Club Voting: Spring or Fall?


(Photo/Glen Carrie/Unsplash)

Neha Khandkar, Staff Writer

The administration issued a message that voting for clubs would be moved to the fall. Seniors George Ma and Eyal Yakoby’s recent petition is already stirring up tension throughout the student body and administration.  According to Yakoby, the petition aims to, “Return elections back to the Spring, as they have taken place in the Spring every single year.” That is the central dilemma: Should we uphold tradition or make an exception due to the unique circumstances of the year?  Student council representatives and faculty members have shared their views on this issue. A primary theme the administration pushes seems to be the differing access to opportunities. Ms. Sabundayo mentioned, “If we were to move to remote learning, our students potentially would have wildly varying abilities to participate in our club election process. Our goal always is to ensure we are meeting the needs of all our students as best we can; in this case, we were focused specifically on student access to leadership roles.” This is a valid point; it is no one’s intention to deprive students of an equal ability to lead. 

However, many seniors have expressed complaints, such as their votes being taken away. Senior Megha Thomas shared, “I believe that the student body should have been consulted before taking such a drastic decision and stripping away the votes of the entire senior class. As a club leader, I have dedicated my time and energy to growing these clubs for the future (along with many of my fellow seniors), and I believe that we should have a voice regarding the future leadership of these clubs.” In a sense, they are picking those who will take their places. Additionally, Yakoby brought up the point that the students’ perspective was not taken into account prior to the decision. He explained, “What George and I are most torn up about is the simple fact that no one has asked students for their opinion…By not asking club leaders’ opinions, it has undermined the sacrifices which many have made to promote and run their respective clubs.”  

This is not to disregard the fact that the administration’s decision was a fairly informed and understandable one. Dean of Students, Dr. Elizabeth Monroe observed, “We had gotten feedback from many students and their families that the pace of school life was growing increasingly demanding. We began to look at EC life as a critical lens through which to support the health and well being of our student body.” She also acknowledged, “I admit that it lost sight of the individual feelings of seniors who are grappling with so many changes and so much loss surrounding milestones of their high school life. These feelings are real and profound and deserve validation.”  Truthfully, this pandemic is new and scary for everyone, and the next steps to take are not always clear. During a crisis like this, it is important to both hold onto traditions as well as adapt. There is no black and white with this conflict around voting.