StuCo works to keep organizing activities

Proceeds from all events to be split between BLM and Flicker Fund

Like anyone else, the SHS Student Council has had to make a few sacrifices this year since they are not able to hold the majority of the events they usually organize to fundraise for the charity of the year. 

“A lot of the things that we do with Student Council are big events like Homecoming and we do movie nights and also a sleep-under for elementary school kids, which all require definitely more than ten [people] to be in a space to actually raise money,” said Clare Wisotzkey, senior and Student Council president. 

Every year, Student Council raises money for a charity of their choice. This year they decided on two charities to split the funds between. 

“Every year, Student Council members throw out ideas on the charity that our fundraising arms should go towards,” said Jason Lowery, Student Council advisor. “Once all of our ideas are out there, everybody has a chance to vote. This year, there was a tie between Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Flicker Fund.”

The money that goes to BLM will go towards solving problems involving police brutality, including civic engagement and campaigning for education on the issue. Money going to Flicker Fund will go towards emergency response, including pandemic relief and wildfire response for Indigenous peoples. The funds raised this year may be less than in the past, but Wisotzkey wants to stay positive.

We’re just going to try to have as many events as we can that are safe,

— Clare Wisotzkey, Student Council president

“We’re just going to try to have as many events as we can that are safe. Honestly, we don’t know what everything is going to be like come spring,” Wisotzkey said. “If there’s a chance that we can do more things in the spring, that’s kind of something that we’re hoping for. But for now … we’re trying to find events that we can have to raise money for these charities because they’re important.”

However, the members have found it difficult to come up with ideas that follow the safety guidelines, especially with winter well on its way.

“We’re trying to do the majority of things outside, which is an issue with winter, especially in Wisconsin, because once it gets too cold, people aren’t going to want to be outside that much,” Wisotzkey said. “So we’ve kind of had to push a lot of our events to the spring time where it’s actually warmer and people will want to be outside.”

So far this year, Student Council has organized spirit week, a scavenger hunt and the blood drive. Spirit week was organized to take place virtually in September, encouraging students to participate in a pajama day, show off their crazy Zoom backgrounds, don a fun hat and wear their Shorewood gear.

“It was trying to capture the concept of spirit week in the virtual sense,” Lowry said. “You know, not being able to see everybody, I don’t know how well that worked or didn’t work. But that was the first thing that we did.”

A scavenger hunt was then put together in November, which set students out on a search to find different rocks around Shorewood using clues that were provided. Each rock had a letter, and in the end, the letters unscrambled to spell ‘greyhound.’ 

“The Student Council Exec Board brainstormed where to hide the rocks and then the clues to find them,” said Lowery. “Teams came to the high school Saturday morning to retrieve their clues and set about to find them.”

The blood drive was organized and held earlier this month. Overall, Lowery reports a good turnout this year. 

“I don’t know the exact numbers but we definitely did have more people donate this year compared to the same time last year. There were more people from the community but still it was a very successful drive,” Lowery said.

Leela Antigua, freshman and freshman class vice president, says it was more difficult to reach out to as many students.

“We couldn’t advertise it as much because when you’re in school you can just kind of tell your friends like ‘Hey, go to the blood drive,’” Antigua said.

The blood drive looked relatively similar to past years, the main changes being minimizing Student Council staff as well as the implication of masks and social distancing between stations.

“On our end, normally we would have food donations coming in, there would be Student Council members staffing that area, there would be more Student Council members at the check-in table, and just kind of there as a presence for Student Council. But this time around we just had one to two people per hour as the check-in people,” Lowery said.

As a result, there was more scheduling that went into the organization process.

“So we had a sign up sheet and could only have one to two people from Student Council there volunteering in whatever time slot it was. Other than that, it was a lot of scheduling to make sure there weren’t that many people there at one time that were actually donating blood,” Wisotzkey said.

Right now, in a certain way we’re kind of tuck because everything that we do needs to done outside,

— Jason Lowery, Student Council advisor

Planning and organizing has been prevalent for other events as well.

“I mean it’s definitely been difficult because we can’t have everybody from Student Council at an event at one time, which is normally what we would do,” Wisotzkey said.

“More so, I feel like members of Exec Board are a lot more involved than the rest of the group. I mean there are 25 people that are in Student Council so there is no way that we can get everybody together,” Lowery said. “The ideas, the contributions, the desire to keep Student Council functioning is there, but I would say that this year skews a lot more towards Exec Board doing a lot more of the work.”

Because of these restrictions, Antigua hasn’t been able to get that involved in many of the events.

“I haven’t been involved in that many events … It’s mostly Exec Board because they know how it’s run, they know how most of the events go. But then, I was able to do the blood drive,” Antigua said.

Student Council members are looking into planning a few events for the rest of the school year, but nothing is set in stone. 

“So right now, in a certain way, we’re kind of stuck because everything that we could do needs to be done outside and we are coming upon the season where doing things outside, people aren’t likely to participate,” Lowery said. 

As for now, they are exploring the idea of putting together mask-designing kits for elementary school students, another scavenger hunt for families to participate in, as well as some sort of winter festival that would take place outside.