Town Hall Meetings Give Senate a New Perspective

For the 2010 school year Student Senate has chosen to focus on improving BRFHS and spreading Tiger pride.

“We had our own ideas about what our school needs, but we really want to get the whole student body involved in making changes so that everyone is happy,” said Student Senate president Emiley Rios.

On Monday, December 19, the senators held “town hall” meetings, which were devised so that the senate could figure out what exactly they should focus on improving.

“It was our understanding that students were unhappy about some aspects of our school, but we weren’t totally certain what made them unhappy,” said communications director Andy Epps. “We developed the idea to host meetings with our district so that we could pinpoint the issues and hear the opinions of the people that we represent.”

As well as sharing ideas, the senate wanted to gain the support of the student body for their organization.

“A lot of people don’t really know what Student Senate does for our school. Some think we just get elected and we’re done, but that’s not the case,” said Rios. “We wanted the meetings to show students that we do work hard for them all year and that we do care about what they think. We want people to trust and know that we’re there for them.”

“The town hall meetings were a good idea because more people could speak up about what they want,” said junior senator Erica Olson. “Most students don’t even know who their senator is, so how are they supposed to talk to us about what our school needs if they don’t know who represents them? The meetings really helped students express their opinions and get to know who their senator is.”

When sharing ideas, some were consistent with every district. Students expressed that they would like improvements in the Sam Young Gym, the locker rooms and the restrooms. Some wanted more colorful hallways with murals and painted lockers while others simply wanted a commons area to go to during focus. In almost every district, the lack of school spirit was expressed by students.

“It’s hard to have Tiger Pride in a school that shows hardly any pride,” said Olson. “I think students brought up the issues we have with school spirit because it’s an obvious one. When you travel to away games, it’s easy to notice the spirit the other schools have and how much fun they have. Students want the same thing for BRFHS.”

Though the Student Senate wants to improve our school, they understand they have limits.

“There were some students who suggested a brand new school. Yes, it would be nice, but a referendum is not a realistic goal for us—it is much too big of a project. However, we did earn much positive feedback and excellent ideas that we are sure to discuss in our meetings,” said Epps.

The ideas expressed during the meetings can be found on the Student Senate blog at http://www.brf.org/blog/rykkepau/brfhs-student-senate/town-hall-follow-december-2010. Students are encouraged to talk to their senators about concerns or ideas they have for our school.