The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The Student Senate is back to create change in year two

Sara Metivier
The Student Senate poses for a picture.

A spark of an idea can truly make an impact. One way that Westford Academy has made an impact is with its newest addition to the Student Government, now beginning its second year. From starting out as the Legislative Council to now being known as the Student Senate, this branch is ready to create change within WA’s policies. 

The Student Senate is made up of two or more students from each grade who are interested in the policies of the school, the school handbook, and making changes for the better. The Student Senate is also made up of a chair, a co-chair, and a secretary. 

The chair of the Senate is senior Sai Datla and she is responsible for running each of the Senate meetings, assisting in discussions, and keeping in touch with the members of the WPS administration. The co-chair, junior Saanvi Arora, is in charge of helping the chair and secretary and also to maintain connections with other towns’ Senates. Senior Brandon Murphy is the secretary and he is responsible for keeping and distributing discussion notes and reminding members of important meetings and deadlines.

WA Student Senate is also advised by German teacher Tim Welch who is in charge of making sure that the Senate is staying on topic, getting along, and formulating good discussions.

“The best part is seeing them all work together […] They do it all themselves, they form all their own subcommittees and they write all their own agendas,” Welch said. “My favorite part is seeing them progress and improve.”

Last year was the Senate’s pilot year thanks to founders Datla and 2023 graduate, Eric Plankey. According to the laws of Massachusetts, there should be a Student Senate in each school in the state, so Datla and Plankey worked together to establish the Student Union of Massachusetts.

The Student Union of Massachusetts establishes different Student Senates all throughout Massachusetts. They decided to do the trial run last year here at WA and it was a success. Due to this response, Datla, Plankey, and some of their friends all came together to fill out a template constitution and established this with Dean Murphy. Now that the Student Senate is fully established students can take charge of some of the power that is given to them and stand up for what they believe in.

“Something that makes the Student Senate different from other student government organizations is that it’s open, so everyone can come in and bring up forth an issue,” Datla said. 

Last year, focusing on the Senate’s publicity took a huge role in its establishment. The Senate posted the condensed rules and regulations on Instagram for the students to better understand. 

“It was kind of a cool infographic, in a way that was easier to read of just going through the whole student handbook and telling students these are your rights,” Welch said.

Last year, the Senate also had many challenges with it being their first year. Starting anything new is difficult but the Senate settled into their positions incredibly well.

“Making sure that the people that we have representing positions are people that can articulate what they want to say really well,” Datla said. “I guess that was a struggle that we first went through. But now we’ve kind of gotten into a routine. We have a schedule, and we’re meeting every Tuesday rather than every other Wednesday.” 

The Senate is now focusing on trying to have difficult conversations, which students and faculty members may not see eye-to-eye on. These issues include sustainability and how many people do not know that the school has a composting team made up of students who are working hard to make the school more environmentally friendly. The Senate also wants to formulate discussions with administration about why certain rules are put in place, like overriding classes and why students cannot defer gym.

Many students in the building have concerns about the school and about their learning but do not know where to go to vocalize their opinions. The Senate is working to improve this issue by trying to better publicize their meetings and letting students know where and how they can have their voices heard.

“[I think the Student Senate should focus more on] senior privilege, more on DLTs, and mainly how the teachers are teaching and how much they are teaching us,” senior Reagan Fremault said. “I’m not saying teachers need to teach bell to bell, but some teachers give certain students more privileges and some teachers don’t teach at all during class.”

Students have many different opinions about how the school should operate and what the regular day-to-day schedules should look like. They also want someone to be able to listen to them and take action. That is what the Student Senate is all about.

“I think [the Senate] should not only focus on the handbook but I feel like they should focus on things that students are involved in, like lunch,” senior Manav Patel said. “Lunch is a huge part of your day and I feel like even though it is free there has to be some level of quality that the food is. And if you’re not offering that I don’t think there’s a point in making it free in the first place.”

Patel also talked about how he would like to see more class options available at WA. He said how he feels like the school favors the STEM students and how many classes they have available to them. Even though he is one of the STEM students, he feels like all students should have the opportunity to take the classes that they want to.

The Student Senate strives to be able to give a voice to all the students here at WA and make sure that everyone is being heard. All the issues and concerns that students may have are encompassed in what the Senate works to and hopes to improve in the Senate.

“I hope that they feel what they’ve worked on and what they’ve spent their time working on this year is making an impact [and that it] is making a difference,” Welch said.

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About the Contributor
Sara Metivier
Sara Metivier, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Sara Metivier and I am a freshman at WA. I’m excited to be writing and contributing to the Ghostwriter this year since it is my first year being a part of the newspaper. Other than writing I love listening to music, shopping, baking, reading, and hanging out with my friends. I am also on a lacrosse and swim team which I love being a part of. The reason that I joined the Ghostwriter is because I love writing and want to expand my skills and also help contribute to the paper. I am excited to be able to write about things that I love and have interest in this year!

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