Middle School Student Government
The Middle School Student Council is made up of four students, or senators, from each grade level who are elected by their peers. The student senators represent their class as well as serve as a collective voice for the student body. Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to, planning two school dances and Spirit Day, organizing charity and fundraising events, and bringing new ideas to the attention of the administration and the wider school community.
Upper School Student Government – Prefect Council
Prefect Council is the student government on the Upper School campus. Each grade elects four representatives, two boys and two girls. Additionally, two head prefects, a senior boy and girl, run and organize the group, setting its goals and leading its meetings. Prefect Council members serve many functions: they sit on Honor Board cases, help their peers plan school dances (such as Prom and Semi-Formal), and try to improve students’ daily life on campus. During the last school year, the group purchased a ping-pong table and put it in the student lounge, planned “theme days,” and successfully lobbied for two extra 35-minute breaks a month. Prefect Council members often act as liaisons to help the broader student community understand “how to get things done” in the appropriate manner.
When a student commits an Honor Code infraction, they come before the Honor Board, a group comprised of select faculty and elected student Prefects, for a hearing to tell their story and explain their actions. The Honor Board’s primary purpose is not to punish, but rather to rehabilitate and reintegrate the student back into the community. Some of the questions they often consider are: How did this incident affect our community? What are the ramifications of this student’s actions on himself? How can we help to rebuild the former bond of trust between the student and his teacher? After hearing the student’s statement, the members of the Board deliberate, write a recommendation, and send the recommendation to the administration. The administration makes the final decision on the course of action, either accepting the recommendation (which is often the case) or making a revision based on the recommendation. Many students have related that going in front of the Honor Board is a cathartic experience, and one that improves their perception of honor at Harvard-Westlake and beyond.