Students propose increase of school spirit, field trips

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”Nina Kaplan” align=”alignleft” width=”2052″] Members of SFA discuss school policies Wednesday morning.
by Jared Perlo

Over the past two weeks, members of the Student Faculty Administration (SFA) have heard and discussed two new proposals.

Student and faculty members primarily talked about a proposal that sophomore Lucine Boloyan submitted to the SFA Wednesday, which was co-sponsored by history teacher and SFA member Albert Cho. In the proposal, Boloyan explains that she feels a lack of spirit at this school, especially during pep rallies.

Boloyan, who attended the athletic department’s pep rally Wednesday, Nov. 21 in this school’s gym, said she was surprised at the sparse amount of students at the event.

In the proposal, Boloyan suggests that instead of holding pep rallies after school, the festivities should be during school. Her proposal explains that this change would increase attendance at pep rallies and create school spirit and unity, while also recognizing athletes at this school.

Members of the SFA had strong reactions to the proposal, with several faculty members acknowledging its positive intent, but highlighting the less-than-ideal trade-off of missing more academic classes to support extracurricular activities.

Principal Jennifer Price weighed in on the discussion with a reality check, saying, “I still have faculty who are upset with me for missing one block of school” for this school’s reenactment of The Hunger Games, during which students competed against one another in physical activities earlier this year.

Price also expressed that it is unfair to only showcase some of the teams at this school, considering the vast amount of activities that students participate in.

“I wonder why we feature one team at the pep rally and why we do it just for Thanksgiving,” Price said.

“We also have some of the best math and science teams in the country, but how do we support them?” Price asked.

Cho, to emphasize the positive purpose of the proposal, disagreed with Price. “I think the pep rally before Thanksgiving is a special event for our rivalry with Brookline,” he said. “Just because we can’t highlight every team doesn’t mean we shouldn’t highlight any team.

“I think that there are obstacles to this proposal, but I think that it would send a good message to the community.”

After the discussion, members of the SFA moved on to another proposal that Boloyan and sophomore Sarina Wolfe submitted. The proposal makes the case for altering a school policy regarding field trips.

The current rule says that an “absence from class for a field trip counts toward an N,” with the exception of foreign exchange trips, which can last up to four weeks.

Boloyan and Wolfe proposed that any classes missed because of a school field trip should not count as absences and, therefore, should not count toward the N rule.

In their argument, they said that field trips have educational purposes and that students should not be penalized for a school-related activities outside of this building if they complete all missed work and get their teachers’ written approval to attend the field trip.

The proposal states, “The objective of field trips is to learn in an environment other than the classroom, teaching students not only the curriculum, but also how to learn from the real world, a skill that will be used throughout life. Even though other classes are being missed as a result, the excursion is purely for school-related, educational purposes.”
Debate over the proposal will continue after winter break.