Candidate Statement: Ashley Sacks ’14

1. For what position are you running?

I am running for the position of Junior Prefect.

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

I am qualified for this position for many reasons, but most importantly, because I have served as a Prefect/Student Council Senator for the past 4 years.  Working as your Senator taught me valuable lessons about leadership, time commitment, and the ability to incorporate everyone’s ideas into a successful event. However, serving as your Prefect this year has definitely taught me the most.  I have developed close relationships with many different groups of students and faculty, and I have seen firsthand the hard work integral to becoming a successful Junior Prefect.  I understand the time commitment necessary for this position, and I am fully prepared to put all of my energy into Prefect Council because I have a true passion for bettering our school.  In addition, having participated with many clubs and working as an active member of Peer Support, I have continued to learn how to combine different perspectives into one, all-encompassing theme. Lastly, I have learned the importance of trust.  Trusting your Prefect to represent you and your ideas is essential, and with my energetic, approachable nature, I believe that you can continue to trust me to be your Junior Prefect.  In conclusion, it is my experience, understanding of the job, passion for Harvard-Westlake, and leadership skills that qualify me for this position. 

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

The Honor Board is one of the most unique and significant aspects of our school.  For each of us to have the opportunity to stand before our peers, who understand perfectly the stress and pressure we feel daily, is a privilege that should not be taken for granted.  Having served on the Honor Board this past year, I have seen firsthand the benefits of such a board. First, I feel that the Honor Board truly helps students see their wrongdoing in a manner that is neither patronizing nor condescending. Second, what truly amazes me is how fair the process actually is.  Many students believe that if they go before the Honor Board, they automatically will be “punished.” However, there are often cases in which students come before the Board and the Board reaches the conclusion that the student did not break the Honor Code. This impartial nature of the Board, in addition to the fact that the Board is comprised entirely of our peers, makes Harvard-Westlake very lucky to have an Honor Board.

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 Prefect to change our community?

If reelected to Prefect Council, I would want to see an increase in student input.  I have noticed that many students have great ideas, but not a forum in which to suggest them, and as an elected Prefect, I believe it is my duty to represent you and your ideas.  Therefore, I want all students to have the opportunity at the beginning of the year to complete a form or survey in which they would choose some of the year’s new events and suggest ways to improve long-standing, traditional ones. This survey could also inform Prefect Council of the exact changes students want to see in daily-life at Harvard-Westlake. In addition, I would like to make a survey or form available at the end of the year to collect retrospective feedback.  Positive feedback is always encouraging and lets Prefect Council know what the students enjoy, and constructive criticism, which is even more important, allows Prefect Council to improve and make the next year the best it can be. As elected Prefects, it is our duty to act as a liaison between the students and the administration. Fortunately, Prefect Council has fostered a great relationship with the faculty and staff, which enables us to push for your ideas and do our best to implement them. Having served on Prefect Council this past year, I know that it is not easy to accomplish every one of our goals, but if elected Junior Prefect, I will do everything in my power to ensure that your ideas are heard and have a much greater impact.