Evolving to be involved

Whether it’s your first time walking onto campus, your first year driving yourself to school or your last year at 3700 Coldwater Canyon, we all are starting the year together. It is in this spirit of unity that we will begin to tackle the challenges before us, and it is also in this spirit that we will share in each other’s successes.

It’s not news that our community has flaws, but often this is the only news we hear about. Harvard-Westlake has some of the brightest, most talented kids anywhere, and when we are not plowing through a difficult test or setting records on the track, all one must do to see our strength is look back at how far we have come as both individuals and as a community.

The Prefect Council every year has made it a goal to help strengthen our community; but it is time to recognize that there is no single miracle solution to the problems, big and small, we face and live with. We recognize as we always have that the solution is not in our classroom on the third floor of Chalmers, but instead may lie out in the Quad with the student body.

This year you are going to discover an even more involved Prefect Council. We are going to devote our efforts to winning ideas emanating from clubs, student organizations and the greater community.

We are often asked how we plan to bridge the gap between the students and the administration, but before we can cross that bridge we must know the student body, not as a collection of individuals but instead as the engine that drives our school.

Our philosophy this year in regard to community is simple — the Prefect Council is not here to fight but instead to rally the student body and utilize the limited amount of time we have together to the fullest.

A very important and often overlooked part of our community is the Honor Code. Fundamentally, the Honor Code should have a personal meaning and significance because it is there to help prevent mistakes and help you go farther and achieve more as a student.

The Honor Code shouldn’t only seem relevant and real when it is violated; the code is there to push you forward, not hold you back.

More to the point, one’s potential is limited when they only think of the consequences, and we should recognize that the code helps us write the next essay, not rewrite the last one.

It is important that we, the student body, focus more on building a deeper connection with the Honor Code than only acknowledging its importance and presence when we must.

Sure the year ahead is going to have challenges, but it is no secret that together, when we are united, those challenges suddenly appear smaller.

—Reid Lidow ’10 and Jennie Porter ’10