The Milken Roar

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  • A

    Asher LevyDec 6, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    I would have to disagree with Mr. Senet on certain aspects of his argument. As a founding member of SUM, our main goal was to combat student apathy so that students would take themselves and their issues seriously, since in order for the administration to take student democracy seriously, the students themselves must rise from their apathetic stupor. This did not happen, and while we were instrumental in changing the dress code and cell phone policies raising awareness of crucial issues, the SUM overall served to help me reach a conclusion which Mr. Senet approaches but does not take to the next step.
    As I reached at the end of my freshman year, as the SUM was folding and I chose, along with other leaders in my grade, not to continue it. The reason was simply that student democracy doesn’t work in an apathetic environment, such as Milken, unfortunately, is. In our case, we need, and have, a fairly effective oligarchical “rule of the few” who are motivated and talented. Student government is not a dictatorship, since anyone can be elected, yet it is focused, small, and powerful enough that things can get accomplished. At moment, this is the best way, since we don’t want to relive the Russian Revolution, where a progressive political system was forced on a body of people for who it doesn’t work. Set aside your ideals, people, and face the reality.

  • E

    Elai ShineDec 2, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    I would have to say that I respectfully disagree with the Delijanis on this sensitive issue. Student empowerment appears on the surface to be a positive value to hold in a school and indeed Milken provides numerous venues for students to express their opinions. Student government, which is comprised of students as elected by other students, and principal’s advisory are both organizations dedicated to allowing the voice of the student to be heard and for events to take place that will be approved of by the majority of the student body. On a side note, I as a member of Principal’s Advisory have never been approached to consult Dr. Fuller on an issue but have found instead that rather than go through the existing mediums and officials, students choose to create their own organizations in which they, conveniently, are in charge. It could perhaps be a lack of research into the available opportunities to affect student life or even somehow a belief that such mediums are not “effective” enough without having attempted them. In addition, if these organizations are considered futile by SUM how much more futile was SUM itself? Granted none of the administrative influence, little though it may be, that Student Government and Principal’s Advisory has, its ability to shift Milken policy would be even more slim if it attempted any serious protest. It may just be that sometimes the desire to be counter-establishment outweighs the desire to make serious change.

  • K

    KevinDec 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    why did no one mention Naftali, the original founder of the group.

  • M

    Matt NovianDec 2, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Great article!

  • K

    Kevin DelijaniDec 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I completely agree with Ryan, there was a lot of talk about how SUM was trying to undermine the student government or “anti-student government.” I won’t say that things were not said and I know that some of the members of the SUM were against student government, but when the SUM met officially it was for the sole purpose of focusing the obvious complaints of the vast majority of the student body into a group that had a presence on campus. Furthermore I believe that SUM did have something to do with the change in dress code and cell phone policy and to call the SUM a failure is naive because the only reason the SUM isn’t currently active is because everything on the agenda was achieved extremely quickly. To what degree the SUM was responsible for the changes in policy is, however, a different discussion, the point is that the SUM was not trying to oust the authority of the student government, rather it was trying to provide a forum for the students to voice their personal concerns, an area in which student government does not excel. Both student government and the SUM have a valid position at the school and they can coexist easily. Describing the SUM as it has been in this article expresses a lack of understanding of what the group stood for.

  • R

    Ryan DelijaniDec 1, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    The author of this passage makes one fatal assumption that essentially invalidates large parts of this argument. The SUM, while given a faculty advisor, the right to assemble, and the right to speak to students (Just as any club is given at Milken) it was not given the right to go through with some sort of protest action. It was made abundantly clear that the administration would not stand for this. The SUM effectively had no power over school policy besides providing a focus for student discontent. The image of a loudspeaker chosen by the author of the passage is therefore very relevant and appropriate when referencing the SUM. In light of this, the SUM did in fact achieve its goal of providing a collaborative student voice. I would say that there was not one student in Milken that agreed with the past school cell phone and dress code policies, and even though there were official groups changing those rules, the mass student voice was underrepresented. This goes into the issue of student government. The SUM wasn’t against student government because it was concerned that the members were only interested in promoting themselves, but rather, because it is undeniable that every social group is not equally represented in student government. In addition, the SUM today is not active because of a lack of direction on the part of leadership, but rather, because of a lack of direction in terms of a general student body. There is no issue that the student body nearly unanimously disagrees with. The SUM was suspended because there was no need to rally the students for a cause that did not exist. Of course, it is inevitable that issues will rise again. The laptop and facebook issues are prime examples of topics that the SUM would deal with if the administration decided to pass some sort of legislation that the students did not agree with. As an active member and leader of the SUM in its closing days before suspension, I guarantee that if, for example, facebook is banned from the servers, the SUM will be putting their posters right back up and will be holding meetings once again.