Monday, April 9, 2012

Student Leadership Proposal Written by Patrick M (with consultation from John Holloran and the JSA Activity)

Issues:           
-The few statistics available for reference; without relevant statistics, OES’s would-be gender issues are poorly understood
-The underrepresentation of large sectors of the OES student population
-Perceived Senior underrepresentation as well as perceived overrepresentation (and the lack of a suitable compromise between those two points of view)
-The lack of female representation in the office of president
-The student store

Purpose:
-To encourage gender equality in student government positions, without creating gender requirements or quotas.
-To encourage the collection of relevant data so that students and faculty alike may better understand demographic problems within the OES community
-To encourage unbiased initiation of discussion by the administration, specifically with the inclusion of statistics
-To allow all grades adequate representation while giving upperclassmen a majority in student council
-To increase the transparency of student government
-To increase student voice in student government
-Increased effectiveness of the Student Store


Changes to the OES Constitution:
All significant policy changes pertaining to student government must be approved by both the Administration and either 60% of student council members or 3 out of 4 class boards...

Data Collection:
If the administration wishes to pursue gender issues, then relevant data will be collected over a multi-year period of time and subsequently displayed in an unbiased manner.
Some examples of statistics that would be relevant to collect:
-gender voting statistics
-number of votes for female candidates
-trends in votes for female candidates
-anonymous polls of students, specifically about their perspective on gender issues (do they feel uncomfortable speaking out, discriminated against, etc.)

Such polls could be collected by the administration, student council, or even a third-party student group, so long as the statistics were collected and displayed in an unbiased manner.


Leadership Definition:
-No definition for leadership can or should be enforced, but each student council candidate should submit a paragraph detailing examples of his/her leadership in OES or outside the community. Preferably, this paragraph would be displayed in the great hall so that upper school students could read it and better understand the candidates.

Other Requirements for candidacy:
-Strong Academic standing
-Participation in various clubs, sports, and activities would be encouraged but not required
-No suspensions or other significant disciplinary actions within the past year



Student Council Structure:

-One student council representative from each grade in the upper school (including seniors) elected by the students in that grade
-A class board for each grade, each with four members (excluding the grade’s student council representative).

-Two representatives from the dorms, one male, one female
-President and Student Council Chair are separate offices with separate elections; these are senior-only positions
-The positions of Secretary and Treasurer are held either by juniors or seniors.


Job Descriptions:
(positions are held regardless of gender)

Single-Grade Student Council Representative:
-Represent the viewpoint and interests of their grade in the Student Council and in the OES community.
-Advocate the questions/concerns of the grade to faculty, staff, and the administration
-Report on the actions of Student Council to their grade’s Class Board as well as to the grade in general.
-Participate in Student Council activities
-Work with his or her fellow Student Council members to ensure the values of the school (as dictated in the handbook, mission statement, etc.) are adequately represented.
            -Run class meetings with class board
            -Participate in any class board meetings

Class Board:
-Will not participate in most student council meetings, but the student council will consult all class boards for decisions that will significantly affect all four grades.
-Hold class meetings jointly with the grade’s student council representative
-Represent the interests of their grade to the grade dean and the Upper School administration
Dorm Representatives:
-Represent the dorm community to student council and the administration
-Work with fellow Student Council members to ensure the values of the school are adequately represented.


Secretary:
            -Prepare meeting minutes with the president
-Take notes during student council meetings and post them online so that the OES community can better understand what occurs in Student Council.
-Work with fellow Student Council members to ensure the values of the school are adequately represented.
-All parties who make announcements during gathering would be responsible for emailing the people to whom they are relevant.


Student Store Committee/Activity/Organization:
            -All issues relating to the student store would be managed by a student committee, activity, or organization.
-The organization would hold yearly elections to a “student store leader”, to which only participants would be able to vote
-Other bylaws would be decided by members of said committee, activity, or organization


Treasurer:
The position of treasurer would be retained, in keeping with OES tradition and the necessity of a having a budget officer for student events
The treasurer would:
-Oversee the budget of student council
-Represent the student body (as well as clubs, activities, etc.) to the administration on financial matters
-Work with fellow Student Council members to ensure the values of the school are adequately represented.

 President (chancellor):
 (Note: the position of vice president would be eliminated)
-Represent the interests and viewpoints of the entire Upper School student body
-Oversee the actions of Secretary and Treasurer
-Work with fellow Student Council members and the student council chair to ensure the values of the school are adequately represented.
-Attend faculty meetings, especially when relevant to student government
-Divide Speeches at important OES events with Student Council Chair
-Represent the senior class as well as the student body in general
-Oversee Student Council as a whole in tandem with the Student Council Chair
-Participate in the “State of the Upper School” with the Upper School Head; would give speech during gathering

Student Council Chair:
-Represent the interests and viewpoints of the entire Upper School student body
-Demonstrate school spirit.
-Collaborate with the student body, the student council and the administration.
-Run and facilitate US gathering
-Attend faculty meetings, especially when relevant to student government
-Support all student organizations
-Divide Speeches at important OES events with Administration
-Represent the values of the school and OES culture in general
-Initiate and contribute to meaningful discussions about matters important to OES
-Oversee Student Council as a whole in tandem with the President


Elections:
With the exception of the dorms, Student Government Elections will not be defined by gender.

Class Board and Grade Representative:
-These will be voted on by the individual grades
-All candidates will run for the position of Grade representative; the candidate receiving the most votes will become grade representative and the four candidates receiving the next-greatest numbers of votes will be on the Class Board.
-The elections will take place in May during Class Meeting (Freshman elections will be held in September. All candidates will be allowed a speech before voting occurs.

Dorm Reps:
-The OES dorm community will elect two representatives, one male and one female.
            -Elections will take place in May.

For the positions of secretary, treasurer, president, and student council chair, eighth graders will not be allowed to vote but will attend election events. Current Freshman, Sophomores, and Juniors will obviously be allowed to vote. Outgoing Seniors will also be allowed to vote in the understanding that they have in mind the best interests of the OES community .

All four positions are separate offices with separate elections. Each will have runoff elections between the top two candidates unless one candidate receives over 50% of the student vote.

A candidate must announce his/her candidacy at least four weeks before he/she gives a speech.

Votes must be collected after all speeches and debates. All votes will be anonymous.

Secretary and Treasurer are open to both rising juniors and rising seniors.

President and Student Council Chair are open to seniors only. Again, no requirements or gender quotas will be set.

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