Introducing The BOE Student Liaisons

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Introducing The BOE Student Liaisons

Kaya Schultz, Royson Folas, News and Politics Editor, Athletics and Editorials

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — This year, West Orange High School (WOHS) has introduced two student liaisons to represent the student body at Board of Education (BOE) meetings. Seniors Sessina Dani and Aarushi Bhatnagar attend these meetings to give voices to the students at WOHS.

The student liaisons are an evolving channel of communication between students and the BOE. A few of the tasks Aarushi and Sessina are responsible for are attending all the BOE meetings, meeting with teachers and Principal Moore, conducting feedback forms, and organizing certain events such as the student culture night.

The idea of student liaisons began around February 2018, as it was inspired by a high school in Maryland. Sessina and Aarushi realized that there are a number of issues like gun control, race relations, and teachers’ contracts that increased the need for student activism. Upon realizing that all the decisions regarding these issues were not being taken care of by the BOE, they went to Mr. Moore and proposed their idea. Both Mr.Moore and the BOE were interested, leading to the implementation of student liaisons at WOHS.

Currently, Sessina and Aarushi have their focus on two main issues: bus transportation and feminine hygiene. Students in the high school were upset because they felt that buses arrived too early leaving them with not enough time to get ready in the morning. In response to this, they conducted a bus transportation survey that aimed to resolve issues with timing, and new bus passes are expected to to be released as a result . In the near future they will conduct another survey regarding overcrowding on the buses, which will hopefully answer the question as to what is causing students to take different buses. Another one of their goals is to install a free bus app to track buses through a gps and let parents know when their kids miss the bus whenever one comes too early or too late. Recently the girls have also tackled the issue of feminine hygiene, adding menstruation stations in more private places such as the nurse, girls locker rooms, security offices, and girls bathrooms. They say that sometimes the women’s menstruation cycle can cause embarrassment and with these additions, they are hoping to prevent this.

As of right now, West Orange is in a trial period. This year, the board has appointed a total of 5 new members in addition to acting superintendent Eveny de Mendez. With all of the new changes, we are in a re-adjustment period and the student liaisons are just as new as the other modifications.

The requirements to be a student liaison are as follows: 

  • 3.0 or higher GPA
  • Good academic and social standings
  • Must be a Junior or Senior
  • Must be selected by principal

Character traits liaisons should have: 

  • Creative
  • Out reaching
  • Emotionally charged
  • Considerable
  • Mature
  • Disciplined
  • Committed
  • Tolerant
  • Persistent

The hope is that this addition will benefit our school and town and stick around for years to come. Aarushi herself hopes “we were good role models for the future.” Sessina and Aarushi have set the bar high for future liaisons, but only time will tell how much of an impact this system can have on our school.

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