Prefects outline plan for 2021


Printed with permission of Quincey Dern

Members of Prefect Council discuss plans for the upcoming year during their August retreat.

Sydney Fener

As Prefect Council prepares for the start of an in-person school year, members of the council said they are hoping to create an enjoyable student experience by prioritizing school spirit and inclusivity.

Sophomore Prefect Nyla Shelton ’24 said she hopes to re-establish the school’s sense of community through school-wide events.

“As we come out of the pandemic, I think it’s more important than ever to host events, socials, and give members of the HW community a chance to interact again,” Shelton said. “I’m looking forward to working hard to give people more opportunities to bond as a community and celebrate HW.”

Junior Prefect Aiko Offner ’23 said she shared Shelton’s goal of uniting the student body through hosting community activities and said she would like to implement policies that will reduce student stress.

“Overall, I hope to make student life enjoyable and manageable this year,” Offner said. “To me, this means finding moments where we can come together as a community so we can enjoy each other’s presence and make memories that will be quintessential to our high school experience, while also being realistic about student stress and being an effective liaison to upper administration.”

Senior Prefect Joy Ho ’22 said she wants the year to feel normal and said the student body had an irregular school year because of the pandemic. She said she feels dedicated to making students feel comfortable and included on campus.

“I really want to focus on making our first year back from online school as enjoyable and ‘normal’ as I can,” Ho said. “There are still so many uncertainties as we move forward, but the past year was a clear sign to me of how important our school community is. I want to get the community more involved. I want to revive the passion of the student body. Honestly, I just want people to come to school and have something to be excited about. One of the most crucial ways to do this is focusing on making the school more inclusive and diverse. I really want people to be comfortable in this environment, so I hope to help diminish any hostility, especially on the basis of an individual’s identity.”

Although the Prefect Council’s tasks may be similar to previous years, Ho and Shelton believe their position on campus this coming school year should be more grounded in student service. Shelton said she envisions the role of the Prefect Council as a reliable student resource.

“I see Prefect Council as a liaison between students and faculty,” Shelton said. “I believe our role is to be representatives for everyone at Harvard-Westlake—listening to the desires of students, faculty, staff, and the [school] community as a whole, and working to advocate for and create changes to further improve upon everything we love at [the school].”

Ho said while the council shoulders many responsibilities, its top priority should be helping students.

“Even though I’ve only been on Prefect Council for a little bit, I’ve realized how many roles the council plays on campus,” Ho said. “We’re the communication bridge between the student body and administration. We’re the planners and organizers of countless events. We’re leaders of the student body, as well as followers of the student perspective. Prefect Council should be effective, transparent, and resourceful. But most importantly, we have to stay personable and grounded to the people around us.”