By Natalie Adams
Chesapeake Regional Association of student Councils (CRASC) held their second officer information night on Wednesday, May 1st at the Parham Building. Attendees had the opportunity to learn more about the positions available, ask questions, see the Secretary of Education in action, and experience a typical Board of Education (BOE) meeting.
Attendees congregated in the lobby before moving to the cafeteria, where everyone was asked to introduce themselves by stating their name, grade, school, and position for which they plan to run.
There are seven officer positions up for election including, President, Vice President, Secretary of Legislation, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Service, Secretary, of Communication, and Middle School Coordinator.
There are only three candidates allowed for each position, which can result in a maximum of 21 people running. If more than three people are nominated for one position, they are each interviewed by a panel and narrowed down to only three candidates. If three or fewer people are nominated for one position, interviews are not necessary. All of the information about responsibilities, qualifications, interviews, campaigning, and the election are outlined in the CRASC Constitution.
The nomination period ends on Monday, May 6th and interviews are scheduled to take place Wednesday, May 8th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The nomination form can be found on the CRASC Website, along with the timeline for elections, officer biographies, calendar, and other information. Completed forms are to be emailed to the Student Leadership Office and CRASC Advisor Stacy Pellegrin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After everyone had introduced themselves and signed in, the current officers did a short question and answer session about what responsibilities each position entails, how to go about performing duties, and campaigning.
At 7:00 p.m., the group migrated from the cafeteria to the board room to watch Savannah Quick, Secretary of Education, give her final board report. One of the Secretary of Education’s duties is to give a board report at the BOE’s evening meetings, which occur once a month (the BOE meets every two weeks, alternating between morning and evening meetings), about CRASC’s recent and upcoming activities.
Quick was originally scheduled to give her final report at the BOE’s meeting on May 15th, but the May 1st meeting was rescheduled for the evening, therefore Quick’s report was moved up by two weeks.
Quick commented that she was surprised that her report was moved up because she thought she would have more time to prepare for the report itself and how emotional it would be for her.
Quick stood before the board and gave her report, which consisted of condolences to the family and friends of Dustin Bradshaw, an AACPS student who recently passed away, a reminder of suicide hotline numbers, a description of an event on mental health CRASC attended, a comment about CRASC’s involvement in amending the Student Handbook, and a reminder that the CRASC officer nomination period is open.
Once she was finished with her report, Quick thanked the board for the experience she gained in advocacy, mentioned her acceptance and commitment to Penn State University, and stated, “it has been an honor to work with such intelligent minds.”
After Quick was finished speaking, she remained at the podium while members of the board said their goodbyes.
President Terry Gilleland thanked Quick for her service and said, “as a CRASC alum, you make me proud,” Vice President and Student Member of the Board (SMOB) Josie Urrea stated, “I cannot thank you enough for everything you’ve done,” Candace Antwine congratulated Quick on her acceptance to Penn State, and Michelle Corkadel told Quick she has “set a benchmark for success.”
Quick returned to her seat and the public comment portion of the meeting began.
CRASC stayed for public comment, which included Severna Park High School students Parker Cross and Megan Moulsdale speaking about mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
An entire group of students, parents, and teachers stood during their testimony, wearing green ribbons for mental health awareness.
Two attendees also held signs. One read, “I am more than a statistic #breakthestigma,” while the second read, “Stop sweeping us under the rug,” on one side and, “Lift up the rug and expose the dirt. We need help,” on the other.
Once public comment was over, CRASC returned to the cafeteria to close the meeting.
Officers presented during their round table discussion, CRASC Advisor Stacy Pellegrin mentioned some upcoming events, and attendees were reminded to turn in their nominations once more.
The next CRASC meeting will be a campaign clinic on Wednesday, May 15th at 6:30 p.m.