Show up or shut up

Students should not be complaining about not knowing what the Prefect Council does or that it has not provided a sufficient link to the Administration. In the last two years the Prefect Council has made huge attempts to reach out to the student community, but the student body has not reciprocated. The Prefect Council has provided numerous opportunities for students to get involved in decision making, from ad-hoc committees to weekly open meetings, but a vast majority of the student body just stands idly by.

It is offensive and childish to ruthlessly verbally attack athletes on opposing teams. When we start transferring that hatred to our own peers, it is hypocritical and flat-out embarrassing.

Students, the Prefect Council has given you opportunities to get involved and input your opinion, but if you neglect these opportunities don’t expect to have a voice. Outside the confines of Harvard-Westlake, getting involved in government takes an effort on the part of a citizen, by reading a newspaper or participating in activism. Elected officials are not going to ask you personally how you feel about an issue; you must be informed and take action to make your opinions heard.

Open meetings are a prime example of the student body throwing away their chance to participate. Last October, this newspaper wrote an editorial promoting student attendance at the Prefect Council’s open meetings, after the first few meetings had an abysmal turnout. Turnout continued to suffer, and, as a result, the frequency of the meetings declined. Can you blame them for having fewer meetings? When attendance is in the single digits, it is officially a waste of the Prefect Council’s time to hold these meetings.

When the student body has a chance to participate, they have the right to turn down that chance. But students do not have the right to criticize their government if they maintain a passive-aggressive attitude, letting their frustrations build up until the only possible outlet is an explosion of emotion in Rugby Auditorium. 

If some students are as enraged about their government as they appeared to be last Thursday, then they surely should be the ones taking advantage of the constructive venues the Prefect Council has made available to them.  Students can disagree with their government, but it is childish to condemn the Prefect Council for not being responsive to students’ needs when students have not matched the council’s efforts to bridge the gap.