The Student News Site of Guilford High School

The Voyager

The Student News Site of Guilford High School

The Voyager

The Student News Site of Guilford High School

The Voyager

Student Advisory Council encourages membership

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Denny Zhang, sophomore, is returning to Student Advisory Council for a second year.

   On Friday, October 6, over 70 students met with Principal Carter in the auditorium with the goal of improving the school. All of these students were a part of the Principal Student Advisory Council (PSAC). 

   “It started last year during my junior year, when I decided to join because of my friends,” said Evelyn Cruz, Senior. “I decided to join again because I found it a very interesting experience to be there, and for the pizza, not gonna lie”

   PSAC is a team of volunteer students that meet with the principal to help school administrators better understand the student body.  

   “I joined last year, which was my Freshman year,” said Denny Zhang, Sophomore. “I thought it was pretty nice because it provided a way for students to tell people with authority how they felt about the changes they want in the school.”

  Some members were returning to the council after being on it last year, like Cruz and Zhang. For others, however, this is the first time they are joining the council.

   “I chose to be on the student advisory council because since I’m a senior I kind of wanted something to be on my resume for college and I also thought it would be a good opportunity to do something for school,” said Paulette Carmona, Senior.

   The Student Advisory Council was created approximately six years ago by Principal Ronald “Gus” Carter. He wanted to understand the students better, and have longer, more meaningful conversations with them.

   “As a school leader, it’s really hard for me to have honest conversations with students that aren’t just five minutes long in passing period,” said Mr. Carter.

   The Friday meeting was the first of its kind, out of all the years of the Student Advisory Council. Students met in the auditorium, which was different from other years where students would meet individually with groups of their own class. 

   “The first thing that we did was the kids introduced themselves to each other based on their academy, and then after they did that, I had them pair up… not in their academy,” said Mr. Carter.

   With over 2,000 students at Guilford, it can be hard for the administration to connect with the students. Mr. Carter had a goal in mind for what he wants to accomplish with the Student Advisory Council, a long running goal.

   “[For the] Student Advisory Council in the last two years, the focus has been on how we create a better sense of belonging in our students,” said Mr. Carter.

   Mr. Carter has a belief that the council can help administrators connect more with the students, and can better understand their challenges or grievances with the school. Some students feel like the Council could have more potential if a few problems were fixed.

   Returning students talked about what they would like to see improve this year with the council and how it might make it more effective. Both returning members thought participation was a key to improvement. 

   “Last year some people didn’t speak up that much, and I hope that this year there are equal contributions from everybody in the council,” said Zhang.

   Cruz agreed.

   “I would like to see more students participate in it. Because we all have a lot of good things to say and a lot of very good input,” she said.

   This year, over 30 new students joined the Council, raising the total number of participants to approximately 120. One of those student was Carmona, who had previously not joined.

   “My friends were on the council last year,” said Carmona, “and I also joined one of the meetings last year.”

   Students have a lot of diverse views on the subject. Zhang, Cruz, and Carmona all are hopeful that the council can help the school. Administrators also seem to have a similar view, saying that the Student Advisory Council can help students feel heard and accepted in their own school, and can help build a sense of belonging.

   “[PSAC] gives them a voice and a platform to talk about belonging and how school leadership can make their experiences better,” said Ms. Faniqua Hughes, an RPS administrator and coordinator on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

   Administrators also weigh in on why students should join the council. And why that will make their high school experience better.

   “I believe students should join so they can be a part of a leadership group that partners with or co-create their learning experience with the school leadership,” said Ms. Hughes.

   Mr. Carter stressed the need for a high amount of student participation.

   “You are a student at Guilford High School,” said Mr. Carter,  “and in order for [Me] to lead your building well, I have to have your opinion.”

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Bryson Halley, Opinions Editor

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    ChrisOct 20, 2023 at 3:41 pm

    Nice

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