Story by Joey Toker '17 (STA Head Prefect)
The Plan is comprised of social and governmental reform, so let’s start with the most exciting news. Due to popular demand, we propose, if the schedule permits, to host not one, but two mixers on the St. Albans campus this year. We believe it is of paramount importance to the welfare of the Close community to have many opportunities for amicable social gathering. Our goal is to ensure that the Close is provided with such an event roughly each month of the school year. In September and October, we have our respective Homecoming dances, but nothing currently occupies the “Holiday” slot of November and December. Therefore, between Thanksgiving and Winter Break, we hope to introduce a mixer that will be, as the youngin’s say, quite “lit.”
Dances are an excellent way to bring the Close together. But we also seek to foster intellectual, moral, and collaborative growth amidst STA and NCS, which, I believe, can be accomplished through joint community service. The service hours requirement has long been seen as a hinderance to graduation rather than as an asset, an afterthought, “box to check” rather than as a meaningful piece of our educations. Therefore, we propose to establish the Social Service Commision, which, throughout the school year, will provide structured opportunities to satisfy the service requirement with your friends at STA and NCS. The Commission would host and contribute to fundraisers (think Tigerpalooza or food drives), meetings with guest speakers, etc. to forge stronger bonds of unity and collective purpose on the Close.
The third major segment of the Plan addresses Diversity Day, which will be coordinated between the two schools this year. Our proposed topic, one that has long been requested by STA students and prefects, is diversity of opinion. One enduring critique of the event is the notion that what is actually said is not very diverse. Students complained that each panelist in prior years essentially offered the same opinion; nobody seemed willing to go a step further, to take a risk and delve into ideas that may not be considered mainstream. I believe we should follow the lead of the University of Chicago, in that the goal of our institutions should be to prepare our students for the real world outside of the Close bubble. To learn how to critically assess the opinions of others is a crucial skill; to ignore others’ thoughts, as flawed or prejudiced as they may seem, is not how we learn. Therefore, I believe inviting panelists of varying opinions, perhaps even crafting a debate-like segment with audience participation, would be highly conducive to our educations and would inspire more people to enthusiastically attend the event.
To conclude, I must provide a disclaimer: the above represents our goals for the school year as they relate to the two Cathedral Schools. Without sufficient support from the faculty and particularly the student body, I cannot guarantee successful implementation of the Plan. However, if you like what you see here, I urge you to inform your teachers, prefects, and representatives immediately. Finally, I believe it is the duty of the Council to be transparent. I hope to continue addressing the student body on our activities and efforts through various media; we were not democratically elected simply to be pawns, cloaked in secrecy, of the establishment. Let your voice be heard.
Pro Ecclesia et Pro Patria.