At the November 2019 Class Forum, Community Council member Tony Labranche brought forward the idea of starting a student union at Souhegan High School. A Souhegan student union would be a place for all students to speak there and regarding issues surrounding the school and our community. “The student union is a way to unite, advocate and consolidate our student voice” says Tony Labranche, a lead organizer for the student union.
The idea of a student union is widely supported at Souhegan High School. At a past Community Council meeting, there was a vote to see if students were interested in a student union. 135 students were present at the meeting, and 131 students were in support of a student union. A student union would build a stronger community throughout Souhegan and establish a well-built relationship between the student body of Souhegan High School and the Amherst school board. According to Labranche, “There is untapped student voice at Souhegan”, who’s goal of establishing a student union is to bring students’ voices to the school board to “Actually get stuff done”.
Although the Souhegan High School student union is currently only in the organizing phase, when formed, it will be a direct way for students to communicate to the school board. Currently, the school sends a student serving in Community Council to attend a school board meeting to voice the thoughts of Community Council. Through a student union, students would be able to directly speak to the school board which would be a better representation of the school as a whole. Through a student union, any student who wanted to attend could attend a forum like gathering. Students would be able to talk about any issues they are having with the school and the community and everyone would be granted one vote. The goal of a student union is to improve the connection between the student body and the teachers. “We can do a lot more together,” says Labranche, referring to the school board and the students working together.
With the support it’s gained, a student union could be very successful at Souhegan. Bringing students together with the school board would be widely beneficial for Souhegan High School and the Amherst community. According to Labranche, having students involved in the school would be a crucial part of a student union. “Our end goal for a Student Union would be one where all students are stewards of our community”