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Students: BOE student rep should have vote

May 19, 2009|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Student government representatives from high schools throughout Washington County say the student who sits on the Washington County Board of Education should have partial voting rights.

The student representative now offers an opinion, which is entered into the record, but is not a voting member of the board.

Students recapped a year of student government service and leadership activities Tuesday during a Board of Education meeting.

Students also shared that North Hagerstown High SGA member and Washington County Association of Student Councils (WCASC) member Steven Wang recently was elected treasurer of the Maryland Association of Student Councils.

Board Member Donna Brightman asked the students what type of voting powers the student representative should have.

Kelsey Hubstenberger, a Boonsboro SGA member and president of the WCASC, said students discussed voting rights recently.

Scoti Dodson, the current student representative, said the current school board is receptive to her opinions and that even a partial vote might not always be necessary to get her point across. However, she said future boards might not operate that way, and it could be important for the student representative to have more power.

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Smithsburg SGA President Mohammad Zia said students resisted pushing for full voting power because there are some topics, like the school system budget, on which students might not want to make a decision.

"A partial vote ... would voice the students' opinion, but at the same time, not give too much power to the students," said Mohammad, who is vice president of the WCASC.

School Board President Wayne D. Ridenour said Scoti has been an "exceptional" student representative.

"She is not shy about voicing her opinion," Ridenour said. "Which is as it should be. ... There are things only students can tell us. That is the only way."

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