Open letter from the prefects


The Student Affairs Council (SAC) prefects contacted The Review asking if we could publish the following open letter. The prefects wrote this letter, and SAC advisors Mr. Turk and Dr. Rawson edited it. The Review has not edited this letter.

Dear St. John’s,

We owe you an apology.

The homecoming dance theme and game theme have matched up for as long as we can remember. Nautical Nonsense and Pirates, America and Texas, Color Splash and Carnival were more than just convenient coincidences over the past three years. They were intended to align, and Spirit Club and SAC worked in secret to make sure that happened. When the Homecoming theme poll was opened in 2013, the connection between the two was endangered. If Spirit Club wanted to keep the game theme secret and the students wanted to choose the dance theme, SAC could no longer guarantee the two themes would match up. SAC and Spirit Club then advertised primarily for one option in hopes of continuing the tradition, but we never intended to corrupt the voting process or fix the vote. As unbiased representatives of the student body, we shouldn’t present you a democratic vote with a clear favorite. That removes the point of the vote, and we are sorry for interfering with the process.

We’re left with a tough question that maybe only the students themselves can answer. Would you rather have an honest say in the voting and thus have potentially separate themes for the dance and game? Or leave the Homecoming decision to SAC and keep both the dance and game themes secret and connected? This is a question we should have posed to you weeks ago, and it is the type of question that will be posed to you in the future as a result.

In past years as well as this one, we realize that there has been some discontent with SAC and how our student government functions. We thought the best way to deal with it is to bring it out into the open and talk about it with y’all. So, here it goes:

In many ways, SAC has grown too isolated from the students in its aims to represent them, and this is a serious problem. Communication is and has been the central issue when it comes to SAC. This year, your representatives are doing their best to close this communication gap: from being more involved with the house system to being able to post suggestions and ideas on SAC Suggestions, we are taking steps-albeit small ones-to get this system to where it should be.

As members of SAC, we have a duty to represent the school and preserve the honor code. Recently, we have heard that a few of you would not feel comfortable sitting in an honor trial with us. As much as this saddens us, we would like to assure you that during an honor trial, we dispose of any preconceptions. You come in with a blank slate.

We take honor trials very seriously. The honor code is what binds our school together. No matter what you think you might have done to offend one of us, it does not matter. We offer our thoughts on the incident based on the facts and figures in a purely professional manner.

Secondly, as Prefects, we want you all to know that we are always open to suggestions. Nothing you say will be thought as “dumb” or “stupid”. We’ve come up with some pretty stupid ideas ourselves; so seriously, no judgement! If you are passionate about something being carried out at St. John’s, please don’t hesitate to contact someone in SAC.

If you’re uncomfortable talking to your reps or your prefects, we’d like to know why so we can fix that!!

Next, we’d like you all to find a way to get your ideas to us (either in person if your comfortable or through something like SAC Suggestions). We will look at those suggestions and try to implement the ones that would best benefit the school. However, please keep in mind, SAC is not omnipotent, and sometimes we can’t make all of your ideas come to life, but we are honestly trying our best to do so.

The input we have received in response to all of the issues mentioned above was absolutely fantastic. Disagreements and healthy debate is what drives us to make a difference in how we approach student government and how we approach helping you. If anything, we wish that any and all who feel dissatisfied with the current SAC conditions speak out and communicate to get that message through to us. There is nothing wrong with finding SAC at fault, and we encourage it wholeheartedly, especially if it is in the spirit of cooperation and progress.

We are extremely honored to represent all of you as a student body. We couldn’t ask to be part of a better group and we thank you for that. We love this school and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. We will push against the limits of our authority, and we have and will work as hard as possible to make SJS the best it can be.

With duty and love,

Your Prefects

See the homecoming theme videos here.