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Students pass field trips and excused absences proposal

SFA BH[media-credit name=”Ben Hills” align=”alignleft” width=”300″]by Jared Perlo
In the past three weeks, the Student Faculty Administration (SFA) has been hard at work crafting and debating bills. The faculty-student government group also passed a bill, the second of the legislative year, pertaining to field trips and absences.
Before the field trips and excused absences proposal was submitted to the SFA by sophomores Lucine Boloyan and Sarina Wolfe, this school’s student handbook detailed that “all absences, excused or unexcused, count toward an N except absences as a result of MCAS, AP exams, special education testing and school sponsored exchanges.”
Boloyan and Wolfe argued that the rule was unfair and prevented some students from going on field trips out of fear that they might incur too many absences later in the term, which would result in an N.
The proposal, which the SFA had debated for more than a month, met some initial opposition from faculty members. However, faculty eventually came around to the idea as certain caveats and requirements were attached to the bill.
Firstly, principal Jennifer Price suggested that a minimum-grade clause should be included in the bill, providing students with a further incentive to maintain good grades in class.
“The whole idea here is motivation to keep up in your classes. You have to understand the consequences of your actions,” Price said.
SFA members also agreed that the rule would be effective starting in the 2013-2014 school year to prevent any panic and confusion.

The bill was passed by members in a 12-3 vote, which officially recommends the proposal to the principal, who has two weeks to either agree to or reject the proposal, according to SFA bylaws. However, Price departed for France after the bill’s passage, so the time period was extended.

In addition, SFA members stipulated that any field trip that would like to be exempt from the N rule has to ask the SFA for approval. The Close Up trip to Washington D.C. was the only trip exempted from the student-handbook rule with the bill’s passage.
In addition to her field trip proposal, Boloyan also proposed holding this school’s pep rallies during school in a bill co-sponsored by History teacher Albert Cho. However, the proposal met stiff opposition and was soon dropped from discussion.

In the past few weeks, the SFA also discussed the continuing development of the student union, located in the back-left portion of the alcove in the cafeteria. The union, which is meant to serve as an alternate social gathering area to decrease unnecessary traffic in the Library Learning Commons, has undergone painting, installation of a television, and a test of new seats that will eventually line the wall of windows.

Junior Liran Bromberg, an SFA member whose layout won the student union design contest last year, said, “We got more money for the student union so we can actually buy chairs — and they’ll have cushions!”

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