To gain new ideas for student council leadership, Hockaday and Jesuit students hold joint meetings
When the senior executive board visited Jesuit on Feb. 8, there was a feeling of exploring uncharted territory, despite the school being only 1.4 miles from Hockaday.
This year, through two leadership swaps, first a full council swap which took place on Oct. 18 followed by the more recent senior swap, the student councils of both schools are working to bring the two communities closer together.
Dean of Students Meshea Matthews said, “I was hearing more and more from students that they had an interest in developing some time of relationship with the Jesuit students and not really knowing how to do that.”
Hockaday’s existing brother-sister school relationship with St. Mark’s remains strong but girls are interested in expanding their horizons. Senior Class President Mackenzie described the feeling in the senior leadership meeting as similar to going behind another person’s back in a relationship, yet recognizes that “since [Jesuit is] literally down the street from them, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be closer.”
Jesuit has also worked to build stronger ties to Hockaday, inviting Hockaday freshmen to their mixer for the past few years and discussing other outreach options as a council.
“We’ve been having a push towards increasing our connections with other schools and so it would make sense that we would start with Hockaday because it’s the nearest school—literally down the street,” said Jesuit Student Body President Tim, echoing Hall.
The recent meetings have allowed the two schools to establish connections and plan for joint projects, for example collaboration through community service.
“We often have too many service opportunities and not enough guys,” said Tim, expressing interest in teaming up with Hockaday girls for projects.
Form III President and Student Body President-Elect Ashley participated in the fall swap and wants to continue to work with the Jesuit boys next year.
“Hockaday girls can get in a rut where you’re kind of like, ‘it’s so hard to meet Jesuit guys, I just don’t do it.’ So I feel like it would be so nice to open up that relationship so it wouldn’t be so awkward for a Hockaday girl to go to a Jesuit game for once,” she said.
But for Matthews, this is only the beginning. She’s currently working on a big leadership student council summit in May for all student councils in the area and next year hopes to have an exchange with girls’ schools across the country or even in Canada. She noticed the positive impact of exchanging ideas with Jesuit and hopes to continue to invigorate the council with these symposiums.
“It’s a benefit to you in any leadership position you’re in to step outside of your circle or comfort zone and see what others are doing. I know it energizes me and gives me new ideas,” Matthews said. “I love to see the creativity of other schools.”