Should You Join the CoStu?

Should You Join the CoStu?

Amanda McManus

The “anti-Stu-Co” group, known school-wide as “Co-Stu” and  currently having about 91 members in their facebook group, has an objective that goes against the grain. The motivation for creating the group, whoever is responsible for that, was to create a seperate student body welcoming any interested in joining, all with a common discontentment with Student Council.  Originally, the group started out as a joke between friends, but once people caught wind of it, it hit a nerve in the student body.

Sophomore Marc Sheehan, one of the more passionate of the group, quoted “Fight Club,” (a movie that involves Brad Pitt and Edward Norton creating a rebel group that generally causes mayhem), and said “To Stuco we say: You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are the same decaying, organic matter as everything else.” Just as characters in “Fight Club” began with a anti-establishment purpose, CoStu definitely has morphed into a group of kids with the appearance of anti-Student Council anger, although many outside the group believe it to be an absurd parody of activist group.

For Spirit Week this year, CoStu purposefully rebelled against the organized clothing  assignments for each day.  So, when everyone was supposed to wear neon, the CoStu members wore black.  When people were supposed to wear a color assigned to their grade, the CoStu members from every grade wore white  as a sign of solidarity against StuCo.  While these demonstrations of solidarity have appeared to unify a certain demographic of the student body, their protests seem like a foolish way to try and change the dynamics of StuCo.

Students also argue that much of the funds raised by Student Council are spent on unpopular school events.  For instance, many CoStu members criticized the Pink Dance this Fall – a dance organized to raise money to fight breast cancer.  The dance had a lower-than-expected turnout, so some CoStu members believed the event to be a misallocation of student monies.

But what else is the money supposed to be used for in a council whose goal is to raise school spirit and create a stronger community?

Moreover — CoStu’s want for a change in the student government simply does not make sense. If they want the wishes of the student to be fulfilled through the students, then they should actually put StuCo to work and complain to them about whatever needs to be changed. There are no elite rulers, just a group of students elected to consider students’ complaints. If the whole school were involved in this process, there would never be an agreement reached. CoStu is obviously not utilizing the student government as they should. It seems like the group wants to be a “counter-culture” within the school more than a protest.

To be fair, it’s understandable why students may feel rejected or excluded from StuCo, whose goal is to heighten school spirit, to organize school events, and to hear other students comments and concerns. They are an active and vivacious element of the school, and some kids may feel unhappy about not being directly involved in that action. But CoStu has truthfully misconstrued the meaning of StuCo, what they do, and how they portray themselves.

Many students have been considerably indifferent to what StuCo does. They organize school dances, have fundraisers, gather at meetings after school, et cetera. Wherever the hostility that CoStu holds came from, it is confusing and pointless. Perhaps there’s a handful of people who ran for Student Council and lost – maybe they have some bitterness over that. But it’s not very accurate to say that StuCo believes they are unique students with a greater importance in the high school. That’s definitely an exaggeration.

If students presumably are that deeply offended about not being  accepted into StuCo, then they should probably contact the advisor of StuCo, Ms. Kerry McMenimen, since one of the things they do is act as a soapbox for students’ concerns.  For instance, without StuCo, students would not be allowed to wear iPods in studies, and seniors would not have some of the current privileges (such as allowing seniors to eat outside for lunch).

Creating an “anti-StuCo” group only creates unnecessary separation between student body and the students who represent them. The desire for a greater and more equal student body is admirable but should not be done by protesting a group of people that have never claimed a more prestigious status than their peers.

Despite CoStu’s opinion, there is no corruption within StuCo in any way. They are the voice of the student body. If anything, there may be a lack of involvement on the student body’s end by not inputting their opinions. If CoStu really wanted to create an equal and harmonious council they would offer suggestions for StuCo to carry out, because involving hundreds of kids in the decision-making process of StuCo would be highly inefficient. But CoStu has not tried to fix anything, has not tried to advocate for anything, has not really created any tangible argument of any kind.

While these students may have had fun posing as an activist group, the CoStu group has wrongly taken away attention from students who are actually trying to create meaningful change.  Instead of offering suggestions to improve the community, their minor protests or distractions are ultimately absurd and stupid.  If however that absurdity was the point, well then — mission accomplished.