surveys, the administration will ultimately choose on behalf of the students whether or not to enact a proposed change. This consequence will lead to student complaints and disappointment if the majority disagrees with the final decision of the administration.
The second consequence remains more permanent, as the administration will remove any and all opportunity for students to express their opinions. Not all schools value the opinions of their students as much as our school does.According to Inside Higher Education, a 2018 study shows that a mere 27 percent of collegiate level student governments had “both speaking and voting rights” on campus decisions. The administration provides us with a rare privilege. Like all privileges, it can be taken away just as easily it has been given to us. If we overlook this opportunity provided to us, then just like any other privilege, it will be taken away for good.
Students must prevent such circumstances through heightened involvement. Staples Student Assembly and Principal James D’Amico often send out surveys for students to complete, such as the two D’Amico sent to the student body on March 1. If students were to answer these surveys, the administration will notice an increase in student concern and opinion on topics of debate. Our opinions will be heard and enacted.
Additionally, students can report issues to their student representative on Student Assembly. These concerns can be discussed during Collaborative Meetings with the administration, and change can be enacted.
If the administration sees an effort by students to become more involved and express their opinions, our voice through voting will stay. We may not appreciate it now, but once taken away, we will wish this opportunity more than we do now.