Cleveland Constitution doesn’t require presidents to take Leadership

Cleveland+Constitution+doesn%27t+require+presidents+to+take+Leadership

Every year, the junior class discovers that most of them cannot run for student body president because of the requirement that they take Cleveland’s leadership class.

In the last issue of The Clarion, Annalena Eckton took up the topic. She did a marvelous job reporting the story, with fellow students decrying the rule and a quote from Cleveland’s activities director, Camille Adana, to explain it. Eckton wrote, “While the popular belief is that Adana is responsible for instigating this requirement, the rule is actually printed in the ‘Cleveland Constitution.’ She wants everyone to know that she is merely respecting the guidelines set by the school’s original documents. ‘I’m tired of this blame game,’ Adana said. ‘I don’t make the rules.’”

After four years at Cleveland, extensive service in class cabinets, and being on the Site Council, I have never before heard of the Cleveland Constitution. Neither has anyone else, it seemed. However, I was able to track down a copy, possibly the only one that existed. Adana found it buried deep beneath a pile of papers on her leadership classroom desk.

A single sentence in the six-page document has been dedicated to the requirements to run for Student Body President. Article V Section 4 of the by-laws reads, “Eligible students wishing to run for Student Body President must have at least one semester of Executive Council and/or class cabinet experience.”

In short, you do not have to take the leadership class to run for Student Body President.  Furthermore, taking leadership doesn’t make you eligible to run for Student Body President. The Executive Council is made up of all the Student Body officers (Article VI Section 2), and the Student Body officers are required to “meet every day in the leadership class and/or at any times specified by the Student Body President or Activities Director.” (Article IV Section 4) However, it should be clear that the leadership class is not the membership of the Executive Council.

There are myriad other ways in which Cleveland’s student government stands in flagrante delicto of its governing document. We have gone my entire time at Cleveland without a Student Senate, a body that has a constitutional mandate to meet no less than once a month.  Likewise, the Constitution provides for one of the Student Body officers to be a Chief Justice, whose duty it is to “enforce the provisions of this Constitution.” (Article II Section 6) In the memory of current Cleveland students, we have never had a Chief Justice. It seems like we need one right now.

A copy of the Constitution of Grover Cleveland High School can be found at: tinyurl.com/GCHSC2