"It'll be interesting": Student Council members head to IMSA for overnight visit
Published: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 - 1:07am
Senior Lor Sligar interviews IMSA junior Ankita Khandai during the Feb. 12 visit to Uni by IMSA student council members. Gargoyle photo by David Porreca (click to enlarge)
Thirteen Uni students grades 10-12 will leave school after lunch today and drive up to Aurora with Student Council sponsor Rick Murphy for an overnight visit to the academy.
IMSA was created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1985 as a residential school for academically talented students (grades 10-12) from throughout the state. About 650 students attend IMSA, which does not charge for tuition or housing.
The goal of the program is to learn about how other schools run their student government and to see how Uni's own government can benefit from that.
Since IMSA is a school that is closer to Uni academically than most other schools, Student Council thought it would be a good idea to exchange with it as part of this year's program.
Each Uni visitor will be assigned an IMSA student to shadow, according to executive secretary-treasurer Natsuki Nakamura. Students were advised to bring a sleeping bag.
When IMSA representatives visited Uni, they attended a performance by the National Acrobats of China at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
"They said they wanted to come up with something to match our acrobatics thing, but we said, 'Don’t worry about it,'" explained Nakamura. "So I think we're just going to view the campus and stuff, which is still going to be kind of a new thing for us."
One new aspect that Uni students will be exposed to is how IMSA functions as a residential school — it has seven residential halls — and how its program correspondingly differs from Uni's.
"I've heard from other people that their days are divided into 20 segments and … you can have from a 20-minute class to a 90-minute class, or something like that," said senior class vice president Elaine Gu. "And then the dorms have visiting hours for, like, guys to girls. … It’ll be interesting.”
When asked how she thought IMSA students would be different from Uni students, Gu said: "Nerdier, maybe? They're supposed to be really math and science-y."
The Uni visitors will return to school Thursday before the end of the day, driven back by Uni's technology support specialist Kathleen Booth, an IMSA graduate herself.
Gu, along with many other visitors, is excited about the visit.
"I'm looking forward to meeting the people there and seeing how their school works because I know it's really different from ours," said Gu.
UNI Student Representatives Participating in IMSA Exchange
- Executive president Isaac Chambers
- Executive vice president Alan Liang
- Executive secretary-treasurer Natsuki Nakamura
- Senior class president Kareem Sayegh
- Senior class vice president Elaine Gu
- Senior class secretary-treasurer Nish Nookala
- Junior class president Rachel Harmon
- Junior class vice president Linda Ly
- Junior class secretary-treasurer Maritza Mestre
- Sophomore class president Michael Meyer
- Sophomore class vice president Wynee Bao
- Sophomore class secretary-treasurer Revathi Mathuri
- SFAC president and Student Council/SFAC liaison Karolina Kalbarczyk