WCC brings you behind the scenes into the leadership groups

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Kathy Duan

On October 11th, student leaders gathered in Liu Cheung to check in on the pulse of the school. Each student leader wrote personal reflections about the school year and their experiences as leaders on slips of paper. As they continue through the school year, Rick Duque and Sarah Lantz, Deans of the Webb Schools, encourage them to focus on areas for growth but also reward themselves for their progress. “I think it was effective in helping us reflect on what we did well on and what we need to work on,” said Saira Bhagat (‘25). “It would be even more effective if we shared out instead of just writing them on notecards.”

Starting their year with an early move-in on August 17th , Webb’s student leaders have worked hard to prepare for the new school year. Besides the adults on campus, student leaders are responsible for much of how Webb runs. 120 students are divided into a total of eight major leadership groups, each in charge of different aspects of Webb’s culture. Now that the school year is in full swing, let us take a peek at each leadership group behind the scenes, focusing on the work that goes behind the tasks and events the rest of the community sees. 

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Student Government 

From Theme Week to Homecoming, student government is responsible for some of the biggest events on campus. 

“They get a false labeling as a party planning committee, when really what they are is that they are the boots on the ground leaders in the community,” said Ken Rosenfeld, Dean of Campus Life and the faculty advisor of student government. 

Student government hopes to reinstate spirit within the Webb Community, striving to focus on the creation of new events as well as spirit for sports games this year. 

“Last year, everyone kind of felt that student government just did a few events, but this year, Mr. Rosenfeld really has an emphasis on bringing the community together,” said Kenny Clay (‘25), who is a publicity commissioner. 

Student government meets every Monday in Berry classroom. The agendas usually consist of revisiting recent events, planning for upcoming events, reviewing class meeting agendas, and brainstorming events. Recently, student government has been busy planning Homecoming. Leaders have picked a venue, selected the food, and set the price. Student government also pranked the school by originally announcing that Homecoming would be at the Day Student Parking Lot when it is actually at Avalon Hollywood and Bardot, a night club in Hollywood. In a recent meeting, student government decided on the Homecoming spirit week themes. 

However, sometimes, students do not agree with the decisions student government makes. There are often voices critiquing the ticket prices or locations of events.  

“Sometimes, people have certain ideas about events, like ticket prices at prom last year. I wish people knew that everything student government does is for the student body. There are costs that come with doing events, otherwise we just end up having to cut things for costs,” Kenny said. 

Student government consists of the leaders you can go to for anything. 

“Our job is to advocate for the student body,” Saira said.  

International Student Liaisons (ISL) 

Being a new student at Webb is already terrifying it is even more of a drastic change for international students, who need to adjust to a new country. Do not worry though, International Student Liaisons are here to help! Led by Joseph Vincent, World Languages Department Faculty, the ISLs strive to help the experience at Webb run a little more smoothly for international boarders. From dealing with logistics, like acquiring bank accounts or U.S. phone numbers, to comforting students who experience homesickness or culture shock, ISLs are people you can reach out to for support with getting adjusted.  

“I would hope that students would come to the ISL when they feel like they don’t belong, or they don’t fit in, or struggle to find their place in Webb. Our goal is to make everyone feel like Webb is their home,” said Mr. Vincent. 

Every Monday, the ISLs have a meeting in the Old School House. They are currently brainstorming events to be held in November. 

“We sit in a circle and talk about the events we will be hosting,” said Joyce Zhao (‘25). “Our meetings are very chill.” 

The ISLs have organized a boba truck and activities for the Mid-Autumn Festival, as well as given a chapel talk to let others know of their support. However, they aren’t stopping there; the ISLs are working with John Choi, Director of Equity, to align their goals with the school’s inclusive mission, and we can’t wait to see more of their contributions. The ISLs are integral to the diversity that makes a community like Webb so special.  

Peer Advisors (PA) 

Anxious and nervous faces walk around the Webb campus on the first day of school. Don’t worry, the PAs are here to guide you! Webb’s peer advisors, fondly known as the PAs, are the community’s big brothers and sisters. Every student who has set foot on Webb campus has experienced the comfort of the loving support of their PA. The PAs are busy teaching Freshman Seminar and working on everyone’s beloved Halloween event, Zombie Apocalypse, which is a school-wide game of hide-and-seek and tag.  

“It’s going to be really fun. We just came out with locations, and we can’t tell anyone,” Karma Griggs (‘23) said. 

Zombie Apocalypse has been the main focus of peer advisors’ meetings this October. They have met in the Health Center classroom every Monday brainstorming secret locations and clues for the event on October 29th. Occupied with their brainstorming and poster-making, PAs also have to keep up with their regular Freshman Seminar class plans. During each Monday meeting, PAs review future lesson plans that they have to teach later that week. 

“It is extremely important to review class plans during meetings,” said Narineh Madikians (‘23). “It allows for all of us PAs to give feedback and tips on how we can effectively teach each lesson and be prepared for our class.” 

PAs are always there for you, and you can go to them about any issues you are facing.  

“If you’re struggling with your homework or getting bad grades, if you’re being bullied, or if you can’t feel like you can go to an adult, you should go to a PA,” Karma said. 

 

Honor Committee (HC) 

Being an HC surely brings responsibility but don’t be alarmed when you see them; they aren’t the judge. Instead, the honor committee consists of student leaders who care about helping and guiding students in the right direction. 

“We’re here to help you, not to get you in trouble,” said Rylie Fass (‘23), who is one of the honor cabinet heads.  

The HCs act as the bridge between the administration and students when administrators feel the need to bring in disciplinary action to a student’s wrongdoing. They are integral to Webb’s community because they can bring in a student’s perspective and help individuals understand why they may be facing a consequence.  

They can also provide support or guidance if students want to reach out to deans or other members of administration regarding a concern.  

Much of the work the HC does is behind closed doors, but they hope to bring more transparency to their process and leadership role to the rest of the Webb community. 

“Right now, the HCs are working on the Honor Symposium, a day where the HCs talk about something they feel could benefit the community,” Rylie said. 

 Chapel Council 

What does chapel council actually do? Organize weekday chapels? Organize Sunday Chapel? Give chapel talks? Chapel council is Webb’s mystery leadership group, as they mostly do work behind the scenes.  

The chapel council is responsible for Sunday Chapel and all the details that come with it. 

“We have frequent meetings about upcoming chapels and how to make it enjoyable,” said Chelsea Wei (‘25), a member of the chapel council. “It’s really hard to keep the audience’s attention.” 

Led my Mr. Rosenfeld, the chapel council has meetings in the Hooper Community Center every two weeks. This year, there are three themes: success, change, and courage. For each theme, there will be three speakers: an alumnus, a current member of the school, and an outside guest. Members of the chapel council propose candidates based on how well they portray the theme and eventually invite the speakers. Recently, they invited and interviewed Webb alumni Jessica Rice (‘12) and Tommy Tsao (‘12) to speak at Sunday Chapel. They were selected because of their unique stories related to the theme of success. With students wondering about their professions, the chapel council has caught the attention of their audience. 

“People might think that chapel council is not a very serious leadership position, but I feel it’s pretty serious because we actually put in a lot of effort into coming up with ideas and we have meetings pretty frequently.” Chelsea said. 

 

Dorm Prefects 

Remember the people that helped you carry your five suitcases to your dorm? Those were the dorm prefects. For many boarding students, dorm prefects were some of the first student faces they saw as they were embarking on the enormous shift of leaving home and moving onto campus.  

“They’re jumping into the role because they want to help the community; they want to help people in their dorms,” said Michael Szanyi, Dean of Faculty and the faculty advisor of the VWS dorm prefects. “That excites them, building that dorm culture.” 

Dorm prefects are responsible for all the small details involved in living in a communal space. 

“They’re in the dorm every night doing their job. That’s not to say that HCs or PAs aren’t everywhere doing their jobs, but I just think there is something particular about being in the dorm every night and doing check-in, lights out, and helping the OD,” Mr. Szanyi said. 

Other than doing their jobs every night, the dorm prefects also have frequent meetings. 

“At every meeting we will bring attention to some of the problems we encounter in each dorm, and then we’ll discuss different solutions and ways to approach those problems,” said Emily Berg (‘24), a Jameson prefect. “We sometimes have difficult conversations together, as a big group, and they can be hard to navigate when we need to make decisions.” 

Besides the residential program, the prefects are currently working with the day student prefects on Halloween events, including the Haunted Tour. 

“Our community can be wound up sometimes, so it’s also nice to work with the prefects to remind us all to take a breath and have some fun and let go,” Mr. Szanyi said. 

 

Day Student Prefects (DSP) 

The day student prefects don’t just help the day students; they plan events for the entire community. Their daily job includes supervising Fawcett Library and the Hooper Community Center, making sure no one is being disrespectful in those areas.  

“The DSPs are here to help everyone in the community, not just day students. If you see something happening in Hooper or the library, you can come to us for help,” Emilia Bordage (‘23) said. 

DSPs have meetings frequently, including ones with all of the DSPs and ones with just the head DSPs. A lot of planning goes on in the head DSP meetings, while in the larger DSP meetings, Ms. Mani gives out information and asks for feedback. 

At the new student orientation, they organized the carnival for new freshman. The recent Fall Social was also an important event that the DSPs planned, in which they acquired three food trucks and a pie stall and projected an indoor movie, The Shining. The process of putting on these events took a lot of planning.    

“All the DSPs took a vote on everything and sent out forms to the whole school. Food wise, we had a big budget, so we had to make sure the food trucks had a good variety.” said Isaac Naren (‘23), one of the head DSPs. 

Along with the dorm prefects, the DSPs are currently planning Halloween events. With these events, the DSPs also help bridge the gap between day students and boarders. 

“We are always thinking about what we can do to bring the community together,” said Melissa Mani, Library Assistant and faculty advisors of the DSPs. 

 

Admissions Fellows and Ambassadors 

What made you choose Webb? The admissions fellows and ambassadors have answered that question countless times when introducing Webb to prospective students and families. This group of student leaders show students who are interested in Webb its best parts by giving campus tours during their free blocks. 

“Currently, it is approaching the season where we have prospective students coming. Fellows and ambassadors are giving a lot of tours to families,” Sydney Becker (‘24) said. 

Before the admissions season, admissions fellows and ambassadors are taken on a route around campus by Owen Wolf, Associate Director of Admission, or Alex Wiersma, Assistant Director of Admission, to refresh their memories. In addition, the admissions fellows also host and participate in Webinars, allowing more students and families to have good understanding about what life at Webb is like. 

“My favorite thing is probably the ability to voice my experience and know that it’s helping someone decide whether Webb is the right fit for them,” Sydney said. 

Admission fellows and ambassadors are often the beaming faces of Webb! 

 

There is much more behind-the-scenes work than we see. Each event, poster, and food truck have all gone through extensive brainstorming and discussions in the leadership groups. They are all intended to create an enjoyable high school experience for everyone. Each leadership group puts in all the hard work to make Webb the Webb we know today.