“The future is what’s going to happen in there”

That expansive quote was offered by Seth O’Bryan during our initial meeting with the newly-established Commons Student Council. We were discussing the different aspects of the Commons that captured our passion and interest, and nearly every member of the 12-student team mentioned the compelling, yet undefined, vision of students taking the lead in governing the systems, controls and shared responsibility of the building.

The members of this Commons Student Council each had to complete an application, answering the following questions:
1. What draws you to the leadership opportunity?
2. What can you contribute to the leadership team?
3. In what ways will you be connected to the Commons this year?
4. Describe some previous experiences that help prepare you for this leadership role.
5. Promoting student involvement and hosting student meetings will be key contributions from the student leaders on the Commons leadership team. Discuss why you think you can be successful with these responsibilities.
6. What are some of your initial ideas/student projects to further facilitate student involvement?

Some answers which will give you a strong sense of the commitment, enthusiasm, and seriousness of purpose from these students are below:

“The Commons is designed to promote student leadership in the green aspects of the building; the class ‘The Living Building’ as a prime example. However, student participation in the monitoring of a building’s green energy systems seems to be part of a better possibility of student coordination of every possible aspect of the building, within reason. In order to teach about the green technologies, have students teach their classmates and give tours, if possible, of all the green aspects of the building.”

“I look forward to participating in all the planned events and through the Leadership Team creating new and exciting programming. I think it will be important to introduce our facility to our community and especially to engage students from area public and private schools in the excitement around this amazing resource.”

“As a student, my main objective is to go to school to learn, but Harley is so much more than just a school. Harley is a place to grow and evolve into the person you are meant to be. You do this by meeting new people from different places and experiencing things a typical student wouldn’t. I believe having the opportunity to get to know the people you go to school with every single day is enriching. This could happen by throwing more events, class bonding trips, etc.”

Here are a few photos from the first meeting (minus a few members who had to leave for athletic events) when the group met with Director of Communcications, Aimee Lewis, to discuss the grand opening events. The Commons Student Council has representatives from both Middle and Upper Schools and will meet often to determine their leadership structure and plan to support the work of the Commons, even before the building is completed. This will be an important year to establish how and where the students take the reins to manage the Commons in the most successful manner.

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