SGA Lacks Student Involvement and Passion


Graphic By William Gangnath

In response to recent hazing allegations and then charges for five JV football players at Damascus, all athletic directors held a meeting with fall athletes that reviewed MCPS hazing policies.

While the Student Government Association (SGA) is meant to harness the talent of the best leaders throughout the school, more recently it has been less about leading the community and more about the candidates and their résumés.

Officer positions should be taken more seriously because there is a lot of responsibility involved, with the potential to impact school life and improve the high school experience for almost 1500 students.

There will always be some candidates running for an officer position for the clout it may bring. But in recent years, more students seem be running to build their résumés or for popularity points, which takes away from what SGA should be about: improving `student life for everyone.

The SGA plans school-wide dances, fundraisers to lower senior dues and other events meant to involve all of the student body. Even with these few (compared to other MCPS high schools) tasks, the SGA does not seem enthusiastic to complete their tasks.

To improve the SGA leadership in years to come, more restrictions should be put in place for students running for office. Currently, students wanting to run must be academically eligible and must get signatures from teachers, administration and students supporting their campaign. Additional requirements should include having at least one year of prior SGA experience and having a 3.5 GPA.

With new requirements, some students who want to be involved in SGA may be excluded because they do not meet the standards. In order to build on the SGA’s mission of inclusivity, the officers should hold monthly meetings open to students who sign up in advance; these students can share their ideas and concerns directly with SGA officers.

Sharing ideas among peers is a common goal in SGAs across the country. Officers should ¨exchange ideas and network with [student government] members from all type of institutions across the country,” according to the American Student Government Association. Engagement with institutions across the country would be beneficial to class officers since they can bring new ideas back to RHS.

While the lack of enthusiasm is present in SGA, it does not define all officers. This year the 2019 officers provided some impressive moments that other SGA officers should aspire to. They created multiple fundraising opportunities at popular restaurants like Chipotle and Panera; they were interactive in their social media posts to keep their classmates involved and they also put in an abundance of work into homecoming halls and other dances. These officers have started to capture the excitement and engagement that the SGA can offer if it were full of motivated, community-minded leaders.

An uninvolved student government negatively impacts students throughout high school, but it also harms students’ attitude toward politics in the future. Some problems that arise with U.S. citizens’ civic engagement begin at an early age, according to The report found that “Student’s civics experiences or lack of experiences starting from elementary school all the way through college can shape the way they view our politics today.”

Being an SGA officer is a privilege that should be embraced and respected by students. They garner a closer insight on school life and enjoy opportunities to interact with other leaders around the county. With these experiences, students who take pride in their leadership roles can grow by being part of an organization and by improving the quality of high school for almost 1500 students.

Next year’s officers have a chance to improve RHS for the community. They better not squander it by simply padding their résumé.