Take the democratic advantage

This year, after years of closed meetings, the Prefect Council finally opted for some governmental transparency. Students have been granted the opportunity to see student government present its work and finally see what it is that prefects do.

For the first two meetings, the only people who attended were a handful of students representing clubs, a few members of student media and Chronicle adviser Kathleen Neumeyer, who brought her third period journalism class.

For all the complaints about the Prefect Council’s undemocratic practices and secret meetings, the apparent level of apathy was confusing. It is understandable that some students may see a conflict between how much they care about the community and how much they want a free period.

However, each third period meeting has lasted  only about 20 minutes, so students still have time to get food or hang out with friends. A head prefect said that the activities meetings will probably also last 20 minutes.

There is time during each meeting for comments — students can voice their opinions or comment on the day’s proceedings. As an added bonus, seeing what prefects do could shake up the iron grip reelected prefects seem to have on the Council.

Before, most of the vote was based on incumbency and one campaign speech from the candidate. Some students have been voting for the same people since ninth grade. If more students attended open meetings, their votes could be based on knowledge of the candidates. The Prefect Council could be more like a real democracy if students made an effort to be an informed public.

The Prefect Council wants to make everyone a leader, and this new level of openness is a part of that. They made a brave move.

Now it’s our move, and it should be a move to the seats of Ahmanson during activities and Friday during third period.