Anyone who enjoyed this year's St. Croix Central Homecoming festivities has the newly formed Student Senate to thank for pulling the event together despite being a brand new organization at the high school.
"We want to get more students involved in student government and we wanted to try to model something after our own senate," principal Kurt Soderberg said. "With some changes being made and things shifting a little around the district, it just seemed like the right time to do that and make that change."
The senate replaces the school's student council and is open to anyone, as long as they are: there with a sincere attitude, want to participate and are there consistently, Soderberg said. Teachers Jessica Wolf and Chris Buckel are the Student Senate advisers, while activities director and dean of students Jason Koele oversees the whole endeavour.
"The whole thing is very new. It will be interesting to see how it develops," Koele said. "It will be way more conducive to getting student insight. I think they will be empowered to share their voice because they have the platform and the opportunity to do so. That, in turn, will help us and the staff manage different things and get more buy-in to make things function more efficiently because it will be peer led. That means any policies and such that come out of it will be from them."
This year's Student Senate representatives include: president Evan Tredal (senior); vice president Hank Berger (junior); secretary Hannah Kempen (freshman); treasurer Alyssa Edison (junior); as well as representatives Tadan Holzer (freshman); Brooklyn Mishler (sophomore); Lauren Leen (sophomore); and Josie Armagost (senior).
Although Student Senate is different than the school's old student council, each grade level still has a pair of representatives who speak for their class. According to Koele, the representatives will meet more often as a board, but the senate itself will meet once a week. The senate will also form subcommittees similar to the U.S. Senate to discuss certain topics.
"The senate will do things like plan all of our major school events, such as homecoming, prom and those kind of things. They will also take on student subjects and topics, like cell phone policy and other things that come along," Soderberg said. "They will make a proposal and then present it to our teachers who are on the building leadership team. Then we will talk about it and try to ratify it and make a decision on that topic."
Along with taking a look at the school's current cell phone policy, Soderberg expects the Student Senate to tackle topics such as the growth of the student population and the impact that has on spaces available in the parking lot for students. Students will also have the chance to bring forward their concerns or subjects that they feel the senate should discuss further.
"It is just another opportunity for us to have kids lead and serve, which are two big and important things we want to give our students the opportunity to do," Soderberg said. "I'm really pleased and proud of Jason and the two social studies teachers who have taken the lead. We have really good leadership among those students on the board and I'm looking forward to what it can become."