Administration hears students’ voices

During November and December, Student Senate members visited classrooms during Related Class Time, pursuing student input to make the school a better place. They compiled the ideas into a list, with recurring issues receiving tally marks; this method indicated the most important student concerns. The student officers met with administrators and individually went through each concern students had raised.

One of the most surprising demands was a stricter dress code. After speaking with administration, senior and treasurer Hanno Fenech said, “Usually parents want it enforced. It’s usually not students raising the concern. They [the administration] think that is a very responsible thing for students to have taken notice of.”

Senior Rex Ju said he thinks the dress code needs to be more strict. “It’d be more professional and therefore create a more focused atmosphere,” Ju said. Sophomore John Nicol also said our school needs a stricter dress code. “They need to enforce what we have, stronger. I see a lot of people who break the dress code and don’t get punished, so I think if we were to enforce our current dress code more, it would be more effective,” Nicol said.

Not all students think a whole new dress code is in order. “The school doesn’t necessarily need a stricter dress code but instead needs to make sure the current code is made clear and is enforced by all staff,” senior Laura Schwickerwrath said.

Senior Madie Judisch disagreed. “High School prepares us for the real world, and in the real world, you have the freedom to do what you want. However, you are also held accountable for your decisions, and that is something we high schoolers need to learn,” Judisch said.

Another suggestion students proposed to Student Senate was reading announcements over the intercom during the day. However, this will not be happening next year because it takes up class time. Announcements are on the high school website, and they can be tweeted or emailed daily to students who sign up for these features.

Students also stressed their desires for the school to enforce teachers parking in their designated areas. Although brought up every year, the parking situation will not change because even though it sometimes looks like there are empty spots in teacher lots, the lunch staff and traveling teachers need them for when they arrive.

The school administration is looking into two more student requests currently: offering Subway sandwiches in the cafeteria and a coffee bar. Junior Katie Meier said the addition of a coffee bar would benefit the school’s atmosphere. “It would give people the chance to get coffee in the morning and help them be more awake during the school day and help them pay attention,” Meier said.

Other suggestions such as getting rid of the CPR requirement and the Healthy Kids Act cannot change because they are state and federal laws.

But one suggestion that shows promise is more access to technology, such as iPads or laptops in class. Sophomore Arianna Mitra said students need more access to technology at Cedar Falls High School. “Technology is changing the way we learn and get information. Students should have access to computers, tablets and other various sorts of multimedia resources to do their homework and class work,” Mitra said.

Students requested an early dismissal day of the week for next school year, but it has already been decided that there will be late start Mondays for Professional Development next year.

Students also want an outside student area with picnic tables. “It would give people an area to hang out,” junior Laura Ralph said. Senior Lex Redfern agreed it would benefit the high school. “Students are not allowed to eat on campus except in the cafeteria, but when it’s nice out, some might want to eat out without having to leave campus,” Redfern said. Junior Alyssa Voung is enthusiastic about the proposal. “With the lack of seating we have downstairs, we should definitely consider getting picnic tables. It sounds like a great idea. If we had those outside picnic tables, the number of students that eat in the hallway would be less. With less students in the hallway, there’d be more room. It’s a win-win situation,” Voung said.

Another piece of advice from students was to have finals before winter break next year. This was already taking place after Superintendent Mike Wells and the school board set up next year’s school calendar.

Student Senate wants the dialogue between students and administrators to continue. Starting this month, the fourth Thursday of every month at 7:30 a.m. will be a meeting time between officers and administration to discuss student concerns. Students can go onto the CFHS website and pull up the tab “Be Heard. Get answers, get results.” Students are welcome to post questions or concerns for the administration. All students are welcome to attend the Thursday morning meetings to make their voices heard.

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