Though citizens of our nation exercise their right to vote for a president every four years, at Cathedral, every year is a presidential (and more) election year. The longstanding tradition of electing Student Council Officers and Class Representatives takes place in late September or early October. This is a time for many students to truly demonstrate a key Core Value–courage–as they put themselves out there and run for these important leadership positions.
“I think it’s great for these young students to be involved, and take risks, and put themselves out there to be evaluated by their peers. That’s incredibly difficult at their age. For me, sports and athletics have been a huge part of my life, and in sports, having a goal and maintaining a goal through hard work and determination is one value that I’ve always respected,” explained Lucy Oswald, Physical Education and Health Coordinator, who is also the Student Council Faculty Advisor.
At Cathedral, running for Student Council is not superficial. Students must be serious about their intent. The process begins with students attending an interest meeting where they learn about The Cathedral School Student Council Charter
They are then invited to an optional speech writing class where they view speeches from past years at Cathedral and from other schools. They also learn the elements of effective speech writing and speech delivery, such as tone, pace, and body language.
Interested students have several important deadlines to meet in order to qualify for candidacy, including the completion of an “Intent Form” and the submission of their respective speeches by a strict deadline in advance of the assembly where they will deliver them. Finally, they must request an endorsement from their last class teacher (5th Graders) or Advisor (6th to 8th Graders).
This year, the first assignment for all the winning candidates was to exhibit another Cathedral Core Value–kindness. Ms. Oswald explained, “We required every elected student to reach out to all their opponents and to thank them for a good competition; thank them for their efforts. In keeping with a sports analogy—this is similar to the end of a sports game when athletes high five and say ‘great game’. Thanking their opponents was an impactful way of realizing they all put in a lot of work to get where they are. It’s tough to not get picked.”You can view the roster of Student Council Officers and Class Representatives here
. A special seat on the Student Council for an alternate Vice President was also created this year to ensure students in telepresence had their own dedicated representation.
Student Council will meet weekly to brainstorm ideas to engage students in community service in this unusual year and to determine new alternatives for Upper School traditions. Congratulations to every student who worked diligently to meet the requirements for running and best wishes to the newly elected officers and representatives as they hone their leadership skills and seek to represent our student community in the 2020-2021 school year.