Thursday, February 23, 2012

Upper School Student Leadership Proposal, Draft III for Student Feedback

OES Upper School Student Leadership

Beginning 2012-13

Purpose: To evolve the Student Leadership structure in the Upper School, defining what it means to be a good leader and to address persistent inequities in opportunities, particularly for young women, and involving students in decisions that shape the social environment, policies, and culture of the school.

Points at issue:
  • Contradiction: three female presidents elected in 25 years while the Upper School enrollment is intentionally gender balanced.
  • Young women tend to be more involved in non-elected leadership while young men tend to be in elected leadership positions.
  • Absence of accurate and functional bylaws.
  • While many students are leaders in the school, we do not define the qualities and characteristics of good leadership.

  • Student leadership is an act of serving the community.
  • Young men and women are equally represented in student leadership.
  • Elected leaders accurately represent the student body based on active, frequent, and varied engagement with their constituents.
  • Student leaders learn the skills to be successful and demonstrate leadership within the community in order to run for elected office.
  • Students have a consistent voice in the development and implementation of school policies and practices.

  • Create equally distributed leadership roles on Student Council for young men and women, where more young women are in elected leadership positions and more young men are in non-elected leadership positions.
  • Leverage the leadership of students in non-elected positions to prepare students for elected office.
  • Create a new set of bylaws for student leadership, both Class Boards and Student Council.
  • Define student leadership and intentionally build a structure to develop student leaders.
  • Foster equitable relationships between young women and young men where social and political power is equitably distributed.


Student Council Co-Chair Job Description:
  • Qualifications:
    • Demonstrated leadership in a defined group at OES or in the larger community (see examples below) that includes a service aspect.
    • Demonstrated school spirit and active citizenship at OES or the larger community.
    • Evidence of leadership training at OES or in the larger community
    • Support of Advisor and Parent
    • Good academic standing
    • Commitment to ongoing growth and learning as a leader
  • Responsibilities:
    • Represent the interests of all Upper School students.
    • Work collaboratively with Student Council Faculty Advisors and Upper School Leadership Team.
    • Set the agenda for and lead the Student Council meetings.
    • Facilitate US Gathering.
    • Contribute to conversations on school culture and policy.
    • Set the tone for US culture and conduct.
    • Organize and implement inclusive social events for students.
    • Support other student organizations on campus.
    • Prepare and deliver speeches at events including the Belltower Ceremony, Open House, Back to School Night, etc.
    • Carry the school banner at Graduation.

Student Council Class and Dorm Representative Job Description:
  • Qualifications:
    • Demonstrated leadership in a defined group at OES or in the larger community (Note: “demonstrated leadership” is understood in the context of a student’s opportunities as an underclass student.  See examples below)
    • Demonstrated school spirit
    • Support of Advisor and Parent
    • Good academic standing
    • Commit to ongoing growth and learning as a leader
  • Responsibilities:
    • Represent constituency in Student Council meetings and disseminate applicable information back to class or dorm.
    • Contribute to conversations on school culture and policy.
    • Set the tone for US culture and conduct.
    • Organize and implement inclusive social events for students.
    • Support other student organizations on campus.

Class Representative Job Description: (Need input of Head Class Advisors...)
  • Qualifications:
  • Responsibilities:

Student Council and Class Board Bylaws
  • Election structure:
    • Student Council Co-Chairs
      • Co-Chairs are elected by the entire Upper School.
      • Only rising seniors are eligible for election
      • One co-chair must be a girl and one must be a boy.
    • Student Council Representatives, Grades 9-11
      • Representatives are elected by their grade level.
      • Each grade elects one girl and one boy.
    • Student Council Representative, Dorms
      • Representatives are elected by the dorm students.
      • The dorms must elects one girl and one boy.
    • Voting and Timing
      • In all cases above, students must receive a simple majority of 50% + 1 vote to win.  
        • In the case that multiple students run for election and no one student wins a simple majority, the top two students participate in a run-off election.
      • Elections for Student Council Co-Chairs include:
        • Opportunity for each candidate to give a speech.
        • Opportunity for debate between candidates - debate moderated by Blophish newspaper staff
        • All Upper School election.
        • Current seniors are not eligible to participate
        • Eighth grade involved but not eligible to vote.  (Include only students coming to the Upper School?)
      • Elections for Student Council Class Representatives and Class Representatives are held in class meetings.
      • Elections for Student Council Dorm Representatives are held in dorm meeting.
      • All elections, with the exception of the 9th grade, are held in May of the year before the students will serve.  9th grade elections are held in September of the year they will serve.
  • Requirements of declaring candidacy
    • Student Council Co-Chairs, Class and Dorm Representatives:
      • A statement of leadership posted to the Student Council website.
      • Evidence of demonstrated leadership.
      • Submitted statement of support and commitment signed by student, parent, and advisor.
    • Class Representatives:

Adult Leadership:
  • The adult leadership should reflect the same gender equity goal: a man and a woman (at least).

Examples of Areas of Leadership

OESLarger Community
9thMiddle School...
Captain on Sport Teams
Club Sport Team Captain
Girl or Boy Scouts
Leader in Youth Groups
Camp Counselor
10th-12thAthletic teams
Class board
Midwinter Madness
Green Team
Mock Trial
Prefects/Dorm Ambassador
Stage Managing
Girl or Boy Scouts
Not-for-Profit Organizations
Club Sport Team Captain
Leader in Youth Groups
Camp Counselor

Resources and Research Consulted:

Monday, February 13, 2012


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