By Audrey Weiss
On Wednesday, April 19th, students at Baltimore School for the Arts received an email, detailing that “This year BSA’s Student Government Association (SGA) will be holding Spring Elections.”
The Student Government Association sent out the email to announce a big change in the way that the SGA will work for its next cycle and get the ball rolling for potential candidates.
Elections, which in the first two years of the BSA organization had occurred first in November 2021 and second in October 2022, were now to occur at the end of the school year.
The idea was first brought to SGA President Quinn Bryant and Vice President Brayden Hamilton at a planning meeting for Expressions.
The pair then brought the idea to the co-advisors of the SGA, Megan Grouzard and Jocelyn Providence, before the idea was extended to the entire Student Government Association.
This change was decided on in the current SGA session by the current representatives, citing a variety of reasons and justifications that point to why a spring election will greatly benefit the productivity of the club.
With representatives being selected a few months after the start of the school year, working time was being lost, and with much of the school-wide annual planning occurring at the beginning of the year, the student voice provided by the SGA was cut out of the picture.
Additionally, SGA teacher advisors shared that the BSA Foundation had requested more Expressions input from the student representatives.
This could be provided during the preliminary planning of Expressions that occurs at the beginning of the school year.
Moreover, spring elections as a concept for student governments is not at all unheard of.
“We are the outliers” was a realization from club co-supervisor Meg Grouzard that arose when communicating with other school SGA overseers. Most high school SGA organizations run their elections in the spring.
The one main concern brought up within the SGA dialogue considering the alteration of election schedule was that of freshman representation with student government.
One possibility of a freshmen secretary position was struck down by an SGA vote, and the representation was left in the hands of another category: club representatives.
“We will try to encourage clubs to send freshmen representatives so that we can have a full spectrum from the student body,” advisor Meg Grouzard explained.
With this concern addressed, the introduction of spring elections was ready to be rolled out.
The timeline, presented in the SGA interest meeting, mimics the timing used in the previous elections.
A three-week campaigning period will begin on May 3rd, the deadline for campaign filing on the 15th, and elections will take place on May 24th and May 25th.
After school on Friday, April 28th, a sparse group of students gathered in Ms. Grouzard’s classroom for the SGA interest meeting, the first opportunity to get information on candidacy for any of the SGA positions.
The briefing featured advice from current president Quinn Bryant, calendar details, and explanations of how the elections will be conducted.
The meeting established that once the new appointees are voted on by the student body, the work of the student government will begin as this school year closes out.
The possibility of meeting during the last week of the 2022/23 school year was floated in the interest meeting as an opportunity for the newly elected officials to determine a start date for next year and work out the initial planning for the SGA.
As the current Quinn Bryant—led administration is phased out, the alternate schedule that they put in place will shape the operation of the third generation of student government at Baltimore School for the Arts.
Now it is up to the potential candidates to start their campaigns by May 15th and battle it out for a position so that they can work to represent their peers.
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Photographs taken by Asad Ali for the BSA Muse