At its conception, the Prefect Council was intended as a two-year trial. The years have passed, and the time for reevaluation is now. The student body never voted for it in the first place, and we deserve to have our voices heard.Â
In 2005, the Head Prefects and Honor Board co-chairs announced a brand new system, doingÂ away with the student government and Honor Board offices and creating a new, separate body that would do the jobs of both called the Prefect Council.
The decision to create this new body was made by the faculty and the student government of 2005-2006 and reduced the number of representatives from 22 to 14. Andew Segal â06,Â Student Body President at the time, said that it was unnecessary to have the student body vote because they had already decided to put the new government through.
And although a group of students formed the Policy Oversight Committee in protest and hosted an unofficial poll that found 86 percent of students disapproved of the Prefect Council, the administration made no response or changes to its plans.
Recently a junior running for senior prefect for the 2008-2009 school year addressed returning to the old system. Another junior conducted an online survey to find out what the student bodyâs opinions on the Prefect Council are. Head of Upper School Harry Salamandra plans to meet with students over the coming weeks to begin reevaluating the system. These are some of the steps we need to take.
In the democracy we like to think our student government embodies, the students deserve to have their opinions heard. We have the right to vote for the candidates we want; candidates who, in turn, represent us and advocate our needs. We need to uphold these ideals that our student representative government is based on, and listen to the opinion of the people. Decisions as substantial as an entire re-organization of the government system should be made with the studentâs voices in mind.Â Â Â Â
We did not want the Prefect Council two years ago. We have had our trial government for the two years as planned.Â
Itâs time to take an honest look at the Prefect Council. We need to look at the facts and evaluate its successes and failures. We need to reassess the Prefect Council, this time with the aid of the student population.