Class Council and SGA Attempt to Uphold Sense of Community

In a virtual world with no in-person learning, student government organizations are bringing students together.


The class councils of each grade, along with the Student Government Association (SGA), have many initiatives planned during this time of crisis, aiming to reach out to and assist students who may be struggling with quarantine and virtual learning. They hope to provide support and encouragement in an online format to the students of Marriotts Ridge.
“The primary drive is nothing more than to make our student community feel at home, increase participation among our peers, and make the transition from in person to virtual as fluid as possible,” junior council member Sai Charan Chodavarapu said.
Students are encouraged to speak out about their own ideas by contacting the Instagram accounts of each student council. The accounts are: @mrhsclass.2024, @mrhs2023, @mrhs.2022, @mrhsclassof2021, as well as the school’s SGA account, @marriottsridgesga.
“Feel free to reach out to us… about any virtual event ideas, questions, or suggestions about how we can best connect with you,” senior council member Grace Kim said. “We’d really love to hear from you!”
The class council recommends that students follow their respective classes on social media in order to stay updated on upcoming events and fundraisers, as well as stay represented and recognized. The SGA and class council recently had a promotion event via instagram, where two random followers were drawn each day, each person receiving a $10 gift card to Chipotle or Chick-fil-A. Especially in these circumstances, it is even more important to have a way of receiving school information and news. For students who do not have social media, the SGA has a class Remind system.
For the sake of aiding students and the community, the class councils and the SGA have prepared multiple events and projects.
One such project is the Mustangs in Conversation initiative, planned in attempts to create a more welcoming environment for incoming ninth graders. This initiative matches up current MRHS freshmen with members of the National Honors Society, providing a smooth transition into high school.
This activity is intended to “help students build relationships with people they might not usually meet in-school, and to help freshmen integrate into the MRHS community,” freshman council
member Victoria Yi said.
Another initiative designed to build unity is spirit weeks. In October, the student councils set up a spirit week with a unique theme each day, such as Crazy Hat Day, Pet Day, etc, where students entered a Google meet to show off their school spirit. The class councils wish to keep students engaged and connected with each other even in a virtual setting.
“When we were in school, the excitement of spirit week was infectious since everyone was dressed up and participating,” sophomore council member Priya Nayak said. “We hope to achieve the same feeling in the online environment as well.”
Although the spirit weeks were designed for the student population, the councils and the SGA have also held multiple fundraisers that give back to the community as well as encourage friendly competition between grades.
In the recent food drive, all four grades competed to see who could provide the most number of donations. The class of 2024 had the highest number in total, but more importantly, the school raised over $3500 and 1400 lbs of in-person donations for the local food bank.
Events such as spirit week and the food drive, however, are highly dependent on student participation. “As a part of class council, we were elected to represent our student body and to set up fun events that everyone would enjoy, but these truly can only be possible with student involvement,” Nayak said.
For the purpose of encouraging students’ self expression, the class councils are currently holding an art competition. The themes are, “The current situation of the world” and “methods for coping”. In order to increase participation, the class councils placed an incentive of a $15 reward for first place, $10 for second, and $5 for third.
“We want to help everyone know that, while mental health is difficult to address, these initiatives are meant for people to not feel alone, feel part of a greater community, and to know that every person matters to the class council,” Chodavarapu said.
Even though Covid-19 has kept students from meeting in person, the SGA and class councils hope to form bonds between students. The SGA has a few diversity initiatives in the works, aiming to make sure that everyone feels included in the school environment. The class councils and the SGA will continue to work towards a safe environment for all students to build community and feel connected.