Our School's Senate: StuCo Speaks
BY SAHASRA CHAVALI '26, VANI MITTAL '26 & DIKSHA MHATRE '26
Student Council (StuCo) is to ABRHS as Congress is to the United States. But, unlike the Senate, few get a glimpse into the inner workings of StuCo. How does StuCo implement change, and what changes has it made?
StuCo President Eric Yao ’23 shared his guiding principles while governing ABRHS: “I want to build one AB, one where we can come together, and where every student has the opportunity to thrive. Student Council was the place where I could do just that.” Eric’s hopes have not been lost on StuCo’s goals: through hosting events and creating new policies, StuCo aims to forge a unified AB.
School functions are an integral part of StuCo activities to provide opportunities for students to come together. Planning for events usually begins several months in advance, but challenges inevitably arise in the process. Administration approval and budgetary concerns, along with time restraints, can be challenging to juggle. One notable hurdle involved November 2022’s Powerbowl game: StuCo needed to reconcile administrative wants to remove the event with students’ calls to continue the tradition. As for the recent Homecoming dance, Eric believes it “was perhaps the most successful Student Council event in recent memory,” but there were still many struggles with the supplies, including the decorations for the dance that didn’t arrive on time. The StuCo officers and advisors had to make last-minute purchases at Party City the day before Homecoming but still managed to host a spectacular event.
The final step of the process is taking time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. For Powerbowl, Eric recognized that hosting the event at all was a big success given that there were still doubts about it happening until two weeks before the event. With Homecoming, he mentioned that the event was “inclusive to all grades [and] brought [the] normally divided school community together. [It] was a huge success and ticket sales, decorations, and even the execution of the dance [gave] StuCo confidence that [Homecoming] will become an annual tradition at AB.” Both events had their successes and failures, but StuCo is always sure to implement what they learned to improve future events.
Along with hosting events, the Student Council makes strides for new policies to improve the school environment and high school experience. Eric has stated that he “proposed plans to bring test corrections, homework relief, grade report access to every class, reduce hallway traffic, hold people who commit hate crimes and sexual harassment accountable, expand student freedom by making advisory optional, and even establish coronavirus restrictions a month before our school closed.” However, they face struggles with the administration to implement and support these policies. An example of this is the Omnibus Academic Reform Act (OARA) that StuCo drafted last year to mitigate homework stress on students. Unfortunately, the policy wasn’t approved. Eric did not support the admin's decision, yet he knew there was nothing more that could be done as there is only so much within StuCo’s power.
The Student Council strives to create a positive atmosphere for AB students. Through rigorous planning and reflection, they are able to host successful events and activities at school. There are many events planned for the future, including Carnations for Valentine’s day, a Senior vs. Staff Basketball game, and the Hypnotist show. The answer to the question of Student Council’s purpose varies greatly. Formally, “the Student Council... is to be an integral part of the system which reviews school policies directly affecting the students. It is also representative of the students, a direct link between students and the administration.” But informally, the Student Council is what drives community and innovation. We encourage you to support StuCo, acknowledge their hard work, and show some school spirit!