BY JULIA SAFRIN
Oftentimes, students feel like they are silenced when trying to express their opinions and concerns in school. In an attempt to change this, Multicultural Club hosted a student town hall meeting on Thursday, April 25 for CCHS students to voice their thoughts.
“[Multicultural Club] decided to host this meeting since our club is about giving people a place where their voices can be heard and spreading diversity throughout school,” Multicultural Club President Amanda Arocha said. “We wanted to make sure students can have an opportunity to voice their concerns and conflicts directly to administration so they could be resolved.”
The meeting was styled as a questions and answers session. Students took turns stepping up to the microphone to express their concerns. Administration, including Principal Doll and head of guidance, Ron Ziccardi, security and a couple of teachers were present to answer questions and address the concerns of students.
“The idea for a student town hall meeting came from administration, however we [Multicultural Club] designed flyers and went into study halls and the custodians helped us with the technology, so it was a collaborative effort,” Multicultural Club Vice President Jessica Chang said.
“We wanted to make sure students can have an opportunity to voice their concerns and conflicts directly to administration so they could be resolved.”
The meeting started with the reading of the results of a survey students took earlier in the year. After the results were read, students took turns expressing their thoughts, alternating between spoken concerns and the written concerns that students could submit to Multicultural Club if they were not able to physically make it to the meeting.
Students took to the microphone to discuss many of their concerns that ranged from broken stall doors, sexual harassment, not enough soap in the bathrooms, school punishments, lack of funding for the arts, overwhelming amounts of homework, stress, pool maintenance, cafeteria issues, etc.
“I attended the student town hall to voice my opinions and my concerns about school,” junior Poria Hong said. “I got a chance to hear my fellow classmates’ concerns that [I] didn’t even know about. It’s nice to feel we have a voice.”
Not many students attended the town hall but the ones who did attend found the experience to be helpful and look forward to seeing changes in the school.
“It’s nice to feel we have a voice.”
“[Principal] Doll was taking notes and suggesting actual solutions to our problems and was making sure we were heard,” Hong said.
The feedback and the outcome of the meeting was such an overall success that Multicultural Club officers hope to host another one as well as open up the opportunity to other clubs.
“I think, if permitted, another town hall meeting a year or two years later would be good,” Chang said. “Other clubs can host it but [Multicultural Club] would play a part even if we’re not the ones hosting because I believe the school’s staff and administration don’t know the concerns of students and what we have to deal with in school since our surrounding environment is completely different.”
The first student town hall meeting was liked both by students and those who coordinated the event and might become a tradition at Cooper City High School.
Photo by Kayla Florenco