By Cesay Camara
Junior year can be the most stressful yet rewarding year of one’s high school career. Juniors, remember that you have your council members, to whom you can offer your suggestions or concerns. I interviewed Junior Council members Yeiny Moreno (Vice President) and Rasna Ekra (Class Representative) in order to make the student body aware of the council’s current plans and focus on possible ways to get the rest of the class involved.
Q: Are there any academic or college-prep issues that juniors are worried about and that student government leaders want to bring to the attention of the school’s administrators?
MORENO: Something that I’ve noticed and I’ve been very concerned about is that many juniors are not aware of deadlines for SAT registrations. This is a great concern because if many juniors don’t know about this, then there must be greater things that they are not aware of, such as the other tests that some colleges require students to take, or how to get prepared to take these tests. This has recently been brought to the administration and we were told that there would be actions taken towards the situation.
EKRA: Yes some juniors are facing some issues regarding college-prep. Some juniors do not know about signing up for the SATs, they think it is like the Regents and that the school signs in the students for the SATs. Thus there is lack of college prep assistance for the juniors. Well, the junior council has proposed to hold an event to provide information to all juniors regarding college-prep, and we hope to have the event soon.
Q: Are there special class trips or recreational activities you’d like to secure for the junior class?
MORENO: As of right now we have been thinking of having sort of a “theme day” for the juniors. We are not sure of what the theme would be, but if we do have it, we would find a way to make it appealing for most, if not all, juniors. Also we have to keep in mind that we would be seniors in the next school year, which means we will have the opportunity to enjoy various trips and theme days. After all, that’s our big year.
Q: By March, juniors are already thinking about transitioning to senior status. Any thoughts about what you hope your class can accomplish as a group next year?
MORENO: I really hope that the junior class doesn’t catch a severe case of “senioritis.” As a group, I hope that we can all encourage one another to persevere through the long process that is applying to college. I hope that the junior class is aware of the importance of the college application process. Juniors should know that applying for college and choosing a college are very important decisions that will have a great impact on their lives which shouldn’t be taken lightly.
EKRA: As a class next year we want everyone to have taken the SATs or the ACTs at least once. Also they should be somewhat familiar with the college app process.
Q: What are your plans for the junior class?
MORENO: My plan for the junior class is for all juniors to be able to apply to and attend college. I hope that each and every junior gets to go to a college at which they will be able to embark on a journey to pursue their dreams.
Q: Some students casually say, “There’s no purpose in having a junior council when the seniors get all of what they want.” What do you say to this?
MORENO: I’ve personally heard this often and I always respond by saying that the time will come (and very soon) in which we will be seniors and be able to enjoy all the senior privileges that they get. It is true that the junior council does not do as much as the seniors, yet we have similar responsibilities. There are things we do as a council that are not seen by the student body, such as council meetings in which we bring up ideas, concerns, or issues, that we have heard from the student body to the administration.
EKRA: It is true that seniors are given more importance because of their graduation and the events held for them. However it is not true that we do not need a junior council or even a sophomore council, because it is important to get all grade levels P.O.V. in terms of what can we improve for students at MCSM. Even though this year is not all about us, we do put our input into many decisions.
Q: What have you as a council been working on currently?
MORENO: The junior council is currently trying to bring awareness about the college process to the Class of 2016. We have been doing so by sharing our ideas with the administration to come up with the adequate means to achieve our goal.
EKRA: Right now we are working on organizing the event for juniors to help them learn about the college application process.
Q: What methods do you plan on using, if any, to engage the junior class in your council decisions?
MORENO: A method that we have already tried and we plan to try again, is having junior assemblies. We encourage the juniors to attend these assemblies in order to get informed about what the council is working on and how they can have a voice as students.
Q: What is the most difficult aspect of representing the junior class?
MORENO: I believe that the most difficult aspect of representing the junior class has been getting a greater portion of the class to share and express what they think. I have heard opinions from many juniors, but not enough to say that the demands of the class as a whole are being heard. If we could get more students to cooperate and communicate with us, we would be able to do more for our class.
EKRA: The most difficult aspect of representing a junior class is to get the juniors involved in the council. They tend to think they do not have to get involved until senior year.