Finding Your Voice

Taft’s Student Voice Committee Connects Student Body, Admin

Finding Your Voice

Mia Naples, Reporter

Taft students may be feeling disconnected from the Taft community but there is one organization working to make sure administration stays connected to the student body. The Student Voice Committee is an organization representing Taft students’ concerns as a whole. The goal of the Student Voice Committee is to advocate student voices to the Taft administration.

The Student Voice Committee is sponsored by Allie Niese, a US History Teacher and AP Government Teacher. Members of the Student Voice Committee include Alyssa Argent, Annalise Hankins, Lazlo Katona, Layan Nazzal, Madelyn Youngren, Pauline Frendreiss, Carmella Gilio and Vanessa Rivera. 

“SVC is run by its students, they are its heart and soul. My job is to facilitate their conversations and support communication between the SVC and other teachers and administration in a way that is healthy and respectful to the legitimacy of student voices,” said Niese via email. 

Recent concerns from students have been about their e-learning experience. During the Second Student Voice Committee google meet, Taft senior Alyssa Argent mentioned that a lot of students have been feeling isolated. 

The goal of the Student Voice Committee is to represent and speak up about the concerns from students. They work to understand other students, teachers, and the administration staff. They are working along with administration and teachers to address students’ main concerns within Taft. 

“One way we do this is by hosting monthly town halls where students have a chance to speak directly with administration to convey their needs,” said senior SVC member Carmella Gillo via email.

“Many students indicated in our survey last month that e-learning has left them tired and burnt out, and several have felt negative physical and mental health effects. Lack of motivation was a big issue for a lot of students,” said senior Pauline Frendreiss, Town Hall Chairperson and Treasurer of the Student Voice Committee. 

In response to a Taft student, Zion Trinidad’s questions about if the administration will put out a statement acknowledging students are stressed out, assistant principal, Daniel Kuzma, says the administration is trying their best to work with counselors to be able to give students more support. 

Student voices are heard through surveys made by the Student Voice Committee. The surveys have been based on e-learning. What the students put in the survey is presented to administration during the town halls. 

“We have been discussing possible ways to remedy the stress and physical and mental health issues the students have been facing during e-learning. In our most recent Town Hall, we discussed several interesting possibilities for e-learning improvements with the Administration.” said Frendreiss. 

People can attend the next Town Hall meeting through the google meet link on the Taft website that will take place December 15 from 3:15-4:15 p.m.