As a crowd of students held their right hands up, a wave of new students were sworn in to the 2018-2019 MCR Executive Board. The executive board meeting on February 4 marked an exciting transition between semesters and the first meeting for some newly added members.
Student Member of the Board Ananya Tadikonda then gave her SMOB Report, updating everyone on all her recent work and advocacy. On December 4, Tadikonda had introduced an important resolution to analyze county boundary lines (which you can more read about on our other article) and the boundary study has officially been commissioned.
However, Tadikonda warns the battle is not yet over and students must continue to push its importance, especially to next year’s SMOB. Students should also take action by voicing their concerns to the strategic planning committee as they’re currently seeking student feedback. Ms. Tadikonda will also be hosting a town hall on February 28th where all students in MCPS are invited to come and share their perspectives.
The Vice President of MCJC, MCR’s middle school counterpart, then updated the Board on MCJC’s recent developments. Arvin Kim shared an upcoming fundraiser in the works and briefly discussed the work of the specific MCJC departments.
After the updates, the Executive Board got to work reviewing several education-related bills currently being discussed in Maryland’s General Assembly, providing feedback and suggesting edits to the legislators.
Students reviewed Delegate Kelly’s Bill, Delegate Reznik’s Bill, and Deegate Acevero’s Bill. Delegate Kelly’s Bill was on Election Law and Voter Registration for High Schools. The points the Board members highlighted for discussion was Section A and the definition for “qualified employee.”
Student leaders also suggested that the bill cover offering voter registration slip in multiple languages and including pre-registration for 16 year olds. Delegate Reznik’s Bill was focused on Feminine Hygiene Products in School Restrooms. For this bill, the discussion centered on notifying students about the changes, clarifying re-stocking procedures, and suggested extending the bill to include elementary schools. Ultimately, the MCR Executive Board voted to support both Delegate Kelly and Delegate Reznik’s Bills.
The Board then split into their respective departments and were given time for Department specific work. Students were seen discussing recent accomplishments and second semester advocacy goals. Other significant MCR developments discussed at the February meeting include African Diaspora night at Richard Montgomery High School on February 25 from 6:30-9PM and that MCR is now selling T-shirts for $10 (students can access MCR merchandise on our website, mcrsga.com).
Advisor Ms. Shella Cherry additionally reported that February is teen dating violence month and students ought to wear orange in support. The county-wide PSA contest for Choose Respect open March 8th and the Choose Respect Montgomery conference April 7. Ms. Cherry also brought to light the importance of the issue of pedestrian safety. Ms. Cherry hopes to have passionate student leaders to sit on a district panel regarding this issue, as well as a student-to-student campaign.
If you’re interested in getting involved in MCR, be sure to come out to our next Executive Board meeting on February 21 at the Carver Educational Services Center in Rockville, Maryland, from 6-8 pm.