Students elect next year’s Prefect Council

Ethan Lachman

Sophomores and juniors elected the head, senior and junior prefects for the 2019-2020 school year. Grace Burton ’20 and Michael Lehrhoff ’20 will serve as head prefects. Dahlia Low ’20, Jaya Nayar ’20, Landon Poon ’20 and Clay Skaggs ’20 will serve as senior prefects, and Cleo Maloney ’21, Chelsea Cho ’21, Navid Ghodsi ’21 and Jonathan Cosgrove ’21 will serve as junior prefects.

Prefect Council released results for the Head Prefect Election the day after after sophomores and juniors listened to the four candidates’ speeches in Taper Gymnasium on March 20.

Junior and senior prefect elections took place in Rugby Auditorium during sophomore and junior class meetings over the past month.

Cosgrove, who currently serves as a sophomore prefect, said he hopes to implement initiatives aimed at standardizing course curricula and creating uniform grading policies next year in order to give students equal opportunities to succeed in their classes.

“I want to create consistency in the classroom,” Cosgrove said. “I think that all the students of the same subject should get the same homework, same tests and have similar expectations for their work. This would make sure that all kids are equal, so that some don’t have way more work than others.”

Cho, who will serve as a junior prefect, said that she consistently aims to cultivate a more inclusive, supportive community and to reduce stress levels among the student body, especially considering the rigorous nature of the school.

“Junior year is stressed so much by students and the faculty, so I hope that as a community I can promote having a balanced lifestyle where success can be achieved without sacrificing our social lives or our health,” Cho said. “I hope to make additions to our campus that would support the everyday needs of the students and uplift their days. I believe that the small things add up and can make each moment better.”

Like Cosgrove and Cho, Skaggs, who was elected as a senior prefect, said he hopes to alleviate students’ stress, but wants to approach the issue in a less conventional way.

“Stress is really just a symptom of a larger issue we face: not having enough time in the day,” Skaggs said. “Thus, some of Prefect Council’s attempts to relieve stress have actually been counterproductive by hosting mandatory events which consume more of our time. We cannot ignore the issue of stress but if we want real change we must address the root cause.”

Low, who will also serve as a senior prefect, said her goal is to increase positivity among the student body and reinvigorate daily life on campus.

“I want to make senior year the best year ever,” Low said. “I know that it can be very stressful, especially during the first half of the year, so I want to find time to focus on the positive and make sure everyone feels heard and represented by Prefect Council.”

Lehrhoff, one of next year’s head prefects, said he is grateful for the opportunity to lead the community in the upcoming school year.

“It’s a bizarre feeling,” Lehrhoff said. “I had always hoped to serve in the position, but now that it’s a reality, I’m eager to see what next year brings. After the speeches, everyone was exiting the gym at once. Being in that large crowd reminded me that I’m just one part of a whole community of people trying to improve Harvard-Westlake for everyone. It’s gratifying to know that.”