Within the Hockaday Boarding Community, the House Council President is a job deemed with the utmost importance and responsibility. The student who possess this position acts not only as a liaison between the boarding and day students, but as a spokesperson for the boarding department as a whole.
Earlier this year, after the annual House Council Election was held, a candidate for the 2017-2018 school year was chosen: junior Maria Sailale. Sailale will now take on the role as House Council President this next, upcoming school year.
Although it is not unheard of for a junior to take on the roll as President, it is considered more uncommon, as larger Student Council positions such as these tend to be help by seniors. Sailale did not let this sway her decision, however, as she still chose to put herself in the running, despite previous years’ history of a senior-controlled Student Council.
Angie Jorgensen is the Residence Life Activities Coordinator and plays a significant role in the lives of the boarders.
“We are a Democratic process here,” Jorgensen said. “The faculty and staff and residents don’t have a specific role [in the election process], we just support the nominees.”
The election process itself is fairly simple, with the only requirement being that the candidate must be a rising junior or senior. Students who wish to try for position as President first must be interviewed by previous House Council Members. Depending on how this interview goes, students will then be allowed to write a speech, which they later perform in front of the congregated Boarding Department. Boarders are then given a ballot and choose which candidate they feel would best represent their interests.
Aside from the more general role as acting for the voice of the Boarding Department, the President has many other duties to attend to as well. For instance, she is required to attend the Student Council meetings held once every rotation. In addition to these meetings, the President leads the House Council meetings on Day 2. In these meetings, ideas about boarding events for the future are discussed and planned.
As the new school year steadily approaches, Sailale has already began brainstorming ways in which she can improve the Boarding Department.
“Usually we will have a winter dinner that is Christmas themed or we will have something Easter themed,” Sailale said. “But we want to be able to incorporate other holidays from other cultures.”
In an effort to incorporate these different cultures, Sailale wishes to be able to celebrate more holidays, in addition to the basic few already celebrated. For instance, she hopes to be able to hold a dinner for Mexican Independence Day, because a large percentage of students are from Mexico.
Senior Heidi Kim is the current House Council President, and was involved in the process of interviewing candidates. As a result, after interviewing Sailale, and simply coming into contact with her through the boarding program, she felt that Sailale would make a very strong candidate.
“Maria really cares about the Boarding Department. You would think that is just something that is just implied, like ‘Of course, you have to care about the Boarding Department to be a resident,’ but that’s not necessarily always the case in every situation,” Kim said. “I think that she is one of the people that I can wholeheartedly say that she cares, and she wants to make a change.”
– Charlotte Dross – Staff Writer -