The Deerfield student council met today, September 13, 2012 from 11:45 to 12:25 in the college advising room on the second floor of the Main School Building. The Honor Pledge, laundry cards, the AHC and DC committees, freshman and sophomore student council elections, reforming our own meetings, putting fans up in the sophomore section at school meeting, day students with regards to Tuesday/Thursday sit-down dinner, revising open common room rules, having a prep school mock election, and extending dinner time were the topics discussed.
The first order of business was the Honor Pledge. Cleo Siderides ’13 talked with Mr. Warsaw over the summer about the inclusion of an Honor Pledge to be written on all “major assignments to raise awareness and prevent further disciplinary cases regarding academic honesty.” The exact pledge that will be written has yet to be decided, but it will be one of three choices.
1) The honor principle student council devised that is written above (I will act with respect, honesty and concern for others and will seek to inspire the same values in others)
2) “I pledge that this work is entirely my own, unless otherwise noted.”
3) or simply write “Worthy” as in our motto “Be worthy of your heritage.”
On an entirely separate note, the laundry machines will soon be switching over to a “laundry card” in December, which is much like a Greer card in that it will be charged to your student charge account, but you will only be able to use this card in the laundry rooms. We are working towards abolishing coins altogether, but for now, we hope that the Laundry Card will help to make your laundry room experience just a little bit better.
With regards to the AHC and DC committees, the student council met with Mr. Warsaw last spring to discuss possible reforms. We’d like to follow up with Mr. Warsaw on the progress of this and whether they plan on changing things and if they do, when we will see those plans go into effect.
Freshman and sophomore student council elections will be held during Faculty Break on Thursday October 4th. The freshmen will elect two representatives, one girl and one boy. The sophomores will elect four representatives, two girls and two boys. The freshman elections will be taking place in the Black Box while the sophomore class elections will take place in the large auditorium.
The council talked about how we can reform our own meetings to be more efficient and productive. In the past we have been talking about everything single issue and project during every single meeting, so it would be a good idea to only focus on one or two important things in each meeting agenda. If a member of the council has an idea they would like to pursue, that person will write it down and give it to Cleo at the beginning of the meeting. Cleo will read it to the group, we will take a vote on it to decide whether the idea is worth pursuing, and the member who brought the original project idea will lead it along with a few other representatives who would like to help. This will be a good way to make meetings go faster and it will help to actually get these projects up and running instead of just throwing out ideas.
We discussed having another Respect Forum this fall. We think it will be beneficial to the continuation of raising awareness of respect and disrespect in our community. It would be a good idea to have one half of the meeting with faculty and the second half we would split into a student led discussion and a faculty led discussion. One of the main issues during all of the conversations of respect, is seems that the same people or types of people are speaking every time – it is always the student body president and the student council chair and kids who have loud voices and feel strongly about their beliefs. At this Respect Forum, we would like to bring as many student leaders as we can, and not just that, but all of the so-called “normal” kids you would not hear from otherwise. We could have a captain speak and speak about being a captain at Deerfield, we could have Scroll Editors and how they act with respect in their job, we could have an SYA student speak about showing respect when off-campus, and of course just normal DA students going about their daily business tasks and how they act with respect or how they have seen examples of disrespect. The whole idea of this would be to get an array of perspectives and to promote inclusion in this; we are all in this together, and the only way that Deerfield is going to become a respectful and caring community is if we all work together at it.
Devinne Cullinane ’14 came up with the idea of having a Preparatory School Mock Election in which all of the prep schools in New England would have their own mock election, either voting for Romney or Obama, and they would relay their results to Deerfield who would be the Washington, D.C. of prep schools. Devinne worked over the summer to draft the logistics of how this would look. The next step of this would be to contact the student body presidents of all the other schools we would like to include and ask them to join in.
A few small topic points were getting a couple of fans put up in the sophomore section during school meetings, day students not being allowed to eat in the Parker room during sit-down dinner, too many open common room rules, and extending dinner time by 15 or 30 minutes. Maddie Nelson ’15 will be working towards getting fans put in the sophomore section. Day students Max Chesky ’15 and Anna Pettee ’13 will be emailing the deans about being able to eat in the Parker Room. Nicky Rault ’13 is going to make sure we reform our open common room rules. In the student handbook, the rules for open common rooms are very strict and most students have do not know which common rooms are officially “open” and which rooms are “closed”. Nina Sola ’13 proposed that we put a sign up in each of the common rooms labeled “This is an OPEN common room” or “This is a CLOSED common room”. Maggie Shilling ’14 will be pursuing the topic of increasing dinner hours. More updates on these projects to come in the future.
Maddie Nelson ‘15
Max Chesky ‘15
Devinne Cullinane ‘14
Maggie Shilling ‘14
Tripp Kaelin ‘14
Thomas Cowan ‘13
Nina Sola ‘13
Julia Perry ‘13
Nicky Rault ‘13
Cleo Siderides ‘13
Teddy Romeyn ‘13
Anna Pettee ‘13