February Executive Board Meeting Recap

Looking forward to a busy month ahead, the February MCR Executive Board meeting kicked off at 6:06 PM with Zoom participants donning their best Valentine’s Day outfits, decked out in shades of pink and red.

The agenda and minutes were approved, and the meeting came together starting with the monthly update from the MCJC President Azimullah Rifai.

The MCJC has set up a SMOB Q/A session at their next Executive Board meeting, to which Azimullah stated that anyone was welcome to attend. The MCJC has also set up a Finance Workshop on February 8th from 6 PM to 7:30 PM (see their website or Instagram page for details). Lastly, at the next General Assembly, the MCJC will be voting on three pieces of legislation including NEC + DCC (NorthEast Consortium/Down County Consortium) Liaison assignment, MCJC audits, and Reformation of the MCJC Constitution.

Check out the MCJC website here: https://www.mcjcsga.org/

Check out the MCJC Instagram: @mcjc.sga

Contacts: azimullahrifai@gmail.com or Shayaan_S_Wadkar@mcpsmd.org

Following the MCJC, the SMOB Ms. Hana O’Looney gave her monthly update on Board of Education initiatives. Regarding the new operating budget, Ms. O’Looney made it clear that she was pushing for better bus softwares to be able to deal with issues like bus driver shortages and broken buses. Part of her bus software policy includes a bus tracking app that would allow students to determine how early or late a bus was running on its route. In addition to better bus softwares, Ms. O’Looney is also advocating for more mental health resources, better Virtual Academy resources, and the expansion of the Free Lunch program. With any questions, concerns, or comments, email BOE@mcpsmd.org. Ms. O’Looney also stated that an announcement on the new MCPS superintendent would come on Tuesday, February 8th. The new superintendent will replace current interim superintendent Dr. Monifa B. McKnight and serve for 4 years. Additionally, the Board of Education voted in favor of allowing MCPS to hold virtual school for future snow days and inclement weather days, where classes would be held over Zoom, attendance would be taken, and students would be in online school for about the length of a traditional half-day. Ms. O’Looney was against the policy and voted to give students the day off on snow days. Ms. O’Looney also presented the Policy ECA (Energy Conservation) and JGA (Student Discipline) as a part of the update, where she introduced proposed amendments to the two policies submitted by the Board of Education. Read more about these policies here: Policies for Public Comment. Lastly, before ending her update, Ms. O’Looney updated meeting participants on her advocacy work on making mental health days and civic engagement days (testifying to the BOE/attending protests) excused absences in MCPS schools.

Hana’s Website: https://www.hanathesmob.com/

Hana’s Instagram: @hanaolooney

Hana’s Email: Hana_O’Looney@mcpsmd.org

Preceding Ms. O’Looney’s updates, MCR Treasurer Maahe Kunvar took over to update participants on the monthly Finance Report. She reminded MCR members that the MCR merch shop was open for a few more days until it closed and encouraged everyone to buy a shirt, tote bag, or bucket hat. She also stated that 2nd quarter grants had closed and that the grants for the new quarter would re-open on Monday, February 28th.

After the Finance Report, the Educational Policy directors took over and gave a presentation to participants about Maryland Advocacy Day. MD Advocacy Day is a day where students are given the opportunity to meet their state rep and advocate for issues in Maryland. MD Advocacy Day is a great way to develop lobbying and testifying experience as a student advocate! This year’s MD Advocacy Day will be in a virtual setting due to COVID-19 restrictions. This year’s MD Advocacy Day will be held Thursday, February 24th from 6 PM to 8:30 PM over Zoom. If you would like to be a part of MCR’s Advocacy Day, you must be able to attend the mandatory MD Advocacy Day Training on Monday, February 21st from 6 PM to 7:30 PM.

If there are issues in Maryland that you think should be addressed by Maryland legislators, sign up for this important event to lobby your state lawmakers! Anyone grades 8-12 are welcome to sign up and attend! No previous experience is necessary! This is an awesome opportunity that you won’t want to miss!

Sign up here: MCR SGA MD Advocacy Day Sign-Up 2022

Following the Education Policy department’s presentation, MCR Executive Board Members cast votes to determine what bills and resolutions the MCR would support at MD Advocacy Day and MCR’s Capitol Hill Advocacy Week. These resolutions, bills, and issues are all major issues that impact students around the country and the state of Maryland.

Take a look at the Resolutions for MD Advocacy Day and MCR’s Capitol Hill Advocacy Week:

MCR’s Capitol Hill Advocacy Week is organized by the MCR and will be the week of March 7th. Participants will be able to sharpen their advocacy skills and learn more about federal lobbying and advocacy. The proposed resolutions and bills that the MCR would support were voted on by MCR Executive Board Members and are listed above. Participants will meet Montgomery County Representatives and Senators to advocate for key issues as well as learn more about the state and federal legislative systems. More information is to come, so make sure to keep checking for announcements from the MCR SGA. Hope to see you there!

MCR SGA Website: https://www.mcrsga.com/

MCR Instagram: @mcrsga

After all of the presentations about MD Advocacy Day and MCR Advocacy Week concluded, the MCR Special Elections Committee (SEC) presented a resolution to the MCR Constitution regarding the election process of the SEC administrators. MCR Executive Board Members cast their votes on the resolution.

View the resolution here: MCR-SEC Constitution Revision

The MCR Officers then presented Semester Superlative Awards to MCR Executive Board Members.

  • Busiest Bees - Natalie Weger, Lulu August, Aba Owubah (Public Relations)

  • Most Committed - Michelle Wong (Chief of Staff)

  • Creative Queen - Gretchen Gilmore (Public Relations)

  • Most likely to be a politician - Whittaker Johnson (Legislative Affairs)

  • Best Duo - Divya Vakkalanka and Paris Ye (Special Elections Committee)

  • Rising Star - Sophie Nguyen (Education Policy)

  • Best Influencers - Quynhan Nguyen and Lali Michaca (Special Elections Committee)

  • Mitochondria: Powerhouse of Special Issues - Medhini Murali and Lumina Zhang (Special Issues)

  • Kindest Soul - Meley Ghermay (School Communications)

  • Most likely to defend Taylor Swift in Zoom chat - Divya Vakkalanka (Special Elections Committee)