Council looks to give students a voice in school issues

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Freshman Katie Morris wants to generate more spirit at Moffat County High School. Sophomore Matt Maneotis thinks students should be more involved in making decisions that affect school life.

As members of the high school's student council, both students can make those goals happen. But they may not be aware of it yet.

Student council advisers Jim Loughran and Jennifer Preece are on a mission to empower the student government group to take on a more active role. The group, which has largely helped organize homecoming dances and pep assemblies, has the potential to make a bigger impact the decision-making process at the high school campus, they said.

"I feel like we've just gotten a little stagnant," Loughran told the council during an organizational meeting Thursday. "We're trying to get students to have a more of a voice in the decisions that are made."

In the last couple years student council positions have gone unopposed, students said. A lack of competition means the same group of dedicated students keeps shouldering the load organizing major school activities.

To accommodate busy schedules, students meet once a week before class starts. Still, student council members are excited about the prospect of causing bigger waves at the high school.

"I think we can make changes but we'll need a lot of student support," said freshman officer Emily Krogman. "Right now, not a lot of people ask for change."

A parking issue has bubbled up as one of the more recent controversial issues at the high school. Students are now required to obtain a parking pass for the high school lot. Those without are issued a $10 fine.

School administration requires the pass to keep tabs on the student-to-visitor ratio, Loughran said.

The situation has drawn the ire of students who've had to pay fines.

To debate the issue, student body president Loren Bikse, a senior, has scheduled a meeting with Principal Jane Krogman.

Similar meetings with school administration have been offered to council government students, but are often meet with a low student turnout, Loughran said.

That's one area where school administration hope the council will take the lead.

"When we make decisions, they're the ones who have to live with them," Loughran said. "They may have insights into a better way of doing things."

Preece hopes to see council students organize and take their ideas all the way to the Board of Education, if necessary.

"I want us to be a team that other students are jealous of and want to be involved in when they see us making changes," she said.

A council goal for some members is to increase their standard 30-minute pep assemblies into an hour-long event.

Another is to get students to come to student council members with school-related concerns.

But most of all, council students want to show all students that their opinions matter and one of the best ways of expressing ideas is getting involved in government.

"I think people have the fear that if they try for student council they won't be accepted," said Ashley Shevling, one of two sophomore representatives. "Maybe if we tell the student body what we do, they'll see it's not as hard as they think. The idea is for us to make school fun for the whole student body."

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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