Candidate Statement: Maddie Lear ’13

1. For what position are you running?

Senior Class Prefect

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

I think that what makes me most qualified to be a prefect is my personality as a whole. I am super approachable and open-minded, as well as straightforward and hardworking.

I am also a Peer Support Trainee. Peer Support is the most incredible thing-it has made me realize how everyone goes through the same problems and has the same fears and wants. Because of it I have a better understanding of the H-W student body as a whole and have gotten the opportunity to interact with people in all grades that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

I was also a part of the Student Council in grades 7, 8, and 9. I learned how to work with faculty and other students, which has since really helped me understand how to interact with people in school as well as out.

As a prefect, I would try to bring all these things together: to use my experience, but mostly my understanding of Harvard-Westlake and my relationships with the people that are a part of it to effectively represent the senior class.

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

I feel like the Honor Board is a pretty incredible idea. Having student perspectives be a part of the process of resolving conflicts makes any plan for resolution more effective for the students involved are inherently better understood by their peers than by members of the administration. However, I feel like the Honor Code, itself, and the way in which the students’ presence on the Honor Board affects the actual process are unclear. The case summaries that are emailed to the Student Body are oftentimes complicated and vague, and the reasons for how the Administration responds to the cases are not always clear. I would like to know more about why, in the opinion of the prefects, they make their decisions. Also, I think that what is considered “honorable” is not explicitly stated in the Honor Code. It would be helpful if this were clarified by providing a list of common infractions that people may be unaware of.

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?

Being a second-semester junior, the workload is insane. Although the philosophy of Harvard-Westlake is that students have the freedom to decide how much they want to take on, I think that there must be things that the Prefect Council can do to help reduce stress and increase overall energy/motivation.

As a prefect, I would develop ways to make the student body happier. The Prefect Council could implement specific course evaluations of what worked and what did not throughout the year. For example, the AP US History paper is due 1 ½ weeks before AP exams, leaving a very small window to study and a lot of stress. By working with students and teachers, the Prefect Council could try to find more productive alternatives for students.

When I went on college tour this spring, I learned about a “Happiness Club” at one of the schools I saw. The club hosts small events around campus throughout the year, just as the Prefect Council and Social Committee do to increase overall wellbeing. I would extend these efforts by having things like “senior dog day” or “free hugs and hot chocolate.”

            From seeing colleges I have discovered what I really want-a sense of community. As a prefect, I would use the influence of the position to try and promote this sense by bridging gaps between students, themselves, as well as between students and the administration.