What is Cougar House
Cougar House FAQ and Talking Points
What is Cougar House? Cougar House is a representative student body made up of one representative from each Advisory at MMU. The “Speaker of the House” double as the student representative on the MMU School Board. Cougar House meetings will advertise meeting topics ahead of time and often invite people who can speak to the issue of the day. These issues will be driven by student feedback.
How is it different from Student Council? In some ways, Cougar House is to Student Council as the House of Representatives is to the Senate. Cougar House representatives speak for a smaller group of people (Advisories) and have the opportunity to communicate information and gather student input from the entire student body.
Has Cougar House really accomplished anything? YES! In recent years Cougar House provided direct input, and in some cases implementation plans on the following:
Changes to guidelines and enforcement of the dress code
Collected student and communicated student input on parking and traffic flow.
Created guidelines to limit homework during student breaks
I-pod use policy, overturning an Administrative directive to ban I-pods
Presence at all school board meetings to advocate for students and programs.
Instatement of Junior Liberties
Meeting with Food Service director Dave Horner and Pat Daley to make menu changes including reinstatement of popular lunches, sandwiches to-order and salad bar offerings
Increase student voice at school
Meeting with Superintendent John Alberghini to voice concerns about the snow-day decision making process.
Many students seem to think it is a waste of time and nothing gets done. Per the previous question, there is plenty that has been accomplished. Additionally, there are two things to consider here: Students need to be TAUGHT how to hold effective meetings, gather and report input, and understand the process of change. Part of the Advisory Coordinator position is to facilitate this learning for all parties. Secondly, effective, lasting democracy and change take time and can sometimes seem messy. I believe that this is a great learning opportunity for all of us!
What makes a good Cougar House Representative. There is no single profile, but the following qualities are helpful:
Comfortable talking to a variety of people
Ability to listen to others and ask questions.
Gets along with others
Cougar House Representative should not already be a member of Student Council
How do we choose a representative?
Consider the question:
What are the qualities you would want in a person that represents you?
How this person is selected is up to each individual Advisory. Suggestions include: