SGA puts on first-ever “Donuts with the Deans”

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Two of students’ “favorite” things — number one, donuts, and number two, the deans — combined at 4 p.m. Nov. 8 for Student Government Association (SGA)’s open forum with the deans. 

SGA was able to lead students in discussions revolving around common school policies and other miscellaneous topics such as diversity, dress code and school events. The administration hopes to hold four open forums similar to “Donuts with the Deans” each year.

This event upgraded from last year’s name of “Open Forum” to “Donuts with the Deans” to encourage more students to come eat Krispy Kreme donuts and learn more about the administrative behind-the-scenes action.

Putting this event together took meticulous planning from the SGA members and officers. They had to efficiently communicate, advertise and ensure all was prepared for the event to run smoothly. 

SGA co-president Shania Mahmood aims for the Donuts and the Deans to create an easy, calm way for students to communicate with administration. “Years before becoming a leading officer in the club, I noticed a divide within our student body. Open forums, hosted by Student Government, act as a safe space for students to directly communicate with the administration. Over the past year, I have made it my mission to bring together more student leaders from a wide range of campus organizations to discuss important topics with our administration including diversity and inclusion. This creates a space for many more students to share their own perspectives and bring change to our community,” SGA Co-President, senior Shania Mahmood, said.

“This event is very informative. I enjoy learning about administrative actions from the Deans and I am glad to have been a part of it,” SGA Event Chair, junior Mila Bond, said. 

Mrs. Jody Schiller (Director of Academic Advising), Mrs. Sari Weltmann (Executive Director of Curriculum), Mr. Dean Nolle (Dean of Students), Mrs. Natalie Cashman (Vice Principal) and Mrs. Lana Buchalter (American Academy Principal) paneled at the event to answer any questions students may have. 

Here is a glimpse into the questions that were answered:

Q: How can students express themselves while still following the dress code?

A: “We wear a uniform. Uni meaning one form – and that’s really it. We are a traditional school, we have been that way since we founded. It has taken a number of years to get a dry fit shirt fit. To be upfront, we’re not looking at changing the uniform,” Dean Nolle said.

Mrs. Schiller specifically added to this question: “Rather than look at the uniform to do that, use your personality. Show us how you are different from your peers as a person. We can’t dye our hair red, but we can be ourselves!”

Q: Why is it necessary to wear a polo shirt underneath a sweatshirt?

A: Sometimes, the outerwear is not worn in the most attractive manner. Oftentimes, football pullovers are borrowed from a football player and we have a 6’5 football player who gave their pullover to a 5’2 friend and it looks ridiculous. We’re not going to change the dress code until we announce we are changing the dress code. 

Q: Why don’t the Deans have to wear a uniform like us?

A: The shirts are horribly uncomfortable. 62 years on the face of this Earth gives me the right to not have to wear a uniform. Having said that, not just the deans, but some of our faculty and staff might be better off in a uniform. But anyway, no. We earned it.

Q: Why are juniors not allowed to leave with seniors for lunch? 

A: It’s a senior privilege. Gives you something to look forward to. We’ve become very flexible – understand juniors cannot park across the street due to the city of Plantation and Church rules. We don’t have enough room in the garage for all the seniors, all the faculty and all the staff. I think we’ve gotten very creative in how we allow juniors with after school activities (like sports teams) with the permission of parents to get their cars at other times.

SGA Class Presidents asked questions sent in by students to the panel of deans and administrators. These questions ranged from dress code to lunch prices. (Photo/Zoe Horwitz)

The deans listened to over 30 questions from students over the course of “Donuts with the Deans.” (Photo/Zoe Horwitz)

Zoe Horwitz, a junior at American Heritage, returns to the Patriot Post for her third year as the Sports Editor and Assistant Editor-In-Chief. Besides reading and writing, she spends her time playing with her dog or tutoring younger students through Learn with Peers, a non-profit organization she helped found in 2020. During her freshman year, she co-founded FALIA (Food Allergy/Intolerance Awareness) at school, a club that advocates for those with food allergies. Zoe also plays lacrosse, as she plays for a club team and American Heritage girls varsity lacrosse team. Zoe is very excited to be contributing to the Patriot Post.