The Cardinal Chirp & Behind a Writer's Eyes
The Take on OHVA Student CouncilTuesday, November 04, 2008 By Kayla Lemar
With a batch of OHVA student council members freshly in, some students are asking, “What exactly is it?”, “How does it work?” and “What does it do?” As Mr. Wollenburg, Head Advisor, states, “Student Council acts as a vehicle of communication between the students, teachers, and administration.” Student Council’s core purpose is to create easy passageways for communication within the school. Matt Garvin, twice the Northeast regional President and once the President of Presidents, explained that Student Council works for those students who feel uncomfortable with bringing a topic up for discussion with a teacher. Student Council can then step in, promote the idea, or if a conflict, try to help find a solution. OHVA student council also focuses heavily on planning outings and school get-togethers. Student council recognizes that because OHVA is an online school, and that the students get little social interaction with their classmates; these outings become even more crucial than at a brick and mortar school. “There’s more reason [for us] to go after social events. Whereas at other schools the focus is more on fundraising and such, “said Garvin. Student council members will typically gather together via class-connect once a week, depending on the region. There, the council discusses those concerns or requests brought to their attention by the students in their region. They plan the activities students are asking for, check with their regional advisor as to appropriateness, and set to work making things happen. Because OHVA does not have a school building, there are some unique challenges that present themselves when trying to plan events. Wollenburg explained, “It’s challenging because of the way we’re set up. We have students across the state of Ohio. Actually getting together and meeting requires a tremendous amount of organization. It requires students who are passionate about Student Council. It really is a colossal effort on the part of everyone involved.” Wollenburg also explained that the council has to plan for the unexpected. Without a building to plan events in, the council has to book facilities ahead of time, many of which are outdoors, presenting weather difficulties. “Like last year, the students planned an event in a shelter house at a park and storms threatened the area. We decided to cancel at the last hour and it created some problems. Some of the students were already on their way, and others had plans to go. A couple parents had taken the day off work. It was a challenging day,” Wollenburg said. Given such challenges, Garvin was asked what advice he could leave for this year’s student council members. To this he responded, “Start fast. Don’t be afraid to start meeting right away. If you [do] there’s not much that can stop you and We’re here for the students… always keep in mind that you’re serving students.” This year’s elected are as follows: This year’s elected are as follows: For the Northwest Region: Chloe Beard as President, Ryan Albrecht as Vice President, Tony Weisenburger as Secretary/Treasurer, Jeremy Albrecht and Brooke Newell as 9th grade reps, Kaiti Malkowski as 10th grade rep, and Katrina Kehler 12th grade rep. For the Northeast Region: Rebecca Walton as President, Elisabeth Wacker as Vice President, Effie Kisgeropolous as Secretary/Treasurer, Matt Garvin as 11th Grade Rep, Sharnell Bailey as 9th Grade Rep. For the Southwest Region: Jacob Ellis as President, Scott Gilday as Vice President, Melissa Search as Secretary/Treasurer, and K. Coy 12th Grade Rep. For the Central/South Central Region: President as Katie McConnell, Vice-President as Ian McQueen, Secretary/Treasurer as Emily Flower, G Bush as 12 Grade Class Rep, D Hobbs as 11th Grade Class Rep, D Straiton and Cayce Hrivnak as 10th Grade Class Reps.