MCR departments recap a successful first semester
The following are a few reports from each of MCR's departments, summarizing the accomplishments of first semester and the goals for the rest of the school year.
Our PR team consists of three Media Deputies, six Press Deputies, and a Webmaster, led by Co-Directors Robert Wachen and Isabelle Zhou. We have prioritized online communication throughout the first semester, and have had great success.
In the beginning of the year, Director Robert Wachen and Webmaster Adhvayith Sriram revamped the MCR website (mcrsga.com), focusing on a more professional feel while providing more useful information to the students. This has been very successful, as the website has received thousands of unique visits over the past months.
Robert Wachen spearheaded a couple of additional projects, including the creation of the MCR Store and the MCR General Assembly Geofilter. These efforts have generated MCR several hundred dollars and have encourage interactivity with the student body at our events.
The Media Deputies have worked on social media communication, utilizing our followings on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to reach 3000+ students across MCPS. The past semester, @mcrsga published 37 social media posts, which have received 2000+ unique accounts viewing said posts weekly, generating around 30 website clicks per week. This has been a huge step forward in outreach, for MCR’s social media analytics has statistically grown over 4000% due to steady posting schedules and professional posts. The Media Deputies also have created multiple promotional videos for various General Assembly events and fundraisers.
The Press Deputies of the Public Relations Department have been creating articles for mcrsga.com that detail the efforts of MCR and the issues that are relevant to the student body in our county. Last semester, our team published 13 different articles that received a lot of attention from the student body, generating nearly a thousand article reads. These articles include MCR updates that summarize our major events like the General Assembly and Executive Board Meetings. In addition, the articles highlight issues like mental health and update our students on newly arisen issues like the changes in the school calendar for next year. Our articles also highlight the accomplishments of our leaders both inside in outside of MCR. Some of our articles interview the leaders of MCR- the officers- and others review the efforts and accomplishments of our local SGAs.
In this past semester, the Community Relations Department has created Nomination Convention updates in order to inform students of the election for the Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) and the candidates running this year. In addition, the department members have been conducting school visits in which the members interact with local student government associations in order to report on MCR’s actions and receive feedback from our constituents. Community Relations has also built relationships with the Minority Scholars Program and advertised for the MCR General Assemblies. In the second semester, Community Relations intends to continue school visits and expand General Assembly and Executive Board attendance.
Legislative Affairs has researched bills in the Maryland General Assembly for relevant educational bills that could impact Montgomery County. The following list includes the bills which have been tabled or have been considered suitable for this year’s legislative platform:
SB15 (in favor)- strengthens requirements to become an associate and supervised counselor in the state through the drug and alcohol certification
SB44 (tabled)- proposes that the MVA suspend the registration of a school buses that are not regularly inspected, repaired, and maintained
SB69 (in favor)- requires institutions of postsecondary education to provide education loan information to undergraduate students who applies for federal student aid
SB103 (in favor)- proposes task force to study impact of cellphone use in the classroom
HB10 (in favor)- requires Director of the State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency to remit money in the unclaimed prize fund to distribute to the Board of Educations in the State
HB16 (in favor)- establishes Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship program to publicize the availability of certain scholarships
HB57 (in favor)- large family child care homes and centers must purchase green cleaning products and practice greener habits
In addition, the Legislative Affairs Department plans to testify at the Schedule Advocacy Day and work with the Public Relations Department to inform people on testifying days and rally students to the cause.
The Educational Policy Department has worked on the issue of structural racism and districting in Montgomery County. They have created three papers that detail subjects like the evidence of learning, the issues behind ESOL programs, special programs, and mental health.
In the second semester, the department plans to create a budget summary for the Operating Budget of the fiscal year 2018-2019. In addition, they hope to create either a forum or written testimony that supports curriculum diversity as much of our curriculum is based in western civilizations.
Special Issues has been working with the Minority Scholars Program (MSP) to get students involved in their upcoming retreat. MSP is an organization that supports the efforts of minorities to become leaders in Montgomery County and their retreats are regular meetings to discuss the issues minorities face in our county today. The department has also reached out to ESOL students to encourage their participation in MCR. In the first semester, more ESOL students participated in our General Assembly and the department was able to receive feedback for some of the issues they face. Finally, the department has been focused on environmental efforts by creating and “envirostatement” stating MCR’s support of environmentally-friendly initiatives in the county. They have also been researching rainscopes and their possible implementation in Montgomery County.
The Finance Department has had a productive first semester, which has been focused on fundraising for our grant program as well as other MCR initiatives. The first two fundraisers, which was located at two Chipotle restaurants -- Four Corners, Blair, and Rio -- were held on October 23, 2017, from 5-9PM. We have worked with PR to produce video, snapchat, and poster advertisements. Our second fundraiser was much more recent, and was held on at the Rockville Town Center Potbelly on February 12 from 3-7PM. These fundraisers will be particularly crucial in funding MCR, and ensuring that the organization will be stable financially for the next year. In addition, the Finance Department has paid off its remaining dues to the MCR grant recipients of last year. The goals for the finance department for the rest of the semester will be to continue to fundraiser and increase revenue, as well as securings sponsorships with other organizations in the area.
Chief of Staff
This semester, the Chief of Staff department (COS) focused on creating a tight-knit executive board and improving communication with executive board members and SGA’s. In September, COS helped to organize and plan an executive board advance. This event allowed the opportunity for students to bond, learn more about MCR, and begin planning their department goals. COS worked with the public relations department in designing a new MCR t-shirt and sweatshirt. These items revamped MCR’s brand and allowed students to show their MCR spirit. Executive board members reconnected through COS’s Secret Snowflake exchange in December and bowling party in February. Further, the COS department increased accessibility to information for students through producing monthly executive board and SGA newsletters (total: 5 newsletters). These newsletters included upcoming dates, summaries of MCR’s past meetings, and ways for students to get involved. The SGA newsletters were sent out through the MCR website, and students could subscribe to the newsletter through the website. COS started a new initiative of creating surveys at GA’s and collecting the feedback to give to the officer team. This semester, COS plans to continue making surveys for GA’s, continuing our monthly newsletters, and expanding the scope of students our newsletter can reach.