By Sophie Fisher ‘21
At the end of last year, the grade representative model was reconstructed. Grade reps are now separate from student government, meaning that once elected, grade reps do not have to serve on a council. Therefore, the grade rep elections were held in September, and this will be the plan from now on. The execs, the deans, and the Jewish and Student Life (JSL) department were all part of this decision.
Previously, elected grade reps had to serve on one of the four branches of student government: Hesed, Programming, Spirit and Student Affairs. In addition, they had a separate role of working with their grade dean and planning programs specific to their grade. However, according to Jewish and Student Life Educator Aliza Sebert, several complications arose, leading students and faculty to realize that the system should be reevaluated. Aliza explained, “There are some people who want to be a grade rep, but don’t really want to be on a council.”
Moreover, as student government evolved, it became clear that there wasn’t really a connection between the dual responsibilities of the grade reps. “It just made sense to separate grade reps from student government,” Sebert elaborated. The other major change, moving the elections to the start of the academic year, was another detail discussed. Elections for the ninth graders are scheduled to take place in November, once they have acclimated to the high school, while elections for upperclassmen are now in September.
While it makes sense to elect the student government executives in March when the seniors graduate, so that they can have council meetings to begin planning for the following year, it was not as sensible to choose grade reps in advance. “When you are a 10th grade grade rep, for example, it makes sense for you to be a grade rep for the entirety of 10th grade only, not to begin being a 10th grade grade rep at the end of 9th grade,” Sebert explained. Ultimately, having grade reps for the entirety of each academic year better aligns with the purpose of the grade reps, to deal with issues specific to their current grade. “This model makes so much more sense,” Sebert added.