Keeping Up with the Council: Voting to Propose Doubling Interregnum Points

The King’s Council gathered in the Founder’s Conference room February 19 at 7:30 p.m. in order to deliver updates and vote on a controversial motion, that the Council recommend to Student Life that the points awarded for Interregnum be doubled this year.

After a prayer by Zsuzsa Williford (’19), President of Queen Elizabeth I, Student Body President Michael Martinez (’18) began the meeting by expressing his hope that there are more votes cast to elect a new Student Body President than last year’s election. In the likely event that there will be a runoff, there will be another debate Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. for the top two candidates, and the announcement of the 2018-2019 SBP will be moved to Friday at 12 p.m. in the lobby.

As soon as the new SBP is elected, Houses can begin electing their new Exec Teams. The deadline for new teams will be March 31. The new SBP must select his or her Cabinet members by March 23, in time for the Best Practices forum, which will be held March 28. New presidents will be sworn into their respective Houses April 16.

House Future will begin tonight, doors opening at 7 p.m. Considering that the competition is not worth points, and several Houses did not submit a video, Martinez said to expect a short event, lasting only about 20 minutes. “Don’t be late, because the event will be over,” he said.

Martinez said the Council should re-evaluate which awards they want to present this year, considering that engraving the awards was much more expensive than expected the former year. He hopes to either eliminate some awards, or think of alternatives of commemoration. Martinez said that the Student Service Award was a great addition, and brought on an important discussion on the Council, as they chose to acknowledge an individual in the community that serves the students quietly and without recognition.

Nine out of 10 presidents responded to a cabinet survey sent out the week before, to which Martinez stated: “You should be happy I don’t know who you are.” The Cabinet received its lowest scores in the following categories: usage of Council time and Cabinet updates, receiving averages of 6.8 out of 10 and 6.7 out of 10, respectively.

Rachel Cline (’19), President of Ten Boom, is sending out a survey to the Statesmanship Institutes from the past several years in order to collect data and get a full picture on the experience of student leaders and the resources they need. The data will go to Acting President Gibson and the Student Affairs team.

“What can we potentially do to try to get as many individuals to engage with this theme as possible?”

Emily Bingham (’18), Director of Finance, wants to instill an expectation for individuals assuming her current role in following years to make budget proposals to the school, discussing whether or not the budget was sufficient for the Council that year. “I hope it is something that sticks in years to come,” Bingham said.

Carter Fletcher (’18) reminded the Council that the Day of Service is this Saturday. Training will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., and the work will begin from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

After the updates, the Council moved into a time of discussion towards the proposal submitted by Philip Reeves (’19), President of Reagan. Reeves presented a motion that the Council submit a proposal to Student Life, recommending that Interregnum is worth double the points as past years.

“What can we potentially do to try to get as many individuals to engage with this theme as possible?” Reeves asked. Reeves stated that Debate Coach Josiah Peterson’s wife had told him that Interregnum had once been worth more points than other competitions. Considering that now that House Future was worth no points, Interregnum was the only competition worth points this semester. The Council should consider making the competition more valuable.

Kara Simmons (’19), President of SBA, said that, when she shared this proposal with her House, she received only negative feedback. Simmons read off comments her House members had submitted or told her, including that it undermined the work the House had exerted into prior competitions, and also that the House of Reagan was trying to use this proposal, and the tragic circumstances that led to House Future being worth no points, as a means to move from second to first place.

“I’m very sorry she feels that way—that we’re trying to take advantage,” Reeves responded. He told Simmons that the first person he talked to about the proposal was Rachel Cline, President of Ten Boom, to guarantee she did not think it would come off in the wrong way or instill harm in any way to her House or the community at this time. Reeves said that he believes students have a difficult time interacting with the theme, and addressing this concern was the only reason for the proposal.

“It’s more about how we present the theme.”

Evelyn Stetzer (’18), President of Truth, said the proposal seemed to be the “antithesis of the message from Student Life to focus on school and do less.” She thought it would put unnecessary stress on her team to put more effort into the Interregnum events.

Nathan Rizzuti (’18), President of Churchill, said that, as his House is in 9th place, “winning is not very high on my priority list.” He said it should be considered in the future, due to the amount of effort put into Interregnum in comparison to other events, but that now was not the right time. Kyle Kendrick (’19), President of Lewis, agreed and said there are many reasons against it, and not enough reasons for it.

Simmons said that people still engage with Interregnum and the theme, whether or not they have a chace to win, and reminded Reeves that it was his House that did nothing for drama comp the year before. Smith said that he believed this would get his upperclassmen more involved.

“It’s more about how we present the theme,” said Rizzuti. Making it about the points makes it about competition, rather than about focusing on the theme.

“The theme somehow gets swept under the rug every year, in some facet,” Smith said.

Addy Bugg (’18), President of Barton, said that, if points were doubled, Interregnum would be marketed as being worth double the points, rather than being about compassion. Kendrick added that it would do harm to “a theme that is already hanging by a thread.”

Fletcher added that people get upset when something is changed in the middle of something, rather than before, adding how upset Houses were when powderpuff time was shortened mid-game, a competition that was not even worth points.

“Just changing it mid-year and having to communicate that to my House. … will be very stressful on the House of Ten Boom. My girls are very behind,” Cline said. She added that while, in numbers, a lot of her House is for the proposal, it will put a lot of stress on her team, and specifically the seniors of Ten Boom.

Following Cline’s words, Martinez asked for the presidents to take 30 seconds to think before moving into a time to vote on the motion. All the House presidents, including Reeves, voted against the motion.

Fletcher closed the meeting in a word of prayer, and the meeting was adjourned.