Following years of grandiose statements about being part of student democracy and allowing for leadership, the IHS Student Council voted to “become more important.” According to Student Council Vice President Ruth Silcoff ’17, under the adopted resolution, Student Council would do whatever it took to “get senior privileges extended to juniors, get a microwave in the library, and have the library let students leave the library to go to the cafeteria and back,” all goals that had previously been blocked at least in part due to the administration. Although the administration often helps Student Council, “There are many instances where they are downright obstructionist” and “CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED,” said Ruth’s brother, Student Council member Jacob “Silky J” Silcoff ’17. “By actually following through with ameliorating IHS, we hope to set an important historical precedent,” he added.
While at the time the Student Council had no idea how the administration would react, the reaction turned out to be far from, or rather overly, rosy: the face of Billy Bozawkowitz, the district spokesperson, was already an unhealthy color of tomato-esque red before he began speaking. “Students can want what they want, but the authority of the Department of Unilateral Mindless Bureaucracy (DUMB) is absolute! Unquestionable! Adamantine!” He paused, panting awkwardly, to catch his breath and search for more adjectives, and came up with “Uhhh” and “ummmmm,” which are both linguistically termed filler, instead. “ICSD, whose policy is the realm of the DUMB,” he continued, “finds no reason to question pseudo-legal precedents even when students have pretty much unanimously agreed that district policy is obstructionist or unhelpful.” Afterwards, in what many took as an effort to not take questions, he resorted to loudly intoning “Engage, Educate, Empower!” through a megaphone.
The Student Council debate over the response was extremely heated. While most students were in favor of peaceful arbitration, an extremist fringe group in the corner was donning face paint, preparing protest signs, and loudly chanting “Down with the crony hyenas!” Meanwhile, a group favoring not questioning the administration noted that the effort would likely jeopardize a current useful cooperation between Student Council and the administration to make music classes count towards students’ GPAs.
Jacob and Ruth Silcoff ‘17 proposed having a formal debate on district policy, reminiscent to the one that the administration backed out on during Social Justice week, forcing the twins to change their presentation. However, they were shouted down after other students pointed out that the administration could simply back out again.
Others proposed methods of protest: a group of tech-savvy students proposed a neat hack of the WiFi to remove all of ICSD’s Internet censorship and redirect attempts to visit the ICSD website to an online Tetris game, while a senior proposed spiking the drinking water with vodka or another hard liquor, which at the time seemed due to his being salty over his rejection from Cornell. Later, he told me that “If the district can secretly put lead in our water for years, I can damn well dump in some juice!” Afterwards, most of the representatives of each social studies class to Student Council didn’t report back anything.
At last week’s BoE meeting, Representative to the Board Max Fink ’17 changed out his normal impeccably formal dress in favor of a stained T-shirt and a sweatpants. “I stand in solidarity with Student Council!” he declared.
When news of all this reached LACS, the school was taken with a wave of laughter. “Here, students have REAL power!” exclaimed one LACS student. “Still, we wish our comrades at IHS luck in their glorious endeavor!”