Student Council Faces Criticism

While many students agree that the back to school bash was the best one yet, some are questioning whether Student Council is living up to its promises. During the election, current council members vowed to deliver more activities and create a family environment.

Led by Student Body President Daniel Yerushalmi, Vice President Sruly Duchman, Director of Public Relations Judah Neuwirth, Secretary Tehila Moore, Treasurer Raquel Zohar and student representatives for each grade, Student Council is responsible for acting on the interests of the students and assisting the student activities director with events and activities. Shabbatons, the back to school bash, Color War and arranging guest speakers are just some of the obligations of student council.

“I think the Student Council thinks that their responsibilities are only between the hours of eight to four p.m.,” said Assistant High School Principal Rabbi Assaraf. “They need to put their schedule in check and realize that when they make a commitment to an extra curricular club, you must invest outside of school time.”

Many students tend to agree.

“I feel like this election was all words that haven’t been met,” said Sara Fuchs (12th grade). “I can’t even think of anything they’ve done besides the back to school bash. Student Council is supposed to be our advocate and they’re not doing much of that.”

One of the promises of the Student Council during elections was to foster a family atmosphere within the school. While many students say the school feels like a family, others are more skeptical.

“I feel like people are segregated within groups,” said Ron Ben-Hayoun (11th grade). “In a family everyone is supposed to be nice, not just because you know the kid or like the kid.”

Some feel that the family environment is not real, but rather something the school is promoting.

“I think it’s a fake family environment,” said Aaron Zilberman (12th grade). “I think it actually may be a brother-sister relationship where we all hate each other.”

Many 9th graders, new to the school, say they appreciate the culture of the school.

“When I came back after I left for a week, I felt like I was back home,” said Kayla Abramowitz (9th grade), who serves on the Student Council as 9th grade Representative. “The teachers are very caring, and they care about your health and what you do in school. You get to know everyone personally.”

Sruly Duchman, vice president of Student Council says that they have made great efforts towards developing a family connection between students through the senior shabbaton.

“When we had the circle in the dark room at the senior shabbaton, we all genuinely cared about one another,” said Barby Mohadeb (12th grade). “If one of us is down, the other ones realize it.”

According to some students, the bonding is just beginning to develop.

“Establishing a family atmosphere isn’t something that happens over night,” said Aliza Posner (12th grade). “It takes a couple of years to develop this, and we are the pioneers of that. If we actually care about this school we would want a family environment for future students. The problem is nobody cares.”

Besides cultivating a family atmosphere, Student Council members promised to bring fun activities to the school, but many students aren’t sure they’ve done that yet.

“I don’t know what they’re doing,” said Yael Bister (9th grade). “I haven’t been affected at all.”

Director of Public Relations for Student Council Judah Neuwirth (12th grade) says students’ inability to see the Council’s work has to do with a lack of promotion.

“Student Council is doing a good job, we just need to publicize it better,” Neuwirth said.

Student Council has planned some activities so far, but there are much more to come, said Tenth Grade Representative Elisheva Adouth. Since the beginning of the year they planned and executed two shabbatons, and orchestrated the back to school bash. They are also working on this weekend’s 8th grade shabbaton and Color War. Rumors have been circulating that a senior trip is on the way.

“Student council has been very dedicated,” said Student Body President Daniel Yerushalmi. “The breaks that we had for the holidays made it seem like we haven’t done much, but there is a lot happening.”

During his campaign, Yerushalmi vowed to bring a sense of spirituality to the school, and for many students he is meeting that promise.

“I grew a sense of Judaism this year,” said senior Michael Fedida. “Before senior year started I didn’t want to go to Israel and now I do. Danny delivered his message and it spread awareness.”

According to Director of Student Activities Rabbi Ney, who works closely with Student Council, the lack of buzz means they are doing their job right.

“A lot of the stuff that student council is working on, people don’t know about,” said Ney. “So they might jump to this kind of conclusion and say that student council is not working, but personally, I think it speaks to the professionalism of our student council because they are taking some personal hits at the expense of keeping things quiet that they’re supposed to keep quiet.”

Ney said that this is only the beginning of a great year to come.

“Students should be patient and trust that the student council is working very hard to make sure that they have the best school year they’ve ever had,” he said. “They already had the best back to school bash the school has ever had and some amazing shabbatons. Some wonderful things are still in the works. ”

While Assaraf feels this could be an “historic year” if Student Council comes together as a unit and delivers on their promises, he thinks the Student Council should be held accountable.

“Ultimately, actions speak louder than words and the school does have a right to demand action,” Assaraf said. “Words were said, and we became believers and we voted based on belief.”

By: Avi Stein (12th grade)

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