by Haley Day
December 06, 2010
When it comes time for the students to be involved in the decision making at Marshfield High School, when is the best time to cast a vote? During STAR time while the students aren't as busy and are all in their classrooms of course.
However this tactic becomes a bit less effective when only a portion of teachers participate in passing out ballots to their STAR students to vote on important issues.
One such issue being the finals schedule for the end of the 2010 fall semester. In the past, final exams have been distributed evenly over a four-day period during the last week of the semester.
This year the idea was proposed that instead of taking four days to complete all final exams and give students more review time between tests, the tests be given over the course of two days, eliminating review time and simply getting the exams over with.
After casting the vote during STAR class, the majority of students said they would rather maintain the four-day rule. But was it truly the majority that decided this?
Half of students polled said that they were not even aware that this idea was in the air, let alone that a vote was being taken on it. They said that each time, it is time for a vote to be taken whether on Homecoming candidates, student body president, or school issues such as the finals schedule, numerous teachers have neglected to pass out the ballots.
Whether it is the teacher’s choice not to pass out ballots, or possibly they themselves are not properly informed, the students still are not getting their chance to let their voices be heard.
So when votes get taken on school related issues and the majority rules in one favor, how do we know that it really is the majority that ruled? And how can we solve this problem?
If STAR class voting were made a more mandatory activity that all classes must participate in, teachers might not be as negligent to distribute the ballots. This would lead to more students being involved in the decision making which would lead to more accurate polls.
However, the issue may not be the teachers’ negligence, but instead it is possible that maybe some are not being informed when it is time for a vote to be cast. In which case, it might be better to come up with a new system that would be more efficient and effective when distributing news to all the teachers.
Perhaps it is time that something gets done about STAR class voting. Because the next time the school casts a vote to all the student body, it will definitely be more helpful to have all the student body involved.