Student Council provides voice for Cubs

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By Andrew Bagnard

Composed of 27 students, Loyola’s Student Council provides a wide range of services for the school, ranging from planning dances and other social events to voicing the common concerns of the student population.  

One of the committee’s primary goals is organizing various on-campus events, according to Activities Director and Supervisor of Student Council Chris Walter ‘93.  “Student Council plans all the dances and socials: the first dance in the quad, the second dance of the year, another dance after a basketball game, the Christmas Dance, and prom,” Walter said.

Additionally, the group works to organize spirit week, pep-rallies and other social gatherings that develop throughout the year.  During these council-supported events, members provide all services to ensure that the gathering runs smoothly.  “The students work the events in terms of giving away water, selling merchandise, setting up and breaking down, and cleaning up afterwards,” according to Walter.

Sophomore Class Representative Ty Mahar said a majority of student council “chores” go unnoticed. “We work hard to make sure everyone is having an excellent experience at Loyola,” Mahar said.

The organization tries to meet once a week to plan and reflect upon events and to pitch miscellaneous ideas.  Because of students’ commitments, however, the group rarely experiences a full showing of members: “Sometimes, my schedule forces us to skip a week. We never have everyone there because the boys have their own commitments in the morning, lunch, or after school,” Walter said.

Historically, the committee has held a fair amount of weight with the administration, according to Walter.  “The administration knows the Student Council represents the students, and when something is brought up or asked to the administration, they take it seriously and listen because they like to have the feedback of the student,” Walter said.

One aspect of this joint student council-administration collaboration is the administration’s reaching out to the student-run committee regarding the seven-period rotation schedule.  In fact, the administration contacted the Student Council regarding the possibilities of a schedule change: “Two years ago, we were talking about our thoughts on seven periods because the administration was intrigued to see what the students’ concerns were,” Walter said.

Student Body President Alonzo Billips serves as the main liaison between the student body and administrative body by working primarily with Principal Frank Kozakowski and Dean of Men Dan Annarelli to discuss student affairs.  In regards to his policy, Billips said that he works to develop a sense of  the student body’s concerns by trying “to bring every council member in the conversations to hear their opinions.”

For Annarelli, working with Billips and the  student council has been a privilege.  “I have had some very honest and great conversations with all the representatives, and I am very grateful for their honesty and their willingness to listen to me and my ideas.”

In addition to presenting student opinions, Billips also collaborates with Vice President Henry Bartlett and Senior Class President Tommy Vossler to work on school budget and economics with the administration.   “We try to figure out funding, budget and how logical and plausible it would be for Student Council to put on an event,” Billips said.

Currently, Billips and his team are working to plan graduation and to ensure the success of student council next year.  “We are in preparation to pick a commencement speaker for graduation. We are definitely trying to set the agenda up for next year so that Student Council can run efficiently next year,” Billips said.

Walter is also preparing for next year’s operations: “I am trying to get the next 27 guys in place for next year. Once I establish who is a part of the council, we will meet once or twice at the end of May to get things set and ready for the beginning of next year.”

Both Walter and Billips love the impact that comes with their Student Council roles. In fact, Walter said, “What I like about being the moderator is having conversations with the students. A lot of good conversations go on, and building relationships with the members and seeing them go through the process of putting the time into an event and seeing it succeed is really a joy to watch.”

Similarly, Billips said, “I ran for Student Body President because I felt that there is no other outlet on campus that will allow me to put my voice out there as much as Student Council.

As far as future goals for the committee, Annarelli said he would like to see Student Council voice the opinion of the student body more frequently: “I would like for them to think of creative solutions for the school to succeed.”

The Dean hopes the incoming committee will continue the traditional collegiality between the administration and the student body.

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