Wednesday, May 20, 2015

RANT: Why I dislike SGA and Class Council

So today, while going to homeroom, I had the misfortune of learning that Elections for our Class Councils were today. While spending the entirety of my homeroom period (which is ALSO my only lunch period) siting in a hard wooden chair in a hot, sticky auditorium, listing to the same people recite the same speeches we hear EVERY year, I started to realize something; something I hadn't really thought about in a long time.

I HATE Class Council and SGA. I hate it SO MUCH. It seem to serve no purpose than, twice a year (once for SGA elections, once for Class Council Elections), to waste my time and steal my only lunch period. I want to preface this rant by saying that I don't hate EVERY Student or Class Government in every school EVERYWHERE. I haven't been to every school, and who knows, maybe somewhere, some school's SGA or equivalent isn't absolutely pointless at best and downright oppressive at worst. But, at my high school, it is. And Here's why:

Firstly, I take issue with the names themselves: SGA (an acronym for "Student Government Association) and Class Council. I take issue with these names because they are misleading. Both names seem imply some sort of level of governance over the students who elected them, and that is COMPLETE BULLSHIT. Student Government here does NOTHING.

That's the second point: THE SGA AND CLASS COUNCIL DO NOTHING. Since I started at my high school (from here on out to be known as simply "A.S."), I've kept a tally of all the major changes that have occurred since I came here as a freshman (I'm currently a junior). They are:
  • Banning of "Tagging" (whatever the hell that was)
  • Welcome back dance was cancelled
  • Increased tuition EVERY. SINGLE. SODDING. YEAR. (I go to catholic school. Yeah, I know).
  • Changing of Lunchroom Catering Service
  • Moving the date of Spirit Week so that our PSATs take place DIRECTLY IN THE MIDDLE OF IT.
  • Allowing for students to take notes on electronic devices
There are several other minor ones, but these 6 are the biggest. Now, of these 6 MAJOR (for high school at least) decisions on school policy, how many, do you think, was our student government responsible for? Take a wild guess.


Yep. 0.

And that's what pisses me off: how little our student government does. The Class council only ever seems to plan school dances, "show class spirit" (how they do that, I don't know), and collect money through things like "dress down days" (where we can pay not to wear our shitty-ass uniforms) or selling tickets to aforementioned dances. As for the SGA, I honestly couldn't tell you what they do, because I have never even HEARD of them doing anything that affects the school, not to mention SEEN the effects of anything they've passed . Overall, Student Government does nothing accept ensure that the same 5 or so people who are elected EVERY YEAR have something pretty to put on their resume.

That leads us to the next point: IT'S THE SAME PEOPLE EVERY YEAR. This is more of a Class Council thing, and it may be isolated to my grade, I don't know, but I swear to GOD, our class council representatives have a higher re-election chance than your average senator: Every SINGLE year, the same 8-11 candidates run, and the same 5 win. This is because, since the SGA and Class Council really do NOTHING, elections are rally no more than a popularity contest. And, as a result of this, the people who wine EVERY TIME are the ones who are the most popular. I go to a decently-sized school (about 1200 students), but in our grade, everyone knows everyone else, which means people vote only based on who their friends are, and not on any perceived "Skills." Which really sucks, because our current Class Council and SGA are awful, even by these low standards. Also, a bit of a side note, every year the speeches are the same. It doesn't matter who wrote it, they are all formulaic and say almost the exact same thing. In fact, me  and my friends have come up with a drinking game for SGA Elections. It'll leave you shitfaced by the end of it, but he, at least it makes listening through this drivel bearable. It goes like this:
  • Take a shot every time a campaign manager drops a pop culture reference.
  • Take a shot each time a campaign manager says something along the lines of "I have a name, but it's not important" (ugh.)
  • Take a shot every time a campaign manager tries way to hard to be funny.
  • Take a shot each time a candidate acknowledges/congratulates their opposition/
  • Take a shot each time the candidates give off a list reasons they are not qualified for the position they are running fore, and then argue that they are qualified for the position they are running for.
  • Take a shot every time a candidate says "I'll listen to your opinions" and never actually propose any policy.
  • Take a shot every time that someone shares an "important, heartwarming" story that will be inconsequential out of high school.
  • Take a shot every time a candidate says "I'm not just doing it for college/resume."
  • Take a shot every time a candidate says "Let's make this the best year ever."
  • Take a shot every time the administration glares at a candidate for saying something off script.
  • Take a shot every time people only applaud for their friend and are silent for everyone else.
  • Down the whole bottle when the results are announced and the same people have won AGAIN.
But I could deal with all this. Yeah, I really could. I could deal with all of this shit if the SGA and Class Council actually had an IOTA of power. But they DON'T. AND THAT'S THE BIGGEST PROBLEM! THE SGA HAS NO POWER!

Here's and example: when we had SGA elections a few weeks ago, we had a candidate running for President who Actually had policy plans he wanted to enact (I know, Right!). He proposed the creation of Charging Stations in the halls for our electronic note-taking devices (i.e, computer, tablets, etc.), establishing some sort of "student award system," and giving both the SGA and Class Council more autonomy. Even though he was not elected, the administration came out IMMEDIATELY after his speech and said that, even if he was elected, that they had no plans to enact ANY of the ideas he proposed.

And that's the big issue: the Student "Government" does not GOVERN! It serves as little more than a mouthpiece to support the decisions of the Administration. The Goddamn Reichstag under the Nazi's had more fucking power than these hacks! Aside from planning dances, they don't have the power to change or do ANYTHING.

And that's what's so terrible about all of this: WHAT THE SGA COULD BE. It could be a viable system of representational democracy that actually had some sort of PURPOSE. It could give the students some system of representation in the decision making processes of our school, give us a sense of control over our own schooling. But we DON'T. The SGA serves as NOTHING but a special club for the mos POPULAR people in our school: the popular bullies, the prepy "queen bees," the lovable idiots, et all. And, honestly, it's a dirty shame that it has come to this.

THAT, my friends, is why I HATE our Student Government.

Thanks for reading this rant. For the .75 people who are actually waiting for a new history post, i'm sorry I haven't published it yet; I've had a hectic past few months, and personal issues have made it harder to write. However, expect a rather lengthy, and, if I do say so myself, interesting post about a forgotten aspect of the Second World War in the next few days.

Again, thanks for reading. If you like this, please comment Ideas for later posts.


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