UNION, NJ - Union High School students participated in Union’s 8th annual Student Government Day on Tuesday by assuming the roles of elected officials, administrators and department heads.

Throughout the morning, students accompanied the mayor, township committee members, the police director, fire chief, municipal clerk, and department heads responsible for the Senior Center, the Department of Public Works, and the Recreation Department, functioning in their role within local government, culminating in the public Township Committee conference and Committee meeting.

Union High School Business Administrator-for-the-day Arthanious Shafik said, “for me, it was really enlightening because I saw just how much cooperation goes on between the departments in our government.  I have an appreciation that government has to go slow.  As taxpayers, we’re always criticizing our government, such as ‘why can’t my road be paved now?’.  But we’re so lucky to have people elected and appointed into their positions who have extreme reverence for the taxpayer’s dollars, and they want to be sure every dollar has extreme scrutiny on how the money is spent, which takes time.”

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“These kids really enjoy this day,” said Union High School AP Government teacher Chris Faraone.  “They come back with a different comprehension of what people in local government do, jobs they didn’t even know existed.”  Faraone said the program was expanded this year, with a record 40 students, mostly seniors, participating.  “It’s important to get kids aware of what’s going on locally.  It really opens their eyes.”

Acting as Assistant Business Administrator for the day, Steven Sanchez said, “if people are educated as to why the government takes a bid, then they will realize that it’s for the best.   The main purpose is to use tax money to improve the economy and the town itself.”