Editorial: Time to demand your voice, ASB

Editorial Staff

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March was a rough month for Redwood Leadership. The already-delayed Spring Dance was officially cancelled because not enough tickets were sold. Then, less than a week later, the Spring Rally was postponed because the Leadership advisers didn’t believe it was planned appropriately. Yet the recent problems in Leadership’s execution only scratch the surface of what is wrong with Redwood’s student government. 

Although the activities that Leadership and ASB plan, such as Prom and dances, are important, they do not correctly reflect the true purpose of student government. The ASB president is simply a figurehead and holds no real power in the face of the administration, and most of the important decisions made in this school are made with little or no input from the Associated Student Body. Student government should be the voice of the student body, but right now all Leadership and ASB can do is argue about whether Tuesday will be Tiki or Toga. Without any real responsibility, many of our representatives trade zeal for apathy.

Student government should play a powerful role in the running of the school and should be active in promoting the general welfare of the students. Instead being happy with sitting around simply rubber-stamping already-made decisions, our student government should reprioritize their work to ensure that students actually receive practice in becoming contributing members in American society. The student government should model the U.S. political system so that teens know how to use their democratic voice and are able to transfer smoothly into the voting population.

At Redwood specifically, students in Leadership and ASB need to do their duty as representatives for the student body and demand to have a significant role in the making of school decisions. Why is our student government not consulted when new textbooks are ordered, new courses are planned, and new facilities are built? As students, the members of ASB should insist that student advice is heard considering the quality of the CEA food, course offerings, and the bell schedule. This year, many iPads were bought to help students’ learning experiences without any input from the students themselves. Considering textbook and technology purchases, student leaders should request that their input be heard, and in all school policy shifts that affect students, their views should at least be considered.

Change must start with the current members of ASB and Leadership. Students outside of these organizations cannot be interested and invested in them as long as they realize the organizations have no authority or valuable role. Only when the current members demand their voice to be heard will involvement in elections increase, and only when Leadership and ASB demand to be respected by the administration will students have a legitimate voice at Redwood.