Editor’s notebook: Student member an asset, April 22, 2017
This is a red herring issue. Although the Anne Arundel Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly did discuss whether the SMOB should have full voting rights, the primary debate centered on whether the SMOB election process should be subject to the Open Meetings Act and Public Information Act, with a proposal that the SMOB election should be subject to the same rules as adult electoral bodies defeated by an 8-7, largely party line vote after extensive lobbying by AACPS officials. The Capital has never covered the SMOB nominating panel (which has veto power over which three students can compete in the general election) and only in the last several years has covered the SMOB general election under a sweetheart arrangement with the AACPS administrators who have de facto control over access to the process. The key issue for the public to assess is whether AACPS staff have undue control over the SMOB election process and, if so, how this influence can be curbed in line with the staff’s and community’s stated goal of keeping a genuine and strong student voice.