SGA starts the school year off strong with plans for the new year
September 21, 2016
The end of summer break and the return of scholars to Cherry Hill High School East also marked a fresh start within the high school. Elected representatives for East’s Student Government Association (SGA) jumped into the 2016-2017 school year prepared with ideas for the upcoming year.
The first major event that SGA will be hosting this school year is the Fall Festival Dance with a theme of “Festival E”. The dance was originally meant to be a welcome back to school dance, however it was pushed back and will be held on Friday, October 7 from 7:00 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. Unlike dances in the past, the courtyard will be accessible to students during the dance.
“It’s like Project…E from last year combined with a fall festival theme,” said SGA President Sung Kwang Oh (‘17).
The Spirit Week Homecoming Dance will take place shortly afterwards on Friday, November 18 from 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.
This year, SGA is looking to pick a topic and raise awareness towards it. One idea that they are considering is tackling the stigma around mental health issues.
“We feel like [mental health] is a big issue at East, especially with all the stress and competition,” said Oh.
By educating students about mental health, SGA hopes students will be more comfortable discussing struggles that they are facing with their guidance counselors.
The freshman class will be advised by Mr. Jason DeFuria and Mr. Nicholas Wright. President and Vice Presidents for the class of 2020 will be elected by the end of September and representatives will be elected in October.
DeFuria has been the advisor of a class before, but solely at the school he formerly taught in Northfield, Massachusetts. This is the first time that Wright will be advising a class.
The opportunity to get to know students outside of a classroom setting attracted DeFuria and Wright to being a class advisor. Both also believe that students should get involved with extracurricular activities.
You will often hear Mr. Davis talk the fact that there’s two school days. There’s a lot of kids who will come here for the first school day, which is 7:30 to 2:30, but that second school day of actually getting involved and finding out who you are as a person is one of those experiences I want to provide for students,” said DeFuria.
By encouraging students to get involved past the conventional school day, DeFuria and Wright hope to have representation from all over East.
“We kind of want greater participation from everywhere in the school. Like, we want to make sure that every corner of the school is represented,” said Wright.
DeFuria and Wright hope students will gain real world skills through their involvement with SGA, primarily leadership. They hope that these skills learned will help students later in life, when they go to college and get jobs.
The advisors plan to get the freshman class involved with community service and take an active role in caring for their community.
Both advisors are taking a hands off approach and waiting for students to be elected into SGA before they start making plans for the class. The advisors want to empower the Class of 2020 to plan memorable events.
“This isn’t our class, we’ve been to high school. This is their time, so we want…to empower them to plan events that they would want to go, that they would enjoy, and that they’ll remember for a lifetime,” said DeFuria.
The sophomore class is ambitiously coming into the new school year with plans to get their class more involved.
“Last year was freshmen year, so it was kinda new for us all. We didn’t get too much involvement, maybe, as much as we would like,” said sophomore Class President Lucas Semon (‘19).
All eyes will be on the sophomores as Spirit Week rolls around, as they will attempt to defend their first place win in the booth competition from their freshmen year. The Class of 2019 also placed first in some dress-up days and other competitions.
“For spirit week we definitely want to ramp things up,” said Semon.
The sophomore class will be busy planning their Sophomore Cotillion, which will take place on Friday, February 24 from 7:00 P.M to 10:00 P.M. The class will have a hard time beating their Freshman Dance, which had over 500 attendees and positive critiques from students.
The Class of 2018 has a busy year ahead of them, and already has a variety of ideas for the upcoming year.
The junior class is already focused on raising money for their class, mainly through fundraisers. The junior class is also responsible for selling concessions at home football games to raise money. On top of concessions, the juniors hope to sell generic Cherry Hill East blankets, as well as provide entertainment, such as face painting, to younger game attendees.
“For our football games, we’re currently looking at many activities,” said junior class President Jonathan Calabrese (‘18). “We’re gonna order a moon bounce and henna activities…so that everyone has a good time.”
The Junior Prom will be held at the Merion on Friday, April 28 from 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. Planning for Senior Prom will also be underway this year.
Money to lower prom tickets will be raised by Student Government members by using a program called “Snap!”. The fundraising program has students send out emails and receive money back. Each member of the class of 2018 SGA has a goal to raise $500. According to Calabrese, other clubs and sport teams at East have used this method of fundraising and found it to be very effective.
“We want to try and get our prom tickets’ [price] lowered because they are currently really expensive for Junior and Senior Prom. We are trying to get a lot of money so it is less financially on people,” said Calabrese.
With only one year of high school left, the Class of 2017 is getting ready to make their senior year the best one yet.
“Everything that we’re doing this year is to unite the class and make it the best senior year,” said senior class President Maddie Phillips (‘17).
Senior class apparel will be out before October. There will be a range of options for class members to choose from.
Last year, the Class of 2017 had weak participation in Spirit Week, coming in third for the Spirit Week Dance Competition and the Banner Competition, and placing in last for multiple dress up days.
SGA plans to recruit students for the Spirit Week Dance by advertising that it is the last chance for students to participate in an effort to have the largest number of dancers. Positions in the past that have only been available to SGA members, such as Spirit Week Dance choreographer, will now be opened up to the entire class.
“Whoever wants to can come collaborate together. I think that if we have a wide amount of friends groups helping to choreograph, the more people will be involved,” said Phillips.
The Class of 2017 should have an advantage for Spirit Week 2016, as seniors are able to choose the overall theme.
“We’re going to go around before we pick the theme…and ask people’s opinion,” said Phillips. “We believe that if more people like the theme they will be more inclined to be involved.”
The Senior Class will be wrapping up their year with Senior Prom at the Vie in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Thursday, June 1 from 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. A theme will be chosen in the winter.
Two major fundraisers will be used to raise money for prom: One outside of school at a restaurant, and the other requiring SGA students to sell a product in school.