...we can look at this referendum in a broader context, as but one step in addressing a larger problem inherent to student representation. As a product of the Montgomery County, Md., public school system (MCPS), I have some perspective on this. Progressive bastion that it is, MCPS has held elections for a Student Member of the Board (elegantly called SMOB for short) since 1978. Every year, two Tracy Flick-esque candidates are nominated (out of a field of fewer than 10) by a sparsely attended convention. And, once Tweedledum beats Tweedledee (or vice versa), he passes into obscurity, attaining access to school board members but making scant effort to communicate with students. The explanation for this is clear enough. When a student representative finds himself surrounded by adult power and prestige, it is tempting to forget the interests of a largely apathetic student body. Forming relationships with administrators is undeniably pragmatic. But it is all too easy for such relationships to become mere networking opportunities: Torn between a distant, apathetic “electorate” and people with real influence, what is an ambitious, future-oriented student to do?
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The Daily Princetonian contains a commentary that includes a reference to the student member of the MCPS Board of Education position. Does the position serve the electorate (students) or does it just become a "mere networking opportunity" for the student that is elected?