Schanzer works to leave legacy as Student Council President


Kartiki Sarangdhar

Student Council president Ben Schanzer discusses topics at the meetings, held before school.

Niamh O'Sullivan, Staff Writer

Senior Ben Schanzer, the first ever Student Council President to hold the position for two years in a row, utilizes his past experience as he emphasizes the power of collaboration and teamwork.

Before being elected student council president his junior year, Schanzer was the freshman class treasurer and he co-chaired the policy committee his sophomore year as a member of the steering committee and student council.

“I really have enjoyed over the last three years being able to work to provide a voice for students before the administration,” Schanzer said. “We are really, really lucky to have an administration that cares deeply about the student voice and actively seeks it out.”

Having the ability to give students a voice is what initially motivated Schanzer to participate in student government.

“Most importantly, for students who generally don’t have a strong voice or a place to use their voice, it’s really important to me that everyone has a seat at the table,” Schanzer said.

According to Schanzer, because of the strong relationship between the student council and the administration, they have been able to work together to accomplish goals based on student requests.

“One of our biggest accomplishments was getting gender neutral bathrooms put into the school,” Schanzer said. “The effects that we can see are awesome. It’s really given a lot of kids a place they feel safe at school for something as basic as a human right as using the bathroom.”

Being student council president comes with many demanding responsibilities, but Schanzer is fueled by the positive impacts he and the committee make.

“The positive effects we see from things like [gender neutral bathrooms] are what keeps me going,” Schanzer said. 

Student council adviser John Barry feels the student council does a lot of different services for the student body, which sometimes go unappreciated.

“I really don’t think [the student body] understands how many layers go into the things that the steering committees and the student council bring to them,” Barry said. 

The student council is split up into four subcommittees: policy, transparency, service and events. Schanzer previously co-chaired the policy committee with current senior class president Sarah Coldwell. 

“Policy is amplifying the student voice point of things, meeting with admin to get changes made,” Schanzer said.

The service committee is responsible for organizing community service projects for the council and the whole school, including the successful food drive they ran last year. 

“Service has two prongs, the student council service itself… and the other side is the whole school service side,” Schanzer said.

The most well-known subcommittee is the events committee. 

“Events are kind of the stereotypical party planning view of student council, like Winter Ball, Pep Rally and Carnival are purview of the events committee,” Schanzer said.

The events committee’s goal is to get the student body involved in fun activities. 

“The beauty of Pep Rally and Carnival is that it’s required so everyone is there,” Schanzer said. “It really gives a lot of people to work with and have a lot of fun.”

Schanzer hopes to make a lasting impact in his last year as student council president. 

“I want to leave behind a legacy of the student council that lasts a while,” Schanzer said.

Student council could not operate without the help of the student body and other council members.

“Everyone really works very very hard; everyone is dragged out to 7:15 am meetings,” Schanzer said. “I learned last year how to effectively delegate tasks without losing oversight of the final product. I already can notice how much less stressed I am now that I am relying on those around me more.” 

Because the student council strives to accurately represent the needs and wants of the student body, Schanzer encourages students to reach out with their thoughts through the Google Form available on the student council Canvas page. 

“It really is our best resource to hear what everyone is thinking,” Schanzer said.