October 15 marked the first meeting of the Student Action Council. The Student Action Council (SAC) presents a new opportunity for student leaders across the Westridge campus to collaborate and share ideas. Comprised of student leaders from Student Voices, Student Life, ASB, Peer 2 Peer, and Spyglass, SAC will work with Head of School Ms. McGregor to tackle issues currently affecting the student body.
Sosi D. ’21, along with McGregor, developed SAC over the summer. “The main goal is for the students who are involved in the Student Action Council to really try to use their role to understand what students are going through and what students need--to both bring this to Ms. McGregor and to be able to ask her questions so that there’s more interaction and connection between students and administration.”
The Council was inspired by last year’s Dream Summit, a student-led event in which approximately 30 students came together to voice topics of importance with Ms. McGregor and the administration. The Dream Summit brought students into the conversation surrounding the Strategic Plan, an articulation of the school’s five-year goal-setting objectives and initiatives.
SAC is also an opportunity for the school to support and encourage student leadership. “As we across the school started talking about what we thought our strategic priorities would be, we wanted to focus more and more on student leadership and agency,” McGregor explained.
McGregor also sees the SAC as an opportunity to maintain a dialogue between the various parties of interest at the school, not the least of which are the students.
“We don’t want to change the ability of student leaders who’ve already been voted into positions of authority, but we want to harness that as well as the energies of others who want to be engaged, in suggesting changes for the school. It’s a great opportunity to have a more informal setting where students can have a dialogue with me as Head of School. I can use them as my focus group and say, ‘What’s on your mind?’ or ‘I have this idea,’ and it can be a dialogue in that nature,” said McGregor.
The Council members Julia S. ’21, Maeve V. ’23, Sosi. D. ’21, Ms. McGregor, Emma R. ’20, Anelise P. ’20 and others meet during lunch to discuss.
Student leaders are also enthusiastic about the new opportunities for dialogue as a way to bring students’ issues of importance to the administration.
Julia S., Junior Class President, expressed excitement about the meeting. “We have a lot of motivated people who know what the actual problems Westridge students face are, and I know that I'm very excited to start working towards our goals. It's exhilarating to be given a space where the goal is to make actual change in our community. Sometimes it feels like a fight against the administration and the school, but hopefully this time it isn't.”
Sophie C. ’20, Westridge’s ASB president, also hopes SAC will encourage more communication. “The Student Action Council is a way to bridge the gap between the student body and the administration because as much as we are a tight-knit community, there is a lack of direct communication and understanding between those two bodies.”
Sophie also noted that SAC will provide a platform for all students to share their thoughts, not only those in leadership roles. “I think the biggest takeaway for me was that we’re going to have meetings that are open to all of the student body--not just student leadership representatives-- in order to really make sure that everyone’s in the loop and everyone has a voice.”