Student Government Plans Projects, Organizes Service Projects, Plays Role in Policies

Elizabeth Bolin, Staff Writer, Advanced Jouralism

Notre Dame Academy would not be the same without all the behind-the-scenes help from class presidents and the rest of Student Government. Dances such as Fallfest and special events like Spring Week and De La Baie Fest would not be possible without the hard work of the student representatives.

“Student Government’s main role is to carry out events and projects during the school year that promote our core values, help others both in our community and internationally, and get students to be involved in a positive, fun and fulfilling way,” explained Crystal Dory, one of the Student Government advisers.

“My role as adviser is to help with all of the student gov-led projects throughout the school year, including BOTB, St. John’s shelter dinners, school dances and Give-a-Gift,” said Sra. Dory.

The Spanish teacher is adviser to the Senate branch, one of the three branches that makes up the Student Government organization.

“This branch works with administration on policies and procedures that affect the student body in day-to-day life, including dress code, technology and discipline. It’s made up of four senators from each grade who are selected through an interview process,” said Sra. Dory.

“I was really happy I did it,” said Maya Abujamra, one of last year’s senators. “Meetings were very casual and we usually had breakfast, and Senora understood if we couldn’t make it to the occasional meeting. We worked a lot on BYOD and it’s cool to see how our efforts worked out this year.”

Senate is just one small piece in the overall picture of Student Government.

“The second branch is the Outreach branch which focuses on service projects to raise money and advocate for different causes. They are also responsible for prayer services and various other projects throughout the school year,” continued Sra. Dory.

This branch, although smaller than Senate, is equally as important. It is composed of two Advocates from each grade.

Then there’s Notre Dame’s Executive Board, which is made up of each of the Class Presidents and the four all-school officers–Student Body President, Vice President of the Senate, Vice President of Outreach and Administrative Assistant. Other representatives to the Executive Board are chosen through an application process. FanMan and Mermaid also serve on the Executive Board.

The elections for most positions are held at the end of the year, usually in April. The one exception is freshman elections. All freshman positions are filled near the beginning of the new school year.

“Our goal is to give freshmen the month of September to get to know their classmates. Then they can decide if either Class President, Senator, or Advocate would be the best fit for them,”  Dory said.

In October the freshmen will be able to apply for positions in the Outreach Branch and Senate, and the election for Class President will be held.  Sra. Dory said they will be notified of the dates through their school email.

Class President is the only position that requires campaigning; Outreach and Senate positions are chosen through an interview process.

Bergin Olson, last year’s freshman class president, remembers his campaign. “I gave out candy that said ‘Vote for Bergin’ and tried to make sure that my speech was descriptive and specific about my goals for the year.”

Once he had won, Olson says Student Government went right to work. “It wasn’t a solitary effort. Collectively Student Gov and I planned out a lot of school events and fundraisers.”

As for advice to the freshmen this year, Bergin urges the candidates to relax. “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself if you are thinking about running. It should be something fun that gets you involved with the school.”

“We look forward to welcoming new students to Student Government,” said Sra. Dory. “Do not hesitate to get involved at NDA! There is something for everyone at the Academy, and maybe Student Government is the best fit for you.”

“Each student has special gifts and talents to offer during their four years at NDA,” she said.