Organize meetings not protests


There should be a clear, accessible student outlet to address problems around the school.

With recent dress code protests, it seems more pressing than ever to put in a system where students can address their needs and concerns with administration.

Part of the reason the dress code issue immediately progressed to a protest was because student leaders felt that they were being silenced with no one to talk to. The current system allows students to talk to whoever will listen, which leads to a lot of disorganization. Often, students are subjected to waiting a long time in order to hear back from certain administrators just to then get referred to someone else.

The only current alternative is for students to sit through a board meeting, which usually lasts for about two and three hours, to voice their concerns. This is unrealistic for many students, many of whom participate in sports and other extracurricular activities on top of their hours of homework.

Of course, if the issue is big enough, students will eagerly sit through the meeting and wait for their time to speak. However, they shouldn’t have to.

The role of the student representative, currently Honor Allen, is to represent the student voice among administrators. Despite this title, many students don’t know how to get in touch with her or doubt the power she actually holds in administrative decisions. In reality, there is a lot we as students can get done by working with her in an organized manner— setting up meetings, creating clear complaints, and working on realistic solution. We need clear and efficient communication between students and administrators—no more waiting weeks to hear back and set up a meeting. Students have a representative who is eager to address issues and work with us and administrators to create solutions.

We at The Evanstonian believe that if students truly want to make change around the school, it is up to them to seek out the Student Rep. with a clear purpose. In addition, there should be a place on the school website where students can voice their concerns directly to the administration— something as simple as a suggestion box in which students can identify themselves and the issue(s) they have. These responses should read by the school on a regular basis so that student concerns can get addressed as soon as possible. No more random protests. No more disorganized complaints. We all have a voice; we just have to use the correct outlet.