Necessary reforms to the Citizenship Committee


Kingswood Oxford maintains a rigorous system of oversight and discipline over the student body, culminating in the appointment of the Citizenship Committee (CitCo). The Citizenship Committee represents the student body by hearing disciplinary matters; however, problems have begun to seep through the cracks of this disciplinary body with a lack of real representation and a flawed voting system.

The primary reform that CitCo needs to make is a change to the voting process. Currently, students choose two members, one male and one female, to represent their class, with voting taking place in the spring of sophomore year. These elected candidates remain on the committee for their junior and senior years. The vote contains two separate ballots: one ballot contains the list of candidates, in which you vote based on the name, and a separate one with anonymous essays written by those candidates.

Unfortunately, these essays are anything but anonymous. Candidates could potentially tell voters which essay is their own, giving them extra, non-anonymous votes while removing the equitable aspect of this process. 

The primary concern with these structures is that the voting process does not fall in the interests of students and can lead to CitCo disproportionally representing the student body. If a student were to unfairly take advantage of these flaws, they could be stealing a seat from another member of the student body.

There is a fair solution: keep the named voting. People should know who they’re voting for and what ideals those running stand for. However, instead of an essay, have the students give a speech to the school about their ideas. This ensures that students actually hear the candidates’ proposals, as it cannot be confirmed if voters actually read the essays. It also removes any unfair discrepancies in the anonymity portion of voting. 

Some parts of CitCo voting should remain the same, though. Teachers should not participate, as they are not members of the student body, and the one male and one female rule should be kept in place. This would ensure that CitCo makes fair decisions in the eyes of the community while keeping in mind the interests of the entire student body.

The KO News editorial board is concerned about the actual makeup of the committee. As it stands, four teachers—rotated throughout the years—and four students, two from both the senior and junior classes, make up the committee. We here noted the lack of diversity on CitCo. Unfortunately, however, the faculty at KO frankly do not match the diverse makeup of the student body.

One proposed change to the structure of CitCo would be to add a third senior to the committee. In addition, a fifth teacher could be added to bring a new perspective and keep the number of students and teachers balanced. This third senior could provide new inroads to CitCo for the student body. It would allow for a member of the junior class to join the committee after the primary voting sophomore year and potentially add a new and fresh boice to CitCo. 

In the end, however, these changes cannot be implemented until further down the road. But upon the change, CitCo could become a body that aids and represents the student body.

Until then, the KO News staff would like to send a message to the sophomore staff: take CitCo voting seriously. These are your peers that will represent you for the next two years, and they also become an indicator of the KO Community as a whole. Furthermore, make your decisions wisely.