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Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

SMOB’s lack of progress disappoints students

Junior+Sam+Ross+presents+during+a+SMOB+advisory+council+at+the+school+on+Dec.+6.+Ross+is+a+Blair+student+and+candidate+for+the+47th+SMOB%2C+along+with+Praneel+Suvarna.+What+we+need+is+active%2C+large+steps+to+help+us%2C+Ross+said.
Photo courtesy Sam Ross
Junior Sam Ross presents during a SMOB advisory council at the school on Dec. 6. Ross is a Blair student and candidate for the 47th SMOB, along with Praneel Suvarna. “What we need is active, large steps to help us,” Ross said.

In spring 2023, Shreyas Ganeshan was voting for SMOB nominee Sami Saeed, a candidate sure to make a difference in Montgomery County. Almost a year later, Ganeshan is disappointed to know that virtually nothing has changed at the school, and the SMOB’s entire time in office seems a waste. Over the years, students have become frustrated with the lack of progress made by the student members of the Boards and the promises they make and rarely keep.

Every year, a student is selected to become the student member of the Board of Education in Montgomery County in hopes of providing students with a say in the decisions to be made regarding their schools. However, a lack of progress has caused students to feel constantly disappointed and even caused certain students to desire a change of the system as a whole.

When campaigning for the position, Saeed vowed to improve school lunches and decrease student workloads around the county. However, students are underwhelmed by how much has changed in the school during his time in office. “I see him posting a lot of progress posts, like his lunch testing, but I haven’t really seen change,” sophomore Andrew Bian said.

This lack of progress has caused students to regret their choice to vote for Saeed. “I probably would not have voted for Sami again, if I knew what he would do in office,” sophomore Landon Brenner said.

Saeed’s time in office serves as an example of disappointing results achieved by the SMOBs over the years. Students are especially frustrated by the ambitious promises made by the candidates that they have continuously failed to uphold. “The SMOBs should start making actual changes while in office, instead of making promises they can’t keep, ” Brenner said.

But while students feel negatively about Saeed’s time in office, there are still those who stand by their decision to vote for him. “I feel like he’s doing a good job so far,” sophomore Yeshetila Tafa said.

Students at this school reported feeling specifically disappointed in the lack of progress toward renovations to the dated structure of the school. They long for improvements to facilities like the dysfunctional bathrooms and updates to the school’s unpleasant exterior. “Schools like ours desperately need renovations and nothing is being done,” Brenner said.

Additionally, students feel that safety for children across all levels of schooling should be a priority to decision-makers. This need has especially grown in light of multiple bomb threats across the county. “An important thing to address is to make schools as safe as possible,” Tafa said.

The SMOBs’ recent ineffectiveness has also led to opinions that they should be given more influence on decision-making within the Board which could be achieved by electing multiple students to become a member of the Board. In its current state, it is possible that the SMOBs simply do not have enough power to create rapid change as one out of many members of the group. “I feel like the SMOBs should have more force to make decisions,” Tafa said.

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Cameron Cowen, staff writer
Sophomore Cameron Cowen is a staff writer in his first year on the Common Sense staff. In his free time, he likes to play soccer and spend time with his friends and family. You can find him on Instagram @cameronwcowen.
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