Monday, March 5, 2012

Student Leadership Proposal by Grace S. ('13) and Nick O.( '13)

Leadership Proposal

I.               Goals:

  • Creating a functional definition of leadership in the OES community.
  • Addressing the issues that surfaced from the Leadership Committee’s proposal
  • Encouraging an educated execution of democracy (e.g. choosing the candidate that will be the best leader regardless of gender)
  • Working with respect towards the mission statement in that students should be prepared for ‘lifelong learning’ by an advanced conception of what a leader should be (beyond gender)
  • Consolidating potentially unneeded roles of the class board into class representatives
  • Having an accurate representation of the student body through student council and to have the students amply represented in matters involving the entire community 

II.         Problems Addressing:

  • Response to the idea of ‘forced gender positions/power distribution’ has been taken offensively by women in the community
  • Statistics for student council (excluding the president) has been relatively equal (take this year into account).
  • Lack of preparation for the real world
  • Lack of Senior Majority in Student Council
  • Decisions made by administration without student consideration and feedback
  • Comments from the Blophish website as well as feedback from student meetings (from activity period, lunch, and conversations in classes) were all taken into account during the creation of this proposal.
  • Proposed Eradication of the Presidential Role, which has sparked controversy

III.        Principles and Definition of Leadership

      The emphasis on a candidate for any position, especially the presidential role, should not be based on their gender, but on a variety of potential qualifications and merit below.
·      Candidates should be well rounded and have demonstrated leadership in a variety of areas. In school leadership demonstrates a candidates dedication to the OES community. Some of these areas of leadership include:

      • Athletic teams
      • Class board (before the switch to move away from class board)
      • ASAC
      • SLAC
      • Midwinter Madness
      • ISA
      • Spectrum
      • Green Team
      • Mock Trial
      • MUN
      • JSA
      • InvenTeam
      • DC
      • Prefects/Dorm Ambassador
      • Stage Managing
      • Economics Lunch Club
      • Contemporary Issues Club

      These areas of leadership demonstrate candidates leadership thus far, but by no means are they pre-requisite for any position on student council
      Outside leadership is also a contributing factor. Some areas of leadership include:

                                                   Athletic teams
                                                   Girl or Boy Scouts
                                                   Leader in Youth Groups
                                                   Camp Counselor

      Solid academic standing
      Ability to collaborate with others
      Strong relationships with students and teachers
      Dedication to the OES community (e.g. appearances at sporting events or participation)
      Roles for any position on student council, especially the president, should go beyond a popularity contest
      Candidates should be considered beyond how they would be perceived to lead gathering


IV.        Structure of Student Council

President (non gender specific)

  • 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 (work together with the Secretary to provide meeting minutes)
  • Facilitate US Gathering.
  • Attend faculty meetings
  • 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 Bell Tower Ceremony, Open House, Back to School Night, etc.
  • Lead the procession and carry the school banner at Graduation

Vice President (non gender specific)
  • Oversee the treasury (student store, funding for events) as well as the secretariat (gathering notes and meeting minutes during StuCo Meetings) in their respective functions.
  • Execute the roles of the president during an absence
  • Work with the president to make sure that all decisions made by student council are aligned with the values of the OES handbook and mission statement
  • Serve as a representative of the senior class
  • Work with the senior class representative to represent the interests of the senior class

Treasurer (non gender specific)

  • Overseeing budgets for Student Council Events
  • Oversee the successful management of the Student Store (see Student Store section)
  • Execute proper communication with financial administration (e.g. Chief Financial Officer)
  • Responsible for working collaboratively with the rest of Student Council
  • Work with the president to make sure that all decisions made by student council are aligned with the values of the OES handbook and mission statement
  • Serve as a representative of the senior class
  • Work with the senior class representative to represent the interests of the senior class

Secretary (non gender specific)

  • Work closely with the President in preparing meeting minutes ahead of StuCo meetings
  • Take notes during Student Council Meetings for record purposes
  • Provide Notes from gathering to be distributed to parents and other members of the OES community via email and Google documents.
  • Responsible for working collaboratively with the rest of Student Council
  • Work with the president to make sure that all decisions made by student council are aligned with the values of the OES handbook and mission statement
  • Work with the senior class representative to represent the interests of the senior class

Two Representatives from each grade 9-11 (not gender specific) as well as One Senior representative
  • Represent the interests of each specific grade
  • Replace the current class board function
  • Work closely with Head Class advisor for each grade regarding social issues, issues with stress, college related issues, and others
  • Work closely with the Grade Dean regarding assignments and other academic related issues, representing the interests of the grade
  • Responsible for working collaboratively with the rest of Student Council
  • Work with the president to make sure that all decisions made by student council are aligned with the values of the OES handbook and mission statement
  • Lead Class Meetings

Two Dorm Representatives (gender specific due to living arrangements)
·       Represent the interests of the dorm community
·       Work together with prefects and other dorm leadership positions to ensure sufficient dorm representation
  • Responsible for working collaboratively with the rest of Student Council Work with the president to make sure that all decisions made by student council are aligned with the values of the OES handbook and mission statement
  • Work with dorm students to accurately represent the interests of the dorm community

V.         Voting

  • All current seniors will be eligible to vote after signing an affidavit confirming that they have the best interest of the school at heart while voting due to the fact that they know the candidates well.
  • Eighth graders will be present during elections (debates and speeches) but will not have the ability to vote
  • Class representatives will be voted on by their respective classes in May (with the exception of the Freshmen class, where elections will be held in September)
  • Dorm Representatives will be voted on by members of the dorm community
  • All other roles will be voted on by the entire student body.



VII. Diagram



8 comments:

  1. The "lack of senior majority" concern listed concerns me. shouldn't student council represent the entire student body equally?

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    Replies
    1. If the school is doing its job, it can be assumed that seniors are more educated (not just in terms of classes but also their experience at OES as a whole) and better leaders. Both of which are attributes that lead to good decision making. Therefore, seniors should have a majority in StuCo.

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    2. Technically, the seniors do have majority in this plan. There would be three members of the student council that are seniors: a rep, VP, and the president. So, there would be majority, but not so dramatic. Also, the secretary and treasurer would have a say in the matters concerning the senior class.

      Delete
    3. To the second "unknown":

      I think this plan, when referring to the "lack of senior majority" bit.. that it is saying the other proposal lacks a senior majority.... this one addresses that....

      To Marlow:

      Well, I see your point a bit.. That the stuco should rep the whole upper school; however,

      Take the current Stuco Structure....

      Stuco is already comprised of a senior majority... Prez, VP, Sec., Treasurer, Stuco rep.

      and then the other grades get one rep...

      This proposal adds more reps for the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades as well as for the Dorms.

      The Senior to other ratio is changed.... it's not quite as (as the second Unknown said) "drastic"

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  2. I do like the added responsibility of the VP. The concept of checking the decisions made by the president is a good way of making sure the student body has good leadership. I also approve the senior influence in the cabinet.

    I was wondering, though, what methods you have in place to prevent the election from devolving back into a popularity contest.

    All in all, I think this is a very good proposal, and I'd be happy to have it in place.

    Alex M.

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  3. I believe this proposal represents a dramatic improvement over the one proposed by the leadership committee. It seems much more reasonable approach to addressing the gender issue without completely shattering the current bylaws of StuCo.

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  4. I quite enjoy this proposal, and I Thank you for taking the time to write it up! :) It is something that I could feel content with having in place. :-)

    A couple suggestions/questions (no particular order):

    1) Is the presidential spot for seniors only? as well as VP, secretary, and treasurer? If so, even though much of the student body knows that, perhaps make it a bit more obvious who is eligible for which spots (in regards to grade)...
    i.e.

    President [Senior~Non-gender specific]:
    *) bullet point one
    *) etc... just to make it clearer...


    2) I Like the more flexible definition of what a leader is. Also, I like that it is clearly stated: "…by no means are they pre-requisite for any position on student council."

    3) The diagram was a bit confusing to me. I mean, I see the positions etc; however, what I don't get is if the flow chart is supposed to be which members of stuco talk to which faculty, or is it just to show what the various positions are (in a different format than the bulleted list)?


    4) I also agree with Alex M. (above). I think the added Checking the decisions made by the president is really good.

    5) I love how the roman numeral for 5 (V) came at the same bullet point as Voting :-D

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  5. This proposal doesn't look very different from the system we currently have. However, it does include the "definition of leadership," which I think needs to be seriously reconsidered and rethought. It also fails to address several of the "problems addressed," namely:

    1) Response to the idea of ‘forced gender positions/power distribution’ has been taken offensively by women in the community (This new proposal doesn't invite the voice of "women in the community" in a way much better than the older proposal, in my opinion...)

    2) Lack of preparation for the real world. (I don't understand where this even came from.)

    Also, I believe that it is good to have more than 2 people on class board. It helps distribute the interests and perspectives of the entire class among a few people, which is really helpful when dealing with various issues or planning an event of some kind.

    I agree that current seniors should be able to vote, but the affidavit is honestly just a waste of paper.

    Let's keep working and keep looking.

    ReplyDelete