On 21 February, MGCI’s Student Activity Council held a social meeting for Grade 11 and 12 students after school in the library. The meeting allowed students to socialize with each other and also allowed the respective SAC Grade Representatives to announce their proposed initiatives.

The meeting began with a brief introduction from the Grade 11 and 12 representatives, John Le and Daniyal Sad Hasan. While inspired by the junior grades’ earlier meeting, John and Daniyal wanted their meeting to be more flexible and open, focusing mainly on connecting with their respective grades. Icebreakers were followed by the well-received announcement that Semi-Formal dance ticket sales and club registrations had been extended. John then announced that he plans on using the SAC Ambassadors to allow the students to have a bigger voice in the council. The ambassadors will be assigned to different sections of the school, allowing students to speak directly to them regarding school issues. However, it was not specified as to how the student body would be divided.

The Grade 11 and 12 Round Table was held in the library after school on 21 Feb 2017. Photo: Jenna Wong

The SAC representatives then put forward their proposed events for the remainder of the year. One such initiative is a scavenger hunt event. The SAC representatives plan to divide participating students into teams of 2, sending them on a hunt for items around the neighbourhood, much like the Winterfest activity. Plans to revive the summer carnival were also put forward, with many participants agreeing with the idea. Another potential event is the MGCI Olympics, a week long sporting event where the entire school would be divided into 4 teams and compete in many different sports. The senior representatives considered hosting this event alongside an Amazing Race event that was also suggested. However, John and Daniyal both acknowledged the difficulty in holding such an event due to SAC’s low budget and logistical complications.

John then began a “What’s your beef?” session, where participants were encouraged to put forward their concerns regarding the school. An overwhelming number of participants were concerned with the lack of activities and the state of hygiene at school. Many had observed students who littered and even spat on the floor. In addition, there were concerns that the grade representatives were not doing enough to help their respective grades.

More significant concerns were raised with the staff and library. Participants pointed out that teachers were often not excusing students to take part in their extra-curricular activities or sports. Furthermore, the library was often closed even when it was empty, leaving students with no choice but to leave school property. Many said that the cafeteria was too loud during their spares. Finally, there was also indignation towards the rule that students cannot wear hats or eat in the library while teachers can.

Cyber bullying was also a growing concern among participants. Many worried it was a factor in the increasing number of suicide attempts among teens, and counselors should focus on identifying such cases instead of worrying about all the students collectively. A suggestion was put forward that an E-Sports club be created so students can participate in online activities without using the internet to harm others. Finally, all participants were concerned with the divide between the Grade 9 students and the older grades. No suggestions were presented to solve the problem, but John promised to urge more Grade 9 students to interact with the seniors.

The meeting concluded with the SAC representatives promising to work harder, and look into the hygiene and library issues. They also promised more cougar videos to build school spirit, a dodge ball intramural with United Way, and an increased number of information sessions about cyber bullying with staff advisers. Lastly, Daniyal promised to personally work towards an E-Sports club as his contribution towards the students.