Once a month, leaders of Stevenson’s 130+ clubs enter Room 6110. As a part of Stevenson’s Student Leadership Advisory Council (SLAC) they aim to give feedback to the administration in an advisory capacity and serve as part of a communication network between groups.
“SLAC is a way to meet with student leaders who understand our district’s vision of bringing success to every student,” Ted Goergen, Director of Student Activities and SLAC facilitator, said. “Student leaders inform the school as well as represent their peers and the student voice.”
The 2019-2020 school year will have a total of seven SLAC meetings, each two hours long. Each meeting is comprised of lessons on how to improve as a leader, addressing general club concerns (such as how to increase enrollment), as well as a Q&A session regarding questions that SLAC brings forward.
With student enrollment increasing in the early 90s, SLAC was created because the administration wanted to ensure that no matter how large the school grew, opportunities for student voices were ensured. Since then, SLAC has most prominently provided input into creating Stevenson’s cell phone policy which allows students to have their cell phones with them, the portrait of a graduate and the decision to move finals before winter break.
For some SLAC representatives, however, SLAC has problems that need to be addressed.
“It seems like a really isolated and elite club, and many students don’t know a lot about it,” Debate SLAC representative Evelyn Jiang ’22 said. “Most representatives are from executive boards and it gives the vibe that it’s only for major clubs.”
For Goergen, however, the club is simply another way of ensuring that student voice is heard. He estimates that 20-30% of Stevenson’s student body already has direct access to Mr. Gobble or himself through organizations like SLAC, Student Council, and Student Congress. Therefore, because SLAC participation is ‘restricted’ to club’s student leaders, SLAC is a platform that specifically allows him to collaborate with the student leaders that help each club run.
“SLAC can improve if the conversation that happen within SLAC continue to happen outside of SLAC meetings between the student body,” Goergen said. “The hope is that the answers to the questions that SLAC representatives bring up won’t stay in the room, but rather, permeate throughout Stevenson.”
Currently, SLAC is working on creating a new process for new club proposals. Eventually, SLAC has plans to create a new subcommittee to respond to whether or not a club proposal will be accepted. Current student leaders will head this process and provide a recommendation to Mr. Gobble and Mr. Goergen on whether or not a club proposal should be accepted.
“Some clubs don’t take it seriously, but their contribution could be very impactful because then SLAC could help shape the school’s community,” Jiang said. “Meetings are definitely something that the administration cares a lot about.”
Students who would like to get involved with SLAC should reach out to a member on their club’s executive board or to Mr. Goergen at [email protected]