Lifting the Curtain: A Behind-the-Scenes Look Inside Our Student Body Government Committee
By Cindy Calles
Towards the end of every school year, as part of Flushing High School tradition, the school community comes together to support and elect numerous candidates to become part of the student government committee. Some positions that our school offers include being student body president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Each year, the student body campaign elections are run differently. But one thing that doesn’t change is that the student government always strives to maintain its purpose of giving everyone the opportunity to be involved and engage in student activities.
This school year, the student body committee is run by Ms. Norman. Her job as the person in charge of leadership and student government is to create student events and initiatives for the school, such as planning spirit week, school dances, making morning announcements, and putting up posters and flyers around the school.
But most importantly, she meets with the student body committee members every day to discuss ideas about how they can implement certain policies and activities in the school and how they can raise student requests to improve the school environment. Some of the ways in which Ms. Norman and the committee have conducted this proposal is by making a list of suggestions and recommendations that students have brought up to make the school better and presenting it in their meetings in front of school staff and administrators. If approved by the school board and the school receives enough funding, the student government can proceed to make these changes around the school.
Earlier this year, when the school was visited by Superintendent Tu during the legislative breakfast, the student government & leadership class were required to give a formal presentation convincing administration and the superintendent as to how they can improve Flushing High School. They also asked for funds to make this possible. Thanks to their hard work and contributions, the funding was approved.
The superintendent was very impressed with how everyone was involved and how interested the committee was in achieving this goal. They really enjoyed seeing young students in action to help their school.
In the subsequent months, many changes were seen around the school, especially in the cafeteria. Old tables and seats were replaced with newer benches and wider tables. New props, decorations, and designs, representing all three schools, now adorn the cafeteria walls. The school funding granted by the school district also opened various school menu options allowing people with specific food diets to pick from a wider selection of food choices, including more meat and healthy veggie options. Other changes that have also been seen around the school include having newer after school clubs, such as a K-pop club and Yoga Club. On behalf of the student body, we would like to thank Ms. Luz, along with Brad and Sheldon, the directors of New York Edge, for all their amazing assistance and great efforts.
They have collaborated with the student government committee to the great benefit of all of us.
Our student body president, Muhammad Hunain, monitors attendance checks every day and makes sure everyone is on track and on top of their schoolwork. He also makes sure that students feel welcomed and represented at Flushing High School. With student funding, there have also been more opportunities for teachers to invite students on field trips. There have been several college trips already this year. The seniors have the opportunity to go to Six Flags Great Adventure for their trip. School staff has also been able to give out more snacks than in years past. This couldn’t have happened without the help of our amazing student government and student board.
Some further plans that the student government committee have been wanting to see come to fruition, but have yet to be implemented, include an app to send school updates, due dates for seniors, and trip dates, raising school spirit by creating a digital board and having all announcements be displayed on it, improving the bathroom cleanliness, updating Leavitt Field with newer decorations, and introducing a new mascot to represent our school spirit. Let’s Go Flushing!
These programs can inspire students, exercise our creativity, and nourish our growing minds, all while creating more memories with our friends.
We can also make new friends and get to know more people through these activities. Do not get intimidated; it might be the middle of the year, but be bold and show up. We encourage new members to join different programs to grow our school community. This year’s student government committee is trying to make the transition for future committee members as easy and seamless as possible. With the help of Ms. Norman, they have come up with the fabulous idea of having the current student government members coach the future student government committee. The future student body president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary will have the pleasure to sit with the outgoing student government committee, and have the opportunity to gain valuable insight on how to best fulfill their roles.
In terms of student campaigning, the candidates don’t need to worry about anything because the current leadership class will help create the candidates’ campaigns and the student body will be able to give advice based on their experiences from last year. Ms. Norman will organize elections for the 2023-2024 student government committee. Potential candidates will be chosen by Ms. Norman and the student government committee. They will sit together and discuss which candidates are strongest. Some criteria could be based on potential candidates’ grades, attendance checks (making sure there are no cuts), candidate statements, and more. They are looking for candidates that demonstrate great leadership skills and also people who are capable of making decisions and advocating for all students in a way that best benefits the school. After the student government makes their selections, the candidates will have the opportunity to express their ideas and opinions for next school year through a student debate in the auditorium after AP exams are over. Ms. Norman stated that they are aiming to have the elections at the beginning of June, giving all candidates the opportunity to present their campaign and formally introduce themselves to the student body. Ms. Norman will also count votes to make sure everyone voted fairly. Good luck to all those up for election!
VOTE CINDY CALLES FOR VICE PRESIDENT!
I AM ADVOCATING FOR MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS!!!
What I’ve Learned from
Flushing High School
By Reanna Rosales
It is the middle of the school year at Flushing High School and we only have four more months left. Seniors are almost done and get to enjoy their final semester. Your hard work is appreciated and will pay off for the rest of us. The first semester has ended and the challenge is wrapping up the school year on a good note. With the celebration of the new year, many students have set goals or are collecting milestones to ensure success; but all glory comes with hardships. Many students suffer from burnout or lose motivation during the school year. Students may feel the need to pressure themselves to be perfect, to be good, and to feel okay because everybody around them seems to be on top of everything. However, reality exists, and everything you initially see is all surface-level. You never know what someone is truly going through.
Managing Stress and Schoolwork
We are all human. We are not 100% ourselves every day. Even waking up from bed proves you are trying, even if you don't feel adequate yourself. Students may feel emotionally and physically unbalanced at any time, but there will always be someone who will listen. Find the person or people you trust most - those who you know will not judge you. In a safe space, you just have to give yourself a chance and trust the process, even if you aren't so sure of it yourself. Allow yourself the freedom to vent. High school is not an easy endeavor.
We all have a workload placed upon us. Underclassmen have to figure out the best way to retain information and the best way to study. It can be by yourself or a group of people you know will do the work. Figure out the best way to manage the workload and your agenda. Do not pile new things on top of what you already have or you will struggle to keep up with it all. Cramming everything does not do good for the mind and body, especially since it usually leads to a poor sleep schedule. Everything we do has a dose of stress intertwined. Our grades, jobs, sports, relationships, goals, appearance, confidence, mental health, hobbies, and everything in our lives comes with small - or large - amounts of stress. We all have to manage how it will affect us and to what extent we will let it affect us.
People have to work everything out, no matter how difficult or unnerving it is. Everyone has unique experiences and feelings. We all cope with things differently. That is the human experience and high school is just a taste of it. This is a skill the education system actually exercises that most students are unaware of; students are presented with Social Emotional Learning (SEL) throughout the school year, although most just brush it off. School often pushes us to think about ourselves and allows us to realize our likes and dislikes. School prepares us for the real world by forcing us to make the types of choices that we will face later on in life. This can make us plan for the future that we want for ourselves and how to get there. Thinking about this all at once can be nerve-wracking, but this is all a part of student life.
Life can be intimidating. We worry about our futures. We freak out internally and externally. We avoid difficult topics and let them pass us by until someone confronts us about it. These are all natural reactions to feeling stressed out. If you need help, you should speak with your teachers, counselors, and other school staff. They can assist you if you have any questions or need guidance. Cultivating your relationships with teachers, staff, and peers is recommended and can help you later on. This is called networking and it is often a vital part to being successful in life. Networking with staff and peers in school allows you to learn and gain advice from people who have found success. Networking also teaches you how to appropriately interact with others. This can also align you with a circle of people who mutually support one another. Many students tend to bottle everything up, and everyone is guilty of hiding their struggles. It is normal to struggle and be human and have flaws, but that does not define you. Finding healthy things to do to decompress is very useful for giving yourself a break when everything gets too much. It clears your mind and gives you more initiative when returning to work.
Getting involved and Taking Chances
It is important to find new hobbies and things we like. WE'RE TEENAGERS. This is the time to experiment and go out of our comfort zone to try new things and explore what we don't know. In school, we have a plethora of options. FHS offers a variety of clubs and sports teams. These programs can inspire students, exercise our creativity, and nourish our growing minds, all while creating more memories with our friends.
We can also make new friends and get to know more people through these activities. Do not get intimidated; it might be the middle of the year, but be bold and show up. We encourage new members to join different programs to grow our school community. On the topic of the school community, the student council has planned more events and activities as the weather gets warmer, which gives students more chances to mingle and for the school community to thrive. If you have any requests or ideas, let them know. They are our bridge to the administration. Student life is one of the most memorable phases of a person's life. It helps build our foundation. In student life, we do not just learn from books. We must also grow emotionally, physically, philosophically, and socially. The second semester goes by quickly, so be on the lookout for your work and assignments. Check in with your teachers. If the fall semester wasn't your best, then the spring semester is a chance to fix your grades. This is also the time to get involved in any opportunities that pique your interest and learn what you need to work on.Managing time is also a must. Our experiences define our attitudes during this time in our lives, so we must make the most out of it.
Attending and graduating high school is one of the most important milestones in one’s life. It can really set teens up for their future careers and adult lives. While high school might feel stressful or difficult, teens should realize that the challenge is there for a reason, and the stakes are much lower in high school than they will be in the real world. Given that, students should be bold and try different electives, attempt a rigorous course load, and get involved in various activities that might be new and out of their comfort zone. The goal is to begin finding yourself and your future passions or interests, and you don't have to be perfect every step of the way.