What’s Underway in SGA: Gearing up for winter break

Junior+Vivek+Majumdar+testifies+to+members+of+the+Board+of+Education+on+Nov.+4+about+issues+of+ADA+noncompliance+in+the+school+building.

Photo courtesy of MCPSTV

Junior Vivek Majumdar testifies to members of the Board of Education on Nov. 4 about issues of ADA noncompliance in the school building.

As temperatures cool, leaves change color and fall from trees, and Mariah Carey plays through grocery store speakers, anticipation of winter break begins to grow. With the end of the year approaching, SGA has student-centered plans underway to make school festive for all.

These started with activities in the Commons to boost spirit and excitement for Halloween. Students packed together on Oct. 29 to watch thrilling games of musical chairs during lunch, while members of SGA searched the halls for students to enter into a best costume competition on the SGA Instagram page.

In the background of these festivities, members of SGA like junior Carli Katz and junior Vivek Majumdar prepared to testify to the Board of Education about issues of renovation and infrastructure, building cleanliness and ADA compliance. The goal of this testimony is to encourage MCPS to allocate money to the school in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), a comprehensive outline of how the county will dispense funds for the 2021 – 2022 fiscal year.

The Wootton building is filled with mold. It’s everywhere.”

— Carli Katz

Though all members submitted written testimony, Katz, Majumdar and junior SGA member Bill Godnick spoke to the BOE in person Nov. 4. “The Wootton building is filled with mold. It’s everywhere,” Katz said. “This means that of the 2000+ students at Wootton, over 500 of them may experience some sort of daily physical or psychological impairment until Wootton is renovated.”

SGA has also testified to the BOE repeatedly about aspects of the school building that are noncompliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits any form of discrimination against people with disabilities. “To date, 380 non-ADA-compliant items have been identified on my school premises alone, 215 of them categorized as priority one. What that means is that essential access points, such as entrances and parking spaces, do not fall within ADA guidelines,” Majumdar said.

In an Instagram story following the Nov. 4 BOE meeting, Student Member of the Board Hana O’Looney announced that the proposed CIP includes a dramatic increase in funds toward ADA compliance and a new ADA Compliance Coordinator position for MCPS. “For Wootton specifically, the Plan has recommended accelerated funds for the school to prioritize ADA compliance and safety,” O’Looney said.

To get students excited for winter break, SGA has another spirit week planned, including a competition for ugliest ugly sweater, among other events soon to be announced. “I enjoy Wootton spirit days and I have fun participating in them with my friends, but I don’t see many others participating, except on class color day,” junior Feben Girma said. “I especially loved the throwback day to whatever decade we wanted. Maybe adding a cultural dress day to spirit day would be cool.”

Senior SGA member Lizzy Jack is excited for the annual Puttin’ On The Hitz (POTH) dance and lip-syncing contest Dec. 16, coordinated by Senior Planning. Along with senior SGA member Jamie Morris, Jack is in charge of choreographing SGA’s performance. “Essentially, what we had to do is come up with partners and placements for dances,” Jack said. “We also have to make the dance itself and make the music for it too.”

Jack encourages any students who have never attended POTH to do so this year. “You should attend, and if you can, you should participate because it’s really fun. It’s also very funny to watch the teachers, who always end up doing a dance, and to watch the class presidents and SGA presidents make fun of themselves,” Jack said.