The 103rd LC Student Council Passes the Gavel

Outgoing+Student+Council+leaders+Margarita+Demkina+%2720%2C+Megan+Lam+%2720%2C+Min+Jun+Jung+%2720%2C+and+Maral+Asik+%2720+reflected+on+their+successes+and+failures+this+past+year.

Jessica Ravenelle / LC Strategic Communications and Marketing

Outgoing Student Council leaders Margarita Demkina '20, Megan Lam '20, Min Jun Jung '20, and Maral Asik '20 reflected on their successes and failures this past year.

Ryan Fortani '22, News Editor

On Wednesday, May 6, the 103rd Student Council passed the virtual gavel to the newly elected officers for the 2020-2021 school year. After a two-hour Zoom conference, four new officers were elected: Student Council President Aidan Gillies ’21, Girls Vice President Stephanie Zhang ’21, Boys Vice President Alejandro Rincon ’21, and Secretary Emma Kane ’21.

As the 103rd Council’s time comes to a close, they reflected on the leadership of the outgoing officers, President Maral Asik ’20, Boys Vice President Min Jun Jung ’20, Girls Vice President Margarita Demkina ’20, and Secretary-Treasurer Megan Lam ’20, and the goals, accomplishments, and even the failures of this year’s council.

The Student Council set out to achieve several goals this year. Anonymous grading, a process in which teachers grade students’ work without their names attached to it, was the first major policy goal, but due to the lack of popular support from both the student body and faculty the project was not followed through. However, the second major goal of President Maral Asik ’20 was implemented: the updating of the constitution.

Every ten years, the Student Council must update the constitution to better reflect the priorities of the organization and the school community for years to come. The previous constitution did not specify a framework for a variety of different student council obligations such as election procedures, number of representatives, etc.

“[The new constitution] lays the groundwork for the next couple of years…because this year we were kind of working without any framework because the old constitution was so obsolete. Even though it doesn’t impact this year’s council, it will make an impact on councils in the future,” Maral said.

The new constitution, which passed with over 90 percent approval from the student body, also introduced ranked-choice voting to election procedures for representatives and student council officers and also removed gendered language.

“We got rid of boy and girl designations for representatives and officers to create a more inclusive community for everyone. It’s similar to the change of class officers that made them available to any gender rather than male or female positions,” Margarita said.

Outside of the major gender and voting procedure changes, the officers also worked to bring the constitution up to date and ensure that the document is applied to the daily workings of the Council.

“A lot of the changes were pretty procedural. We took out a lot of the outdated logistical stuff that the old council’s used to do just to ensure that everything we do on the council is done as prescribed by the constitution we are following,” Min said.

While updating the constitution was a major accomplishment, the officers also shared their regrets for this year, most notably the failure of the Hubbard Practice Room task group.

The Hubbard Practice Room task group started with the goal of getting longer hours in Hubbard practice rooms for students to practice instruments on weekends and other periods throughout the day. Although the idea seemed simple, it actually required immense shifts in faculty work jobs and would have also affected the school’s budget since it required teachers getting paid more for increased work job responsibility.

“We had to find a balance between persevering on an issue and pursuing the noble goal of trying to provide for our constituents desire’s versus knowing when to give up and focus our effort elsewhere,” Maral said.

The past year’s Student Council set out with a variety of goals and was met with unprecedented challenges. Specifically, they needed to adapt to virtual learning while still pushing for the student body’s goals. Student Council members sometimes hear students claiming that the Council is unproductive\; however, the officers voiced their concerns on this opinion.

“The sentiment…comes from a need or want for instant gratification where they expect us to just get proposal’s past and shoot them out, but that’s not the reality of how the process works,” Min said. “Often, we have to work closely with the administration and we don’t see eye to eye a lot, so it takes a while to get things through there. Additionally, in order to pass proposal’s we have to discuss and argue and come up with different ideas in council which takes time. In terms of being productive during this process, I would say that we do a lot more than we are often given credit for.”

As the officers now prepare to leave the Island, they leave the Council with some parting words of advice. Specifically, Margarita and Maral emphasized the importance of communication both inside the council and to the larger student body. In addition, they asked the Council to focus on the larger picture and what they want Loomis to look like as a whole.

“The representatives have the power to think bigger and make larger changes to the structure of loomis, so why not think bigger and make those changes because they are definitely capable of doing it,” said Megan.

In addition to providing advice to the council, the officers also left the student body, from incoming veteran seniors to new freshmen, some last words of advice that they hoped would guide the students during their time at Loomis.

“Try out everything and I cannot stress enough how true that is. It might sound trivial, but take it as a rule that every month you want to try out something new whether it be a club, class, or even a new food in the dining hall,” Margarita said.

“Go watch your friends’ games and dance recitals or go see the music, you don’t realize how short your time is at Loomis until you realize you haven’t seen any of your friends do anything that they’re amazing at,” Megan added

Min continued to reflect on his past four years at Loomis. “When I came to Loomis, I had a plan of all the things I would get involved in and accomplish here, and that plan really evolved as my time at Loomis went on. The plan I originally had is completely different than what I actually did here. I’ve realized that that’s okay because some of the things didn’t work out, but at other times I discovered new interests that I didn’t expect. So just know that Loomis is a time for great personal growth and even if things don’t always work out, in the end, you’ll end up growing as a person,” Min said.

And finally, the 103rd Student Council President, Maral Asik, added that it’s important to “take a moment and realize where you are. I think it’s really easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine and feel like Loomis is any other high school, but realistically Loomis is a really really special place. Looking back, I didn’t take enough time between studying for tests and going to meetings to just stop in the quad and look around and just see how beautiful the campus is and how wonderful the community is. So I would say slow down a little bit and appreciate what you’ve been given.”