Student Government Association strives to improve community

Investigative

At KO, Student Government Association (SGA) is a club that allows students to have a voice on campus and express their different ideas and thoughts about what should happen not only at school, but also beyond.
If students see a problem or an issue that they want to address, they can go to their representatives in their grade who will then bring the issue to the attention of the full government.  
Topics that have come up in the past are whether or not freshman should have to go to study hall in Tomasso, the dress code, and what spirit days should be held.
SGA has also started to think about changes that they can make beyond the KO community so that they can help as many people as possible.
An example of this is they have started to fundraise and do more charity work.
After each event this year, they will donate the earnings to a place of their choice.
This year, for the Homecoming Dance, they chose to donate money to Grace Academy and Covenant Prep in Hartford so that they can help the school.
“I liked choosing who we were raising money for through homecoming,” said Senior Ben Poulios, one of five form 6 senators.
Ben said that he decided to run for senator because he felt like it would be a fun thing to do and he thought that he would enjoy it.
Sophomore Sloan Duvall is the Vice President of Form 4 and she is another student who also really enjoys student government.
“I was on Student Government at my old school and I loved it. I also love planning events and having a project that I am in charge of!” she said.
“The Homecoming Dance was kind of my project,” Sloan said. She said that she spent months planning and ordering decorations for the dance and that the budget was much bigger than usual. She wanted there to be themed decorations and all around a better, more extravagant dance.
“DisKO was my idea and I also picked the new DJ, and introduced the other new aspects of homecoming like the photo booth, and the special snapchat Geo filter,” Sloan said.
Other members of student government helped with announcements, set up and clean up.
They all also revamped spirit week this year after she suggested having winners of each day and allowing students to vote on the theme of one day.
SGA has been receiving a lot of positive feedback from the dance and they had around 300 guests which makes the DisKO one of the highest attended dances in the last couple years.
SGA wants to make KO a better and enjoyable place. They don’t solely focus on fun events or serious topics, but instead both so that they can make KO an enjoyable place for everyone.
KO includes many other faculty-mentored clubs and activities that also let students have leadership roles and positions, but what makes SGA different from the others is that students must apply and run to be involved (which is similar to how politicians become involved in our nation’s government ).
In each form, students let their form dean (Form 3: David Baker, Form 4: Kata Baker, Form 5: David Hild, Form 6: Ronald Garcia) know whether or not they would like to run, and then the dean informs the faculty advisor who is running.
Once they do, the students prepare and give a speech. The speech tells their fellow classmates and peers why they are running and what qualifications they have that would make them perfect for the job.  
In Form 3, because everyone is getting to know each other, students give their speeches at the beginning of the year. The SGA faculty advisor then sends out a google form that lets the rest of the grade vote.
The student with the most votes becomes the President and the student with the second-most votes becomes vice president.
The additional students that would like to run for Senator go through the same process.
Form 3 has two Senators, Form 4 has three senators, Form 5 has four senators, and Form 6 has five senators
The Form 3 representatives  are Chase Gibson and Marrich Somridhivej.  
The Form 4  representatives Emma Henry, Sloan Duvall, Eden Nenshati, Henry Mandell, and Risha Ranjan.
The Form 5 representatives are Juanita Asapokhai, Jacqui Ouellette, Matthew Marottolo, Wesley Pierce, Marwynn Somridhivej, and Sidney Taffe.
The Form 6 representatives are Ellis Winfree, Josh Leshem, Ben Poulios, Mia Seymour, Coltrane Joseph, and Ryan Peterson.
At the end of each school year, students go through the same process to determine who will be the President and Vice President of the upcoming school year.
The form deans often turn to the president and vice-president to run form meetings (where many form related activities are announced) and the senators will jump in and add anything when they have to.
The head of all of SGA is the speaker. The speaker introduces the announcements that are made at every Tuesday assembly and is in charge of what occurs. Following the speaker is the secretary who assists the speaker.
After the Secretary is the Treasurer who is in charge of keeping up with and maintaining the budget that they are given and they end up working closely with the faculty advisor to make sure that everything is in check.
In order to obtain one of these three positions, students must prepare and give a speech (just like for the president, vice-president, and senator positions) but instead in front of the whole Upper School.
This year’s Speaker is senior Andrew Holland; this year’s Secretary is junior Spencer Schaller, and this year’s treasurer is senior Jack Gao.
Once a student is a part of SGA, they attend meetings every other Monday night and discuss a variety of topics that have been brought to their attention.
This year, Upper School English teacher Pamela Frye has become the facility advisor that assists and helps the students that are involved in the club.
Ms. Frye came to KO in the 2017-2018 school year and shadowed Ms. Kasprak (the former faculty advisor who retired in 2018) to see what it is like to be the faculty advisor.
Because she is new to SGA, Ms. Frye said she is very motivated to make this school year as awesome as she can.
“We can see some very good leadership and change on campus with the group this year,” she said.
Ms. Frye also said that she hope to help students harness the power that they could have on campus.
“My hope is to help this group harness that the voice that they can have on campus,” Mrs. Frye said.  
English teach Heidi Hojnicki said that when she was the faculty advisor for about two years, SGA would prioritize fun events above other things.
“The fun events are more glamorous,” said  Ms. Hojnicki.
Senior Mia Seymour is a senator for her form and is really excited for student government this year because of the motivated group that they have.
“I think that with both faculty and student support, we can grow to have a real presence on campus that ultimately benefits the community,” Mia said.
Senior Taline Norsigian said that she wants more senior exclusive events this year.“It’s a rough year and it is  helpful to have events with people who are going through situation as you,” Taline said.
Junior Esha Kataria disagreed with Taline and said that she  enjoys the combined events.
“I really liked the Form 5 and 6 food truck. The mac and cheese bites were delicious, and I loved them” Esha said.