Are you curious if Upper Division students will be able to enjoy “normal” student activities this school year, such as pep rallies, Fall Fest, Homecoming, or Blue Week? Student Council (StuCo) President, Jonah Craine (’22), shares StuCo’s plans for the 2021-2022 school year and his vision for improving the Upper Division student experience. He also gives insight into how freshmen can get involved in StuCo.
As StuCo President, Jonah’s vision is to “bring school spirit back stronger than before.” In consideration of the pandemic’s significant impact, which cancelled many student activities, Jonah stated his intentions for the new school year: “To the Students of Casady School, I understand that the past one and a half years have been difficult. To the freshman, I want to pave the way for your grade to have a wonderful high school [experience]. To sophomores and juniors, I want to [hold school events] in a positive and inclusive manner and make this year the best one yet. To my fellow seniors, we’ve seen the previous two senior classes, and I know we want better. And for everyone, let’s all try to include and appreciate each other this year. We have the opportunity to change the way that the Upper Divisions acts and operates for years to come, and I want to create a more inclusive and loving campus.”
As we navigate our way through yet another year of the pandemic, students can look forward to several fun campus events planned by StuCo. Jonah enthusiastically declared that, “Many events will be held differently from last year, and the student body will see that with how we act and operate. Pep rallies will see a lot more involvement from Cheer, the Pep Band, and Gales. Fall Fest will actually exist! As a club president, I understand the monetary importance that Fall Fest brings to a lot of clubs, and I am very excited to bring it back.” Additionally, there will be a Homecoming dance, and BLUE Week will return with events throughout the week, if things go as planned. Jonah explained, “As the Delta variant rages on, we remain optimistic that many of our events will be in person, but understand that the safety of students is essential. Sadly, we are not fully out of COVID and therefore cannot confirm the future; however, Student Council will plan and prepare as if everything will be in person.” Communication to Upper Division students regarding upcoming events will be shared during Chapel announcements and through the Remind app. For students who experience any difficulties accessing the Remind app, please see Jonah or Ms. Dawkins for assistance.
The primary roles of StuCo are to serve as liaisons between the student body and the administration and to organize special student events. While sophomore, junior, and senior StuCo officers were elected in the spring of 2021, freshmen elections for StuCo representatives will occur in early September. For freshmen interested in StuCo, Jonah clarified, “As a StuCo representative, your main responsibilities are running events throughout the year, listening to your classmates’ concerns, showing up and participating in meetings, and being a liaison for the administration. If you are interested in running, I highly recommend you do. Whether you enjoy public speaking, communications, design, school spirit, or finances, you play an important role in StuCo. Mainly, we want to improve the lives of the student body and make the four years you have here as enjoyable as possible.” StuCo representatives stay active throughout the school year as they meet, plan, and oversee numerous special events.
Jonah has served as a StuCo representative since his freshman year, and, since being elected president, he has worked tirelessly to make this school year the best yet. During the summer, Jonah attended BASIC, a leadership workshop conducted by the Oklahoma Association of Student Councils, where he had the opportunity to share ideas with student councils across the state. This workshop allowed Jonah to improve his leadership skills and further ignited his desire to implement improvements within Upper Division.
Some of the ways Jonah plans to create improvements to Upper Division are by regularly meeting with club presidents to get more input from the student body, by ensuring that future StuCo Executive Boards fully participate in critical planning meetings, and by working with Gales to promote school spirit. A new precedent will be set this year when club presidents are invited to attend certain StuCo meetings in an effort to cohesively work together. Additionally, Jonah plans to bring more opportunities for the student body to get involved through presidential meetings. Jonah explained that these presidential meetings are “a way that students can have their ideas and opinions heard and brought to the administration while having a fellow student listen and understand.” In order to formally solidify StuCo procedures and event organization, Jonah would like to pass a Student Council Constitutional Amendment that requires StuCo’s Executive Board members to attend the summer planning event where they will meet to organize special events for the upcoming school year.
Furthermore, StuCo will begin to work with Gales to improve Homecoming Week and collaborate on fundraising opportunities. An advocate for improving school spirit, Jonah stated, “Gales is the pep club, and I believe that they should actually be more involved in the spirit of the school. With Caroline Watkins and Aria Nanda on Student Council, I want to work with them to improve pep rallies and other school spirit events with the help of Gales.”
Jonah’s intent to make the school better through the promotion of school spirit, inclusivity, and accountability will benefit all students. Despite the ongoing pandemic and the modifications needed to ensure a safe school environment, StuCo has created opportunities for students to have fun and enjoy special high school events. Carpe Diem, Cyclones!