//PICTURED ABOVE: Student Council President and Vice President Menaka Naidu and Arushi Mukherjee discuss student suggestions with the council at a meeting.
Every Day 6, Upper School students rummage through their closets, lockers, car trunks and advisory cabinets to find a spare blazer and oxford dress shirt. Every two or three of those day-six days, students, clad with their blazers, scuffle into the Nasher and Haemisegger Theater for an assembly.
On Jan. 14, Student Council (StuCo) and the Winter Formal Committee held an assembly to present an update on their progress and to reveal the Winter Formal theme.
Form IV President Karen Lin said that the State of the School assembly was to show students what the Student Council does and has achieved this year, and how the theme of “connection” has played into their work. Menaka Naidu, Student Council President, added that the council wanted to be transparent by showing how it operates and why it has made the changes implemented this year.
“Sometimes I think some people don’t realize what Student Council does or how much effort is put into certain initiatives,” Lin said. “So this assembly was a way to show all of the wonderful things we were able to achieve this semester and what we hope to do in the next!”
The State of the School assembly has not been held in a few years, but the Student Council had received feedback showing that students did not know the role the council plays. By bringing the assembly back, Student Council hoped to make students more aware of the work they do.
“Our main goal for this assembly was to connect students to Student Council and give a quick update to what StuCo has been doing throughout the year and also what we hope to accomplish before the end of the year,” Naidu said.
A few of the items mentioned were the feedback survey, the OnCampus page, Lunch with StuCo and the Winter Formal Committee. The most recent Lunch with StuCo took place on Jan. 30 in the Great Hall. All Upper School students were invited and had the chance to talk with StuCo about any suggestions, questions or concerns.
In the following meeting, StuCo discussed each idea and comment individually and brainstormed how to implement changes based on the comments.
StuCo also listened to students’ thoughts about the assembly, and received positive feedback. Naidu and Lin both said they succeeded in their goals for the assembly.
“We kept it short but informative, and I think those types of assemblies are well- received by the Upper School,” Lin said.
Following the State of the School, Student Council introduced the Winter Formal Committee, who announced the theme for this year’s dance: A Night at the Met.
Seniors Evan Johnston and Kathleen Roberts were selected as the co-chairs for this year’s winter formal. They led meetings for the committee once a week, in which they discuss the logistics and planning of the event. Naidu and Student Council Vice President Arushi Mukherjee attend these meetings on behalf of Student Council and provide their input. The Winter Formal Committee additionally worked with StuCo as a whole to plan the theme reveal assembly.
“We work really hard,” Roberts said. “We have done a ton of work to make sure everything is on par for the theme and to make WinFo the best it’s been.”
The committee created several ideas for the reveal video and designs for the T-shirts, which they brought to a Student Council meeting where StuCo and the Winter Formal Committee made the final decisions. Both the Student Council and the Winter Formal committee took part in filming the video that the Winter Formal chairs edited.
“Everyone had a blast dressing up and filming [the reveal video],” Lin said.
Their inspiration for the video was the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” and the Met Gala reveal video from 2018. The committee and StuCo tried to include iconic pop culture moments and references and based the shirt design on the Met logo.
Both the Student Council and the Winter Formal Committee put in time to ensure the theme reveal was successful and exciting for the students, and Roberts believes their work paid off.
“I thought the assembly was great because a ton of people laughed during the video, and there was a lot of applause when the theme was revealed,” Roberts said. “I wanted people to be excited for the theme and I’m glad the video could do that.”
Story by Anna Gum
Photo by Eliana Goodman