What's Going on With Student Council
Mount Juliet High School’s Student Council has been undergoing some changes since the end of the 2020-2021 school year. With a whole new structure, closely mirroring Wilson Central’s Student Council, a new constitution and bylaws, new committees and an end to open-door meetings, our school’s student council is almost unrecognizable.
Last year ended with the senior officers graduating and with that, a few students emerged citing a necessary rework of the Student Council. These students thought that the Student Council needed a more prominent role in school activities and needed to act more like a council and less like a club. Around this time, Student Body Officer Elections were starting. After winning the election unopposed, the president was named Holden Bilbrey, a student new to Mount Juliet High School. He referenced examples of what Wilson Central’s Student Council did well and how we could adopt those policies. In his words:
“...I really believe in representation. I know there’s a lot of people out there with ideas and suggestions about our school, but no way to get them off the ground. I want to be that outlet for students, the way they could get their voices out there.”
The previously used MJHS Student Council Seal designed prior to 2009. (Left)
The updated MJHS Student Council Seal designed by Holden Bilbrey and first sent to returning members on August 2nd, 2022. (Down)
As president, Bilbrey spearheaded the desperately needed bylaw and constitution rewrite committee. The constitution and bylaws, at that time, were over twelve years old and mentioned roles such as the “Boy’s and Girl’s Vice President”. It also required that all Executive Officers attended the Tennessee Association of Student Councils (TASC) and that meetings were to be held on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:35 in the morning, something that hadn't been regularly done since Mount Juliet High School was relocated and the building became Mount Juliet Middle School in 2007. This committee, composed of the president and the other new executive officers as well as some other influential members of the Student Council, started work on the new bylaws. It took about two weeks to finish and the final product was a much slimmer, modern contemplation of bylaws (No more preamble). Major changes included: the removal of Class Secretaries (the Vice Presidents did the same job), the exclusion of non-council members from meetings (to separate the dedicated from the rest) and the addition of another Executive Secretary (to split attendance and meeting minutes duties).
The exclusion of non-members was vastly the most contested change. Opponents claimed that those who wished to speak their ideas wouldn’t be able to. More opposition was mounted when all council applications required fifty signatures from fellow classmates. Many thought this was unnecessary and would keep timid or new students from joining.
The reasoning behind requiring signatures was dual-faceted. It helped make sure the students who joined are supported by their classmates and ensured that most students will know someone in the council. (i.e. If everyone in Student Council gets fifty signatures, that’s fifty people per council member that now know they can come to that member with any concerns or ideas.)
Despite those disagreements, today's Student Council has over seventy members and through their various committees, have put on Homecoming, pep rallies, Senior Sunrise, and the Spirit Link fundraiser. As the Student Council continues to plan events and activities, Bilbrey urges:
“If you have any questions or suggestions, seek out your student officers or talk with your class sponsors.”