What has the Student Government been up to?

What+has+the+Student+Government+been+up+to%3F

Margaret Bahe

Owen Front and Ayomide Ajakaiye

With the commencement of the first hybrid classes, Student Body President Eleanor Hohenberg (‘21) and Chief Justice Leyla Fern King (‘21) wanted to update the school with Student Government’s current plans for the semester.

Student Court

Student Court’s Role at JBS:

Valuing the student right to defend oneself and be heard, Student Court acts as a bridge between the administration and Student Body on issues relating to student misbehavior. “A lot of schools don’t have a student court. If you skip a class you automatically get detention,” Fern King (‘21) mentioned in an interview. “We are a place where you can come in and explain to us what happened and if you have a valid reason, it all gets worked out.” Assembling on Friday mornings through Zoom as of now, the Court will take in different cases sent from teachers, and decide on appropriate punishments per case.

Punishments and Court Meetings this Year:

Court meetings, which are available for all students to attend, will continue through a Zoom format similar to previous years: students are called into Court, they explain the situation. They are then questioned by Court members, and after stepping out of the room, Court members discuss the case, eventually bringing the student back in for the final verdict. Students are advised to attend court meetings, as it typically reduces detention time by an hour.Naturally, punishments will be handled differently this year. “Our main methods of punishments are detentions, but we don’t want to bring kids onto campus more than we have to,” Fern King (‘21) explained. Instead, academic study halls have been suggested as a replacement punishment for high schoolers instead of free periods, and middle school punishments are still open for debate. Typical court offenses like skipping classes and leaving campus will also have varied penalties depending now on other factors like student health and technology functions. This year, all students will be unable to leave campus due to health risks. However, overall the main goal of the Court this year is to be understanding of the varying situations of students.

Student Congress

Student Congress’ Role at JBS:

As Student Body President Eleanor Hohenberg (‘21) puts it in an interview, Congress’s job is to “organize the Student Body and [schoolwide] events.” Additional responsibilities include approving new clubs and helping them succeed, as well as expressing the wishes of the Student Body to the administration. For now, congress is virtual, but that won’t stop them from making the most out of this year.

Activities and Events for 2020-21:

Many classic traditions like the Pep Rally, Spirit Week, Activity Fair, and Bonfire are going to look a lot different this year, and though nothing is finalized, Congress is adapting already. In regards to the Activity Fair, the SBP states, “We have to switch it to an online format, and clubs will be asked to create some sort of media to encourage people to join their club.” For other events like Spirit Week, there will be ways to participate at home and in person.“Spirit Week is really about school spirit, [and] showing that we’re together, especially in these times,” Hohenburg (‘21) explains. A virtual or live streamed Commons Cafe or a socially distanced movie night might be in our future. In the meantime, Congress is working hard to make this year as good as it can be.