A letter to the editors

On October 31st, Volume 68 Issue 2 of the Lake Views Newspaper was released which included an article by “The Editorial Board” titled “Lack of communication at LOHS impairs student involvement in school affairs”. It was a two-pronged article, first speaking about the school’s Senate and secondly speaking about morning announcements. My opinions on the first prong, their thoughts concerning the Senate, are denoted below:

Newspaper: “For one, this lack of communication is caused by the roles of Senators, as written in the school’s Constitution. The Senate doesn’t require its Senators to vote as representatives of their English classes, instead, they act as delegates or electors to vote as they please, thus perpetuating the idea that Senators don’t need to communicate with their constituents and vote according to their classes’ opinions” (editorial board)

The “idea that Senators don’t need to communicate with their constituents” is not being perpetuated by the Constitution as it clearly states in Article V, Section II, Clause C, Subclause 3 that “Senators shall report all Senate proceedings to their English class”. The role of Senators in the Constitution is to make the Senate a voice of the larger student body and ideally, candidates for Senator in each English class should be nominated based on their ability to do just that, at least in the opinion of their peers. Even if a class feels their voices are not being heard and their Senator is not voting as the class thinks they should, this is why there are checks to Senators in the Constitution. Article X of the Constitution is titled “Recall Elections” and in Section III, it states that the English class that voted for a Senator may call for a recall election between the Senator and another candidate. This means that through a petition signed by 20% of the class, a recall election may occur in which the class may vote as they please on the candidate who, in their opinion, would vote in the way that best represents the class’ voice.

Newspaper: “Secondly, a lack of enforcement when it comes to attendance at Senate meetings allows a sizable amount of students to skip them without consequence. Previously, Senators that didn’t show up to meetings were replaced, but a similar penalty is not in effect currently, which keeps all the students in their English classes in the dark if their Senator isn’t penalized for not attending” (editorial board)

This argument is made quite hastily as only two Senate meetings had occurred when the Editorial Board’s comments were written and the Student Body Secretary has been keeping thorough attendance records throughout these first few meetings. As a result, 7 out of the 46 Senators have been expelled from the Senate due to missing at least two meetings in one semester. This is clearly an example of enforcement of attendance at Senate meetings as the same penalty that was in effect last year, is also in effect this year contrary to what was written in the previous article by The Editorial Board. The real issue with the attendance of Senate meetings is the lack of participation in the Senate. As of October 31st, 20 English classes have no alternate Senators which proves to be a problem because if the Senator cannot make it to a meeting they are supposed to tell their alternate to go, therefore keeping their English class out of the dark. But if no one wants to be an alternate Senator or some English classes just don’t provide one, they’re only hurting themselves.

I would also like to take the time to address the school’s Constitution. There are several inconsistencies in the Constitution and questionable word choices and as such, a large scale amendment is currently being drafted by a few members of ASB. The contents of this amendment will be proposed at a future Senate meeting that will (among other things): de-gender the document, update it (as it was written several years ago), and add provisions that will seek to make the Constitution more available to the student body and more respected. Throughout the year so far, I have seen at least 22 incidences of the Constitution being violated by both administrators and students and I believe it is time to uphold the ideals of a Constitution that does our school justice and as the current Constitution says, “benefit[s] the individual student and the student organization as a whole…”.


Nick Weber