Shifting from Senate to Council

Erin Choi, Business Manager

Members of the Student Council gathered in the gymnasium during lunch for their first meeting, marking a crucial initiative toward an all-inclusive jurisdictional process. 

Last year’s Student Senate admitted two elected representatives from each advisement to its monthly meetings. Only the selected group was allowed to directly voice opinions. However, switching over to a Student Council eliminated such restrictions, providing all students an outlet for communicating their needs. 

Portola High is currently the only high school in the Irvine Unified School District to implement a Student Council in place of the traditional Student Senate. 

“A mixture of the house advisers, the administration, myself, my co-adviser Ms. Sheridan and last year’s adviser Executive board [were involved in the change],” co-ASB adviser Sarah Alewine said. “We bounced ideas off of each other and came up with a compromise. Some people didn’t want to get rid of the Senate system, and other people didn’t want to do a full on Council, so we merged them. Basically the only difference is, there can be more than two representatives from each advisement, and there will be more separation by houses in the meetings.”

Starting from the first meeting, council members joined the communal Remind, planned dates for their Forthcoming half-time show and prepared for the upcoming Forthcoming Dance. Many attendees expressed their approval of the new system.  

“I really like the Student Council because I’m given the opportunity to contribute and plan for events and also create enjoyable memories for my peers and I,” Student Council member and sophomore Allison Jo said. 

Advisement teachers encouraged their students to become members; all individuals who wanted to be part of the council were able to join. Students who sought accurate representation were able to take part in processes that affect their lives at school. 

“I thought Student Senate was pretty small last year,” former Student Senate member and sophomore Angela Chen said. “I’m really glad they added more people and allowed people who wanted to participate join.”