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Students seek better communication

“You have to go and get the apple, it doesn’t come to you.”red apple

There has been a rumor floating around the student body that the Blackfriar Chronicle intends to release an article bashing the administration.

It is our duty to disperse rumors, bring about student involvement, and tell the truth.

There are some things that are only achievable by those that make an active and conscious effort to get them. The path towards the apple is often unclear and difficult, but there is no other way.

Over the past few months, the Editorial Board of the Blackfriar Chronicle has noticed a need for better communication between the Malvern Prep administration and the student body. Our members pointed out both specific and general areas for improvement.

How many of you didn’t realize you had a summer math packet – something that was announced in the Malvern Weekly, which is not sent to students? How many have heard of the change in summer classes? Did you know that Malvern has decided to “retire the strategy of integrating technology in the classroom” (Strategic Plan update, available online)? And where were handbooks for the first two weeks of school?

On a larger scale, we have noticed that many students feel left out of the thought process behind the new schedule, forced to venture into a new and confusing world of blocks. (We asked about this rationale and got some answers in this issue.) Similarly, we wonder about student voice and perspective in the strategic plan.

Students, has the administration told you who Trung Le is, or that he’s proposed new designs for the campus? What is a Capital Fundraiser, and how might it affect you? (Wait for a future issue on that one.) Do you know about the school’s strategy to reach 20% diversity by 2019? These are key issues that affect you as a student and citizen of this school. How are you expected to learn about them?

The Blackfriar Chronicle’s goal is to not only pose key questions, but to also be a mechanism of student voice. This is directly correlated to the need for better communication at our school.

We propose a challenge both to Malvern’s administration and to the student body.

The administration is challenged with continuously informing the community. Policy changes should never come to pass without the knowledge of the students. Whenever possible, involve us in making the decisions. This is how we are going to learn what citizenship means.

The administration has a slight head start, citing in the latest strategic plan, “We are currently devising a Student-Centered Learning Communication Plan. This plan will be shared with our Faculty/Staff and Current Parents for clear and consistent messaging.” A student-centered plan only shared with the faculty and parents?

Students, do not be discouraged. We have a voice at this school, but it will not come easily. Like anything we want, it will not float to us. You must get the apple. One column in the school publication will not change the lack of communication about key issues. But what could?

Students should have a more active role as citizens in the Malvern community. Not only is it the student body’s responsibility to be engaged in activities at Malvern, they also need to be aware of changes in school policy.

Citizenship is the key. In this sense, what does citizenship mean? Caring. Having opinions. Getting involved. This is not just the job of Student Council or the Editorial Board of the BFC. You all have voices that can do a lot more than spread rumors (sound familiar?). Collectively, we must strive to be active participants in our community.

Effective communication requires the participation and effort of both Malvern’s staff and students. To truly be an active member of the Malvern Prep community, requires, you guessed it, Unitas.

We are not claiming to have a perfect solution, but this year our team will seek responsibility and do our part. It’s time everyone does their part and becomes an interested and involved citizen of the school. This is our challenge.

So what’s it going to be, Malvern? Will the apple come to you, or will you go to the apple?

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