Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Student Leadership Update by Janine K.

You may be wondering what the status is of the Student Leadership proposal, which was debated during second semester last year. Last week, Grace C. and I attended an informal StuCo meeting, where we were briefed on their goals, timeline, and process for creating a new student government for the Class of 2014 election that will take place this coming June. 

At this point, the council has broken into various groups who are all working on different aspects of research and information collection, including the observing of policies adopted at other schools. We have just come to the end of the first “reaching out” phase, where the discussion is open and the offering of opinions is helpful and relevant.

As we move into November, a two month design period has begun. StuCo is hoping to have a system to propose to the community in January, when a second “reaching out” phase will take place. In February a second design period will start in which StuCo will take the feedback received from the community to create the final product.

If there is anything that is necessary during this school year, it is communication. This year is the time to consider making a change to the system, which is a privilege we must embrace as students. The final plan will not only affect this group of students next year, but also the incoming generations of the Upper School. To help facilitate this conversation, StuCo has created a website where students can anonymously submit opinions and feedback. In addition, you are encouraged to talk to a student member of the council, Deri B. or Deb W. (faculty members currently researching), or a Blophish staff member.


  1. I just hope the school listens to us more than they did with the rotating schedule. If that is any indication, we will have literally zero say in what happens.

  2. I push back a little on the comment above by "unknown." It is inaccurate to say that students had "zero" say in the schedule design. It is also true that many students voiced a preference for staying with the old schedule and we did not follow that preference. The faculty and administration working on the schedule did adjust our design based on student feedback and asked for student involvement in deciding on things like how community time is organized.

    I also think that the schedule design and the new student leadership structure are different categories of decisions in the school. The schedule has a huge impact on all constituents, faculty, staff, parents, students, both Upper and Middle schools. Schedules are compromises and we worked hard to uphold the Mission of OES and meet the needs of as many as possible. It is simply not possible to think of it as a topic where students can "get what they want." No one gets what they want, we compromise to make the best possible system. The student leadership structure articulates how student leaders represent the interest of students and how that voice is incorporated in the function of the school. Students and faculty/administration need to work in concert to design a system that puts students in the right conversations to influence student life.

    To "unknown" and others, your voice can be heard right now. Talk to your class rep. Talk to Alex, Cammie, Galen, or Sean. They are working with the adults to design things right now and your voice matters. Don't sit on the sidelines. Get involved.

    Jordan Elliott