Candidate Statement: Oliver Goodman-Waters ’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 feel that I possess many leadership qualities that would make me a good prefect. I am assertive and not afraid to fight for what I believe in. I also work well with others and often see myself taking a leadership role in group situations. As an active member of peer support I feel that I have a good understanding of the daily problems many Harvard-Westlake students face and what would be best for those students. I also have initiative and am quick to jump on issues that I feel are important. For example, after water bottles were banned from the cafeteria when I was in 8th grade, I went to then student council member and current prefect council member Henry Hahn to try to bring them back. Together, Henry and I researched the issue and started a petition to return water bottles to the cafeteria. While water bottles weren’t returned to the cafeteria until this year, we got the ball rolling on this popular issue and developed research that helped the argument to bring back water bottles. Finally, I am a good mediator of arguments and often find myself in this role with friends and family. I believe this quality would serve me well on the Honor Board and when dealing with the conflicting opinions of students, faculty, and the administration.

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

I greatly support the concept of the Honor Board and its purpose. I feel that in most cases the Honor Board has fulfilled its purpose of handling Honor Code infractions in whichever way is best for students and the community. I believe that this is the most important aspect of the Honor Board and that it should only be used when direct student-faculty mediation isn’t an option. I don’t believe the Honor Board should be an instrument of punishment, and I want to do whatever I can to keep it from ever becoming one. Given the ambiguity of many Honor Code violations, the Honor Board normally finds a fitting resolution to these violations. Because many aspects of the Honor Code are so ambiguous to many students, some may view certain Honor Board resolutions as unfitting. To combat this I believe that there should be a clarification of the Honor Code where violations are more clearly defined without making the Honor Code pointlessly convoluted. I believe this would help the Honor Board pass resolutions that are widely agreed upon and will better serve the Harvard-Westlake community.

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?

If elected to prefect council, I would work to further develop Harvard-Westlake’s new Spring in Your Step tradition. While Spring in Your Step was an overall success many students would like to improve it in ways that the current restrictions do not allow. To improve Spring in Your Step I would like to bring it off campus. I believe that one of the best qualities of Semi-Formal is that it was off campus and I would like our new tradition to be similar in that respect. While the administration has made it clear that they would like to distance the community from Semi-Formal, I believe that there are more effective ways to combat what got Semi Formal cancelled in the first place, after parties. The administration can enforce stricter punishments for those who organize after parties and even threaten to abolish our new tradition if they are unsatisfied with the after party situation. With this compromise, I believe that distancing the community from Semi-Formal will no longer be necessary and the Harvard-Westlake community can further improve our new tradition with fewer restrictions.