Torch - Fall 2015

2015–2016 Prefects

schools in the area were astonished by these changes,” says Robson. “They were even more surprised that this new system had been developed by students. It demonstrated that Havergal was ahead of them in allowing our students to voice their ideas.” Today, Havergal’s Prefects continue to be at the forefront of most of the school’s events and gatherings, whether it be to help seat all students at Prayers, lead school spirit or organize various student activities. The Prefects are currently divided into the portfolios of House & Clubs, Student Council, Sports, Prayers, Community, Admissions, Junior School, Boarding, Middle School and Arts. “Havergal relies on our Prefects to be stewards of school culture and community,” says Gillian Martin, Assistant Head, Senior School, who currently leads the Prefects. Her relationship with the student leadership team is two-way, built on mutual respect and commitment. The school community relies on the Prefects to be compassionate and courageous role models for their peers. Our student leaders rely on the support of the school administrators to listen to their ideas on improving the civic engagement at Havergal. This collaboration will allow the democratic system at Havergal to continue to evolve as it has over the past 112 years.

The basis of their proposal was that every school Prefect should be elected by all members of the Upper School and not by any individual group (for example, a House). It also stated that any changes to the basic policy should be passed by a vote of the Upper School students and faculty. The proposal included the following suggestions: Grade 12 students would be elected to take on the leadership of groups within the school; the weighting of votes in all elections for student leadership positions should be changed so that the staff vote could not outweigh that of the students; and the School Captain should represent the students as votes were being tallied by the staff. In addition to changes to the voting process, the students also established that each Prefect would take on a portfolio of duties and give a report at the weekly Prefect meetings so that the group would have a good understanding of what was going on in all areas of the school. As the Prefects explained the new proposal in detail to each grade and to the faculty and staff, the student leaders used the feedback offered at these sessions to make amendments to the proposal. Once everyone had the chance to participate in this reform, the Prefects held a vote for which 72 per cent of Senior School students, faculty and staff voted in favour of the new system. “The other independent


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