What Actually Happens in the Student Union?


Jacob Goldman-Wetzler, Contributing Writer

The race for Student Union is always heated. But once elected, what do our Student Union representatives actually do?

The Student Union meets weekly on Wednesday mornings in Mr. Lopez’s room. This is Mr. Lopez’s first year as the SU advisor, but in the past, teachers such as Mr. McCann and Mr. Scotch have run it.

During a typical meeting, the representatives are working hard. Erik Ghalib, the Junior Class Vice President, estimates that “95% of the time, [they] are on task,” with the meetings usually running from 7:30 to 8:05. During this time, the different roles — president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer — don’t tend to matter. “Everyone is around the table,” Erik said. Every so often, however, someone may do something role-specific, like the treasurers counting the money from Homecoming or the secretaries taking notes.

As for what gets accomplished during a meeting, it mostly depends on what’s happening in the school at the time. Regardless of this, however, the meetings start with discussing unresolved items from the prior week so the SU can solve. For example, on Wednesday, October 12, the Junior Class representatives discussed November 7th’s Junior Formal. In fact, Erik said that everything from planning major events and Spirit Weeks to designing class shirts takes place in the meetings. SU normally meets as a whole group to plan events like the schoolwide talent show that is coming up, but it also splits into grade-specific meetings to plan grade-level events. Those grade-specific meetings occur outside of the Wednesday morning time frame dedicated to all-grade SU meetings. “Those last five to ten minutes are dedicated to talking about what we need to achieve before the week ends.”

Furthermore, representatives have to work outside of school to make sure things run smoothly. Barney Smith, the Junior Class President, said that in a typical week, without any special events, he will spend one and a half hours doing work for the SU. Erik said that when there is a big event like the Talent Show or Olympics, he can spend up to four hours outside of school planning out logistics. Julien Amsellem, the Senior Class President now serving in his fourth year, said that “we spend at least an hour a week talking about SU stuff outside of SU.” The Senior Class also has meetings every other week with their advisors to talk about grade-specific topics that are not discussed in general SU meetings.

Overall, the Student Union is organizing the events that give our school its character. Erik definitely enjoys being in the SU: “It’s nice to be one of the people that people can come to if they want to see something happen in the school.” 

So does Barney. “I’d like to say that it is absolutely an honor to be a two-time president,” he said.