Council Needs Continuity

Harvard News 9/12/1983–Editorial – COUNCIL NEEDS CONTINUITY

By E. Randol Schoenberg, Editor-in-Chief

Every year, we begin with a challenge: Make this year better than the last. And every year, we succeed only partly in meeting that challenge. This year we will be obsessed with increasing school spirit. In the Student Council, increasing attendance at sporting events and after-school activities will take precedence over increasing the quality of school life. Cafeteria, Election, and Curriculum Committees will fall by the wayside while Homecoming and Rally Committees will be thrown into the limelight. Don’t expect this year’s Student Council to deal with leaf-blowers or water fountains. There will be no changes in election procedures, no menu changes to the cafeteria, no curriculum polls. This is strictly a spirit administration.

In order to succeed in meeting the challenge of a better year, the Student Council and The Student Body rally behind areas that were weakest during the previous school year. Continuity is unfortunately not considered an asset. To take up an issue that the previous administration made an effort to deal with would not be popular, no matter what potential for improvement exists.

In recent meetings, the council has discussed the activities it is going to pursue. There was a feeling of redundancy when election procedures were mentioned. Cafeteria changes were shrugged off as useless. But if we establish a commitment to continued improvements in these areas, Harvard Students would benefit from sustained progress rather than a year of improvement in an area followed by a year of regression.

The problem this year, as it has been every year, will be in the Council’s preoccupation with being different (and therefore better) than last year’s Council. Rarely will a Council follow through with a previous Council’s efforts. And this year will probably be no exception.

What we need is a Council that deals with school spirit and school life. By this I mean a Council that gives as much attention to keeping the Student Lounge clean as it does to a “Fan Bus” for away games. The best Council would be one which does not create its own weaknesses by concentrating on the weaknesses of a previous Council. The Student Council would exceed all our expectations of success and do a service to itself and the school if it became spirit and school oriented instead of prematurely committing itself to only one aspect of school life.

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