Senior Council Breathing Life into Senior Year


Christopher Martires, News Editor

Despite working through an unpredictable and turbulent year, our senior council has been trying to make this year an entertaining one for the seniors that lost their chance to enjoy the senior activities of their final year.

“I have had the privilege to be a part of this group of classmates, friends, and a great teacher/leader that I have so much fun spending time with them. I don’t win anything by being in senior council. The fact that I can talk to my friends, debate with them, and help my friends out is everything I ever wanted in high school. Even though I can’t see them in person, they are with me in spirit. The only event we did [in person] was senior sunset. It was very fun [and] It was a success. Not many people came to it and it was understandable, but the people that did went, myself included, had a great time. We gathered together and we did what we wanted, which was spending time together and seeing each other again,” said Samantha Rios, a senior council member. 

While Rios is unable to be a part of senior council in person, she nonetheless enjoys the ability to be able to voice her opinion with everyone for the benefit of all seniors. She said, “I love being part of senior council helping out [and] giving my opinion. Being part of something like senior council makes me feel special since I am part of something and I have a voice to decide with my other friends and partners [on] what we believe should be better and good for us [seniors] .” 

So far two events, the Senior Sunset and Senior Sweetheart Virtual Hangout, have been created to allow seniors another chance to enjoy their last year at Rancho Dominguez. While Senior Sunset was an unofficial event not sponsored by the school due to COVID guidelines, the Senior Sweetheart event was an official one. Due to COVID safety guidelines, it is difficult for the council to create more official events that can bring back some form of normality for seniors. 

“We were hoping to have at least one field trip, (such as going to the LA Zoo, the beach, etc.) but due to the circumstances we’re in that hasn’t been an option we’ve been able to really get into and plan. Although it was something we would’ve loved to plan we just wanna make sure we’re following safety guidelines because that’s what really matters when planning these things,” said Arianne Campos, a senior council member.

Hands are tied when trying to get things off the ground for the members in senior council. One forward leap can end up resulting with two steps back when trying to plan under their conditions. Despite the setbacks, Rios said, “Us seniors wanted to see each other again even though we were in the middle of a pandemic. We still wanted to have fun with each other obviously, being careful, and having the preventions necessary for the activity to take place.” 

“It’s been frustrating [advising senior council] because there’s not enough info to be able to make decisions because information keeps changing. It’s like trying to make plans when the sand is shifting under your feet, and it doesn’t work very well,” said Mr. Gillespie, the advisor of senior council. 

Due to the ever changing landscape, senior council has confirmed that prom, while originally being planned, will not be happening for a second time because of the liability if anyone were to catch COVID at the prom venue. While prom will not be happening, an in-person graduation will more likely happen which should bring relief to seniors. At the moment, senior council is waiting for LAUSD guidelines for in-person graduations.

“At the moment we have two plans for graduation. Both are in-person graduations, but one is to have the entire class graduate together but limit the tickets for graduation to around 2-3 tickets for every student graduating. The other option at the moment is to have two separate graduations which would allow for students to invite around 3-4 people to graduation. Both are still in the air but those are the two that are most likely to happen once we get the thumbs up to hold a graduation,” said Campos. 

“Things are looking way better than last year and there is a possibility that we may have an [in-person] graduation [that will be] obviously following the COVID-19 guidelines. I would love graduation to be on campus and I wouldn’t mind at all having 1-3 people with me and follow COVID-19 guidelines. The fact that I would be able to have a graduation and a day well spent on campus is the best I can ask for due to the conditions of the pandemic we are in,” said Rios.

Ironically, while being forced to plan at home this year’s senior council has been doing more than ever compared to previous years. Mr. Gillespie said, “We’ve done more [than previous years]. We just keep planning things that just can’t happen.” This only forces members of senior council to constantly think of brand new ideas to get around the limitations placed on them.

Trying to get everyone together has been the council’s main problem. Everyone, including Mr. Gillespie, all have conflicting schedules that make it hard for everyone to consistently meet up every week. Only a handful of students are in the council currently, but it makes each and one of them integral to getting plans off the ground. Nonetheless, it doesn’t stop the members reminiscing about all the fun they had being a part of senior council.  

“I can’t name just one [fun event] because there are many times when being in senior council is fun but I think the most exciting, for me at least, has been planning graduation. Mostly because this senior class has lost a majority of the events and experiences we were supposed to have. So, being able to have the hope of having an in-person graduation and seeing the whole class one last time before we all take our own paths gives a joyful feeling, and sense of closure to this chapter in our lives,” said Campos. 

Senior council has shown how instrumental they are in getting the class of 2021 all the things they have dreamed of seeing ever since they were freshmen. For example, they prepared for the class of 2021 senior hoodies. While it is not as grand as previous years, the council has spent countless time intricately planning major events for the seniors. Without a senior council, seniors wouldn’t be able to have a say in what they want their final year to look like. 

“Senior council is important so us seniors can have a voice and choose what we want for our graduation since we can only graduate once. We have a group of seniors representing the entire class of 2021 and choosing what we believe is important to the entire group of graduates,” said Rios.

“Senior council is incredibly important because it allows for us as seniors to have a say in the events we have and because there’s more of an impactful influence when students know events were planned by people in their class. I think an added benefit is learning how to plan such big events, getting over the hurdle of being scared to talk to adults, and take on a big responsibility,” said Campos.

If any seniors would still want to join senior council, you can join one of their meetings during lunch at 12 pm on Wednesdays by sending a schoology message to Mr. Gillespie or Senior Council Leader Manuel Zamora. Seniors, your voice has an impact so do not fret about joining.