Despite the unique circumstances of the 2020–21 school year, the Student Council remains flexible and determined to bring lasting change to Loomis Chaffee.
“The school is functioning differently this year, but I feel like there are still many opportunities for the Student Council that have not been there before,” said senior Aidan Gilles, the Student Council president.
According to Aidan, one of the Student Council’s main goals this year is to become a body of immediate and actionable feedback. “Because so much is in flex and so much is new, I think we have a real chance to create long-lasting change,” he said.
Every Tuesday, Student Council members meet via Zoom, where they spend time taking the feedback they receive and breaking it down into actionable items. So far, they have been developing solutions for newer concerns stemming from asynchronous learning and changes in the dining hall, in addition to longer-term issues.
Another goal for the Student Council is to increase student representation. “Every two years or so, there is a big change to campus,” said Aidan. “Some of the most recent ones include the new advisor system, the changing of the class schedule, and the new requirements from the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office. These have all been fantastic changes, but we feel like they can be improved to advance student presence.”
To achieve that goal, the Student Council hopes to establish a precedent for student participation in the committees created for changes like these, thus including student perspectives in the school’s decision-making process. According to Aidan, the Student Council has created a student-led food committee, which has been drafting ideas to bring to the school’s dining service provider, Flik Dining Services. The council is also interested in becoming more involved with the work of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office.
“I think a lot of what we’re trying to do is just working up conversation. We’ve been talking to individuals at every single level of administration. We let them know what we’re thinking and hearing. Sometimes we come to them with, ‘This is what we want,’ but more often than that we come to them with, ‘This is a problem. This is how we’re thinking of solving it. What do you think?’” said Aidan. “I want our relationship to be one of communication and connection with the administration and with all of the faculty on campus.”
The school also can expect Student Council events as the year progresses, with two already in development for the winter.
Returning for another year will be the Student Council’s Benefit Concert, in which students showcase their talents to raise money for a cause that the council supports. According to Aidan, a game night is also in the works. “We’re not sure if it will be virtual or not, but it will be a chance to have fun, raffle off prizes, and up morale,” he said.