Administration continues student union plan

The Newtonite

by Jared Perlo
During yesterday’s meeting, the Student Faculty Administration members continued to deliberate the possible creation of a student social area in the cafeteria, as well as possible school policy changes regarding study halls and canceled classes.
The SFA session began with a discussion regarding a parent complaint about a beer commercial shown on a television in the cafeteria. The issue, briefly brought up in past meetings, was brought to the SFA’s attention by principal Jennifer Price, who thought that the SFA might want to clarify the organization’s purpose for having televisions in the cafeteria.
Many members said this would be unnecessary. Community members have to realize “this place is not only for educational purposes, it has social purposes too,” argued junior Winston Huang.
Afterwards, members split into two committees: one discussing the possible student union located in the indented nook of the cafeteria, and the other debating possible changes to study halls and canceled classes.
Librarian, English teacher and SFA co-chair Kevin McGrath said the SFA “would go for the most bang for our buck” to overhaul the student union’s appearance to maximize student appeal. Committee members suggested the inclusion of high-top tables and low bookshelves, such as those found in the library. The committee has a $3,000 dollar budget to modify the student union, which the PTSO raised partially through the Bringing Down The House event last year.
In addition, committee members announced a plan for a submission contest to help get students’ ideas for the student union. Although the details have not yet been laid out, members agreed that the winner of the contest would receive a $100 prize.
Meanwhile, the study hall and canceled class committee reviewed the possibility of giving students access to laptops during study halls. However, as Spanish teacher Dan Fabrizio noted, this school has a limited technology budget.
“We don’t have the money to replace teachers’ laptops when they break, which happens quickly,” he said. Fabrizio went on to say that fixing teachers’ laptops should be the priority, as the laptops are vital to teachers’ work.
At the conclusion of the session, PTSO member Claudia Wu suggested the possibility of applying for a grant through the Newton School Foundation’s technology initiative to help pay for new student and teacher laptops.