The Future of Student Council

• Katie Maliszewski, Staff Writer

As the Student Council President, I have the pleasure of hearing the thoughts and opinions of many students at West Salem High School. Our first mission of the year was to ask our peers: What would you change at West Salem High School? At one of our most recent meetings, we created a list of these ideas of changes from the students. 

To begin, parking lot issues are a hot topic in Student Council meetings right now, with many students feeling there needs to be a change. In our parking lot at West Salem, students are not allowed to pull forward into parking spaces because the administration needs the sticker on cars to be visible. However, members of the Student Council proposed the idea of giving students two stickers (one for the back of a car and one for the front) so that this problem would be solved.

When discussing the parking lot, senior Adriana Eddy brought up another problem that occurs in the parking lot. She expressed that during the winter when we get a large amount of snow, it is plowed onto the back row of parking spaces. Eliminating an entire row of parking spots has a big impact on student drivers. “Any student that comes to school late never has a place to park,” Eddy said. “Many days, I have to talk to people in the office because there is nowhere to park.” 

The next issue that was brought up was the testing room. When a student has to take a test they missed or need to retake, they must take it in the silent study hall room. However, this room is not as silent as it should be. “I was trying to take a test one day but it was so loud that I couldn’t focus,” said senior Julia Russell. “It is not a test environment at all.” Many Student Council members proposed moving the testing room to a quieter location that would allow students to focus and do the best work that they can. 

One of the most popular topics in our meeting was the water bottle policy. In the West Salem High School handbook, it states, “students are allowed to have water in see-through plastic bottles throughout the building.” However, many students and even teachers do not see why this is necessary. For example, an effort to change this policy was made last year by the organization, Youth Frontiers. Youth Frontiers, led by history teacher Ryan Nelson, is an organization of young leaders who are passionate about making a difference in their community. Members Emily Brueggeman and Rachel Newton led the attempt to change this policy last year but it was unsuccessful.

Administration expressed that students having non-clear water bottles would cause a mess in classrooms if something, other than water, spilled. However, Nelson believes that this is not a reason to give up. “I believe that it is worth it to keep trying to change this policy,” said Nelson. “The more it is brought up, the more likely it is to be changed.”

The parking lot, testing room, and water bottle policy are only a fraction of what we discussed at the last meeting. In future meetings, fellow members and I will begin deciding where to start and what to do to make the changes the students at West Salem want.