Candidate Statement: Justin Berman ’13

1. For what position are you running? 

Senior Prefect

2. What makes you feel that you are qualified for the position? Please describe any leadership experiences you’ve had, if applicable.

I feel that I’m qualified for Senior Prefect because I believe that I possess the skills needed to get the job done efficiently and to the liking of the rest of the Harvard-Westlake community. As a non-member of the prefecture at Harvard-Westlake, I’ve seen what it’s like from the perspective of the student and can relate to all of you guys reading this. I can bring fresh new ideas and techniques to the prefecture not otherwise known or utilized by the current longstanding prefecture. Sometimes it’s beneficial to shake things up a bit to make sure fun new ideas and plans are constantly in the works and changing. As a member of Symphony and as a Varsity athlete, I’ve tried to branch out into the different departments Harvard-Westlake offers, allowing me to see the different pieces of the school students are engaged in. This has both allowed to me improve my time management skills, skills vital to being an efficient and productive member of the prefecture, coupled with giving me a sense of our incredibly diverse community here at Harvard-Westlake. Also (and I understand that this is of a completely different scale), I was school president at my last school, and I brought the same mentality with me to school every day (bringing things like Pinkberry and In N Out along with coordinating school dances among other things).                             

3. How do you feel about the Honor Board and what has led you to feel this way?

I absolutely approve of the Honor Board and its intentions. It is something we can call a defining characteristic of our school because it puts our student body in charge of choosing the fate of our peers as opposed to the administration (who might misunderstand or not truly be understanding to the stressful lives we all lead). We all share the same experience at Harvard-Westlake, being a very challenging school with very high expectations. I, just like all the other candidates I’m sure, understand what you guys are going through and how intense the stresses of daily life at Harvard-Westlake can be. The administrators simply cannot understand what we are going through in the same way. If elected, as a member of the Honor Board I would treat every case with an open mind, thinking about the entirety of the action. I understand what leads to certain anomalous choices and I will absolutely come to fair conclusions based on that understanding. I want to help you guys by coming to conclusions that I know you will agree with and see as justified.

4. Please describe one thing in Harvard-Westlake’s community you would change. Also, how would you use the influence of the position of Junior/Senior Prefect to change our community?

Specifically, I’d love to see more activity and interaction between the prefecture and the rest of the student body. Firstly, I want to make events (both large and small) a more frequent part of our community. Spring in Your Step was awesome, but why have just one school-wide event like that the entire year? It’s outlets like those that our community needs to come together more outside of the stressful environments of the classroom. I understand that events of that scale are very difficult to have frequently, but as a Senior Prefect, I’d push the rest of the council to work and work hard to bring larger events to the school. Now if Spring in Your Step might not have been your cup of tea, that’s where I want to see a stronger connection between the prefects and the rest of the students come into play. Like Sam Wolk touched on running for Head Prefect, I think prefects coming in and speaking (briefly) during class meetings and such could prove very beneficial in yielding an end result of events that everyone wants to see happen (maybe even pass out short fliers with 5 or 6 options to vote upon a list of possible events). To rehash and expound upon the prior statement saying I want to see a greater frequency of school-wide events, there are some specific things I had in mind. Firstly, the one week where we were bombarded with delicious vendors (Menchies, Boba, etc.), I’d push to spread things like that out over the course of the year. For example, twice a month I’d try to bring in vendors like Jamba Juice or Pinkberry or Diddy Riese (or more that you guys can vote on in class meeting!). Also, to bring more delicious foods in because everyone loves delicious foods, I’d push for something called “Foodtruck Friday” where maybe once a month (frequency would vary depending on popularity) where we’d bring in special vendors like In N Out and park them out by the quad for the day. These are just a few of the ideas I’d push to bring, but as a Senior Prefect, I’ll try to come with new ideas like these every single day to keep you guys satisfied.