On Thursday 2 February, MGCI’s Student Activity Council held their first ever round-table discussion. The discussion took place after exam review day, from 11 am to 12:30 pm in Room 103, and was a means for students in the Junior Grades to get together with their SAC grade representatives and discuss changes they want to see implemented in the school over the course of this year and the next.

The discussion started off with a brief introduction from the Grade 9 and Grade 10 SAC representatives, Lumuat Nusaiba and Helen Chen. Following this, each of the eight other participating students were asked a series of questions, including why they came to the round-table and what they hoped to make out of it. Most of the students had similar answers: they felt a lack of transparency between the Student Council and the Student Body, they wanted to be brought up to date with what was going on, and they wanted to have a larger voice in SAC events.

Helen Chen, the Grade 10 Representative, speaks at the Round Table discussion. Photo: Russell Ijaya

Many students, particularly the Grade 9s, expressed their concern about their disconnect with SAC. Some said many of their friends didn’t even know about the existence of SAC until several months into the school year. In addition, they claimed most Grade 9s felt awkward or nervous around the seniors. This contributed to their lack of interest in SAC related events, which are usually aimed at the entire student body.

To compensate for this, the students agreed that SAC should focus on creating events that encourage friendship and reduce segregation between the different groups at MGCI. They also believed there should be fewer dances as many students found the Grade 9 dance to be too crowded and nauseating, and instead, more activities for those with different interests.

Grade 9 and 10 students attended the discussion in Room 103 on 2 Feb 2017. Photo: Russell Ijaya

Following the suggestions, and a short break for lunch, the SAC reps decided on a number of different ideas they plan on proposing to the remainder of the student council. These ideas include a trivia tournament in the cafeteria with questions focusing on SAC and its initiatives, an Amazing Race event similar to the Terry Fox Run, and a Karaoke party. All will offer prizes to encourage student participation.

Another potential event is a bouncy castle playday the afternoon of Semester 2’s Exam Review Day, although this idea is quite tentative and would require a large amount of planning and approval. Nevertheless,  Lumuat and Helen asked all students to keep an eye out for these new initiatives.

Once the meeting had officially concluded, Grade 9 student Naveen Jaishankar said, “I came today because I thought it would be nice to meet the other students, learn about their opinions on the school and what ideas they have about making it better. I think it’s good to know that SAC is doing their best to stay connected with the student body.”