Honor Council Nominee Statements

2022-2023 Honor Council Nominees

Dorm Reps

Christine 

I have learned a lot through the past 3 years of experience at OES. I have a complete understanding of the honor code which has been shown by my academic learning and many other leading roles I played at OES such as being an OAsians leader, Women in STEM club leader, and a dorm prefect. I have the capability of strictly following the rules myself and leading others to adhere to the honor code without making them feel ashamed or judged. Above all, I believe that I am most deserving of this role because of the trust people around me have in me. I was debating whether to run for this position or not, but after talking to faculty and student leaders I received the comment “if anyone should be on the honor council, it should be you.” I believe that I will be a great addition to the honor council with all the listed qualifications. My wish of being on the honor council is to understand the needs of whoever has committed a mistake. My role will not only help them to realize their mistake without negative feelings but also understand the motive of their behaviors. I wish to reflect on their behavior to examine if there is something we can do as an honor council to prevent similar situations from happening.

Michelle

In my childhood, from being voted as the class leader and then given another position, to being unfairly judged in a debate contest, I have often been mistreated. These experiences brought me damage but also made me extremely aware and value equality. There is no direct relationship between justice and equality, but under the circumstance that when a rule is applied to everyone, it needs to be fairly and equally applied to everyone. I want all of the students to have an equal opportunity to be fairly judged when facing the honor council and I believe I have the ability to do so if elected. In the past few years, there were a few dorm students who were sent on the honor council seeking for a fair judgment, and received one. I believe that this fairness must be passed on as a convention in the dorms. As an active member of the dorm community, I have the empathy to understand the thoughts and feelings involved when students take certain actions, therefore, able to provide positive and constructive feedback, which I believe is a necessary quality for a dorm representative in the honor council. In summary, I hope to restore justice through maintaining equality and fairness, and I desire to bring an accurate representation of the dorm in the Honor Council.

Stella

I want to run this position as a way to contribute to this community. I sufficiently understand that as teenagers, mistakes could be made when we navigate various ethical dilemmas. Especially for the dorm students who live and interact with peers and dorm parents 24/7. However, I believe that every mistake will have a corresponding solution. I want to be an educator, helper, and coordinator to help those who are trapped in the predicament by the wrong decision they made. If I become part of the Honor Council in the dorm, my job is to use the restorative justice model as OES always advocates to help the students fully recognize the mistake, find out the possible remedial measure, and assist them to return to the community. I will try my best to help my peers to understand that everyone can interact with people in the environment with a high level of trust. I made mistakes myself. However, I know there must be a way to restore my mistakes, and I did it. Therefore, I entertain the belief that everyone can do the same. One mistake can’t define a person. Providing aid to them to correct them can make them better people. In order to be qualified for this position, I will continue to make myself understand the Honor code both in the dorm and in the school in a more comprehensive way. Being in a dorm also provides me the convenience to conduct follow-up work to help my peers.

10th Grade

Vikrim

As a current member of the Honor Council I have dedicated this year to restoring the harm in our community and to uplift justice. These were the promises I made to you all at the beginning of this school year. And they are ones that I followed through for the betterment of the OES Upper School. In the Honor Council we have committed to stray away from the route in which students are shamed and talked down upon. With our work and my contribution, we have made sure that all students are recognized. We have made sure that all students have a voice and can speak freely for themselves. These are the ideas I will prioritize once more. I will make sure you are secure in your rights. That you feel safe, like the Honor Council is a place in which we can all discuss to make things better. I’ve talked to students in private before their honor council meeting, to ask them about how they’re feeling. I let them know that I will make sure that their best interests are in mind and that I will be there if they need anything. This past year I have contributed to making the Honor Council process more unbiased, impartial and fair. I’ve seen real change as students meet with the Honor Council and I’ve seen that change occur as my ideas played out. I have helped restore individuals, their bonds with others, the community at large and I will continue to do so with your vote. Thank you all.

Ennio

When people look at an honor council seat and consider running, they usually think upon the lines of, “Justice comes first and restoration over punishment.” Because, if a candidate values justice over all else, what else can the students ask for?

While justice is important, I believe that it’s possible to prevent the problem before it starts with transparency instead of changing the outcome. When I talked with Sarah regarding honor council regulations, I was confused with the things that could have someone sent to Honor Council. However, she did explain that everything was a matter of intent, and understanding intent was key to having it not happen again. And so I believe Honor Council can better serve OES by doing 3 things:

1. Creating Clarity about violation: the benefit is that every student has the information they need and understands academic integrity. Especially with many new students next year, this is incredibly important.

2. Considering Intent, so when a violation occurs, we think about context, situation, and student needs. For example, cheating sometimes happens when students do not feel supported. Fairness is only achieved through full context.

3. Changing for the better, leveraging restorative justice, supportive student action plans, and yes, sometimes, punishment. There have to be consequences, but the greater goal is what’s best for the student.

If you take anything away, just remember that I believe we can prevent actions that lead to honor council. But, when it inevitably happens, we’ll focus on addressing the root cause. Just like doctors say, treat the cause, not the symptom.

Ruth

In my personal life, I know myself to be an honest and thoughtful person. I work out problems by talking things through and being vulnerable with my friends, trying to see all the nuances and perspectives of a given situation. In my time doing theater I’ve learned more about those around me, as I’ve gotten to bond with a variety of different people and gain a deeper understanding of my castmates- both on stage and off.

Throughout the last couple years, I believe I’ve become a more self-aware and introspective person, traits that would help me thrive on Honor Council, as knowing myself helps me to see other’s problems as my own and have a greater sense of empathy for the people around me. I’m interested in social justice and ethics, and while I enjoy the discussions we have in community engagement, I’d like to take them one step further and be able to actually make change surrounding school issues. Inevitably I’ve heard about Restorative Justice, and I greatly respect the idea that when kids make a mistake, rather than being blindly punished, they work to make it better, but I’m curious what that really looks like when it comes to conflict.

By joining Honor Council I’d like to find out what Restorative Justice means at OES and how we can use it most effectively; finding creative solutions when issues arise, and learning more about conflict resolution and the intricacies of our relationships as students.

Summer

With my experience at several other schools, I bring an understanding of their approaches to justice. There were common incidences that were handled inappropriately. Problems would be temporarily solved, but the long-term outcome was ineffective. My interest in restorative justice stems from those experiences, and watching the outcomes of their temporary solutions. Without addressing the underlying problems, we leave these issues unresolved and reappearing every year. I believe that with my past experiences, I can bring an open mind to fix the problem, without simply putting a bandaid over it. I promise you that I will be fair, impartial, and compassionate. A mistake doesn’t define a person. Many of my peers have come to me communicating how they’ve lost their faith in Honor Council. This is the main issue I want to address. Without trust between the council and the community, the system will fail. One idea I have to deepen this trust is holding open meetings where fake scenarios will arise. Students and faculty members can work together to create solutions for the problems, and learn about the systems in place. I would love to hear your suggestions on how we can deepen this vital bond, and ensure your trust that the Honor Council will perform its duties to the best of its abilities.

Shriya

Honor Council is about representing you. Well, hopefully not YOU, but if for some reason you need someone to help understand or explain a tricky situation. That’s what they are here for, and that’s what I want to do as well. I know that I’m good at understanding situations and emotions. These traits are crucial to being a good honor council member. I want to help explain situations with the emotional well-being of everyone in mind. Sticky situations, or just situations when something not-so-great happened are filled with conflicting emotions. Understanding and explaining such emotions in a level-headed manner is extremely important in understanding the situation. However, understanding emotions is not my only trait. Being logical and pragmatic is incredibly important as well. Seeing situations with a bird’s eye view and comprehending what happened without blaming someone is another crucial feature of Honor Council that I have. These two extremely different traits, both understanding emotions, and logic are something that is vital to being an Honor Council representative, and they are both qualities that I consistently exhibit. Thank you for your consideration, and have fun voting!

Ash

I am a strong believer in restorative justice, however I believe wrong implementation could be damaging. I really want to work with everyone to improve potential flaws in the system and ensure people are held accountable for their actions. Accountability, for me, means understanding the harm you’ve caused and taking steps to make it right. I have worked in the past to eliminate bias in media with US senators and believe I can implement many of the things I’ve learnt in the past to a school environment.

Lola

I have always been interested in why people do what they do, why they make the decisions that don’t just harm others, but themselves in the end. My want to understand has led me through multiple experiences. In my previous school years (not yet at OES) I had been overtly talking about the problems within my previous school community. I was passionate for change. It was not the most accepting environment, and because of this I wanted people to realize they had been hurting others without realizing it. I had written a few essays focusing on our community taking accountability, not just the individuals, but all of us for not speaking out against it. How could they have known any better? I had sparked something, in eight grade my English teacher heard me, and he went on to represent my words to the principal. This conversation then created multiple affinity groups. They would talk about their experiences to peers, giving them a sense of empathy and experience for themselves. It created a pledge, one all of us signed to promise not to hurt others, and to take accountability for one’s actions. I have always been one for not necessarily blame, but accountability. I think it is the most noble thing to do. Admitting you are wrong is against human nature, so taking accountability takes a lot of effort and bravery. I want to represent those who are struggling, to get to the root rather than the surface. I want to truly listen and understand each and every one of your experiences.

11th Grade

Ava Deng 

I’m not sure if I have the necessary qualifications, but I’ve been an active member of the OES community for eight years, as of 2022. This is most likely not a qualification, but there was an instance this year in which I almost had to go to Honor Council. I remember being terrified at my predicament, and the fear itself made me instantly regret my wrongdoings. I’ve since learned from my mistakes and have used this experience to better myself as a member of this community. The purpose of Honor Council (from my understanding) is to help students learn from their mistakes and grow from them. To do this, students cannot resent nor fear the Administration or authority in general. I’ve always wanted to help people, and now that I have this opportunity, I feel even more inclined to contribute to helping restore and protect this community.

My primary goal as one of your three representatives would be to help make “punishments” more restorative while staying true to their nature. What I mean by this is that severe violations of the honor code will still be dealt with accordingly and will also maintain the restorative aspect I’ve come to recognize Honor Council for. Even if I’m not elected, I think running at all will serve as a valuable learning experience for future endeavors. I might not be the most honorable candidate, but I hope that you, the rising junior student body, believe in me to represent you on this council.

Ava Kobos

Hi, I’m Ava Kobos, and I’ve been at OES for eleven years. If I’m elected to the Honor Council, I will do my best to be an advocate for personal growth for all OES students. I know this school incredibly well, and I’d like to help it develop and take care of the people within it. Although I’ve never held a position on StuCo or Honor Council before, I believe I have the qualities needed in a HoCo representative. I may appear somewhat quiet in class, but I’m thoughtful. I will approach each case with an open mind and not with the desire to punish, but rather the desire to help the student mend the situation. As Honor Council often works with students when they are at their most vulnerable or upset, I will do my best to be a friend instead of an antagonist. Mistakes are something to grow and learn from. Thanks for your consideration!

Athena

When thinking of my qualifications to be on Honor Council, I immediately think about the time I have spent at OES. I have gone to this school for almost twelve years. Shaped by my peers and teachers, I like to think that I’m a good reflection of the school’s values (compassionate for all, has commitment to inclusion, has an openness to learning from our differences, etc). My mom has also told me that my strong sense of justice and community work well with my deep empathy for those who are wronged and will do everything in my power to fix, rebuild, and grow. Therefore, I’m highly involved in social and racial justice causes/movements, and am currently working on a sister march to March For Our Lives on June 11th. I have consistently emerged as a leader when needed, but am (hopefully) approachable, kind, and compassionate, three qualities which are crucial for being an advocate of the people.

I want to be on Honor Council because I have a tenacious desire to serve the school community. I am involved in many out-of-school groups and community service, but I feel the need to serve you because of how much the community has given me. Especially during online school, I most definitely would have failed more than a few of my classes if it were not for those who constantly supported me even at my lowest. I would use my position on Honor Council to be your advocate, because you were mine.

Joe

Even though the Honor Council in most students’ minds is a horrible and terrifying place, students usually think if they get to talk with the Honor Council, then they will get suspended or even will need to drop out of school. However, that’s actually not the truth. In my mind Honor Council is a place where teachers, students and me (if I’m elected) gather together and help students that have made silly decisions to solve the problem together. In order to help students become responsible for their actions; to learn from their mistakes; and to have a fresh start in the community. I have been actively engaged in the dorm community for this year and I know pretty well about each one of you in the dorm. I know that every one of you has a kind heart and knows how to work independently. However, everyone makes mistakes and what I would like to do is to be on your side to help you learn from your mistakes and help you to keep moving forward instead of punishing you which would never teach you anything. That’s the reason that I would like to join the Honor Council.

Mei

As a representative and member on Honor Council, I will work to make sure that each case is treated with the dignity and respect that it deserves and that the person(s) feels supported. I wanted to become a member of Honor Council so that I can make a change and support the community. Honor Council will allow me to advocate, address and assist people at their most vulnerable time. I believe that Honor Council is a special part of the OES community and the Student Council because it allows for change on a small and personal level.

An important value that I’ll bring to Honor Council is the idea that growth comes from mistakes, hardship and struggle. I believe that by working together, Honor Council can help to strengthen the community when it’s the most in need. I promise to work collectively with the people brought before me and with the other members on Honor Council, and I hope that by doing so I can help to shape and strengthen the OES community. I believe that together we will learn, and together we will hold each other accountable, create trust and grow as members of our community.

Tiago

Hi, my name is Tiago, and I am running to continue representing you all on StuCo, this time through Honor Council. HoCo holds an essential position within the OES community; it’s a space in which members of our community who are struggling come for support, to be able to solve issues (along with a team of students and teachers) with the usage of healthy reparations.

Throughout these past 2 years on PoBo, I’ve dedicated myself to the OES community, and that time has given me the opportunity to better learn about what it means to support the student body, the importance of growth and second chances, and how to collaborate both with fellow students and also with faculty to ensure the best possible support system for any OES student.

I’m a great candidate for the role because of my understanding of this community, and the necessity for solutions that support the members of our community at all points, not just when they happen to be succeeding. I promise to work to understand an involved student’s perspective while also prioritizing OES’ system of reparation and regrowth so that students can effectively learn from their mistakes. HoCo gives opportunities for growth, and I’ll foster that to the greatest extent.

My goal is to make OES continue to grow as a space in which individuals from all parts of the school continue to feel that they can grow and improve, even past whatever mistakes that they may make. Thank you for your time.

Henry

My name is Henry Mygrant, and I am running for one of the 11th grade honor council spots. I believe that the Honor Council is extremely important to our community, and I want to help strengthen it. With each case on the honor council, I hope to bring new ideas, while making sure each case is a learning opportunity for whoever is caught in violation of the Honor Code, as well as making sure the person and our community don’t repeat the same mistake. I plan to make sure that our community can be one that is focused on restoration. I’m a very empathetic person with a lot of integrity and if elected, I know I can make the best of the situations that I am put into. While I have only been at OES since my freshman year, I have strong connections with many people, and I am looking forward to making more this coming year. If elected, I will bring a fresh perspective and an understanding and honest opinion on each case.

Shawn

Serving on the Honor Council is like being a pitcher — sometimes you get thrown straights, and sometimes you get thrown curveballs. My experience on the Honor Council has taught me one thing — no matter what happens, no matter what issue you’re facing, you must always be sympathetic yet ambivalent. That sounds rather difficult at first, but it’s most certainly doable! This year, in addition to the promises I made last year of promises of integrity and equality, I can also promise you unconditional empathy. I want to open up the Honor Council, and to not only remove the stigma surrounding it but also to let the community know that we are here to help you. We are here to support and care for you — we truly are not out there to “get you.” In the past year, we’ve reworked the OES guidelines to incorporate more inclusive policies, moving away from punitive punishments such as suspension or expulsion, and more towards reformative policies that truly benefit the community, such as support circles and open discussions that help heal the community and repair relationships. If elected, I’ll continue to reform the Honor Council for the better, while also taking in account community feedback, which I will bring to our meetings. I will be an open representative, and I’ll do everything I can to help open up the Honor Council for the better.

Will 

I will keep this note short, yet noticeably more serious than my other campaign statements. While I may have very few quantifiable qualifications for candidacy (other than some awesome alliteration), I truly believe I would be a good fit for Honor Council. I believe in holding people accountable for their actions, especially when those actions may be damaging to certain groups of people. I think restorative justice is vital to a safe and effective community and here at OES it is not implemented correctly. When our community is confronted with a problem, we need to face it head on and address the issues and their origins rather than sweeping it under the rug to save face.

This has been poorly and quickly written, yet I would still like to underline how important holding our community accountable for its actions is. Because I will do just that, I hope you will vote for me to hold a seat on Honor Council.

12th Grade

Hafsa

Hello everyone. My name is Hafsa Erfan and I’m running to be one of our class’s honor council representatives. I have a huge interest in social justice and have always wanted to be able to contribute to the OES community. I’ve helped out as a student leader in clubs and on sports teams, and have close relationships with peers and faculty. I believe that learning from our mistakes is more than just owning up to what we did or receiving punishment. Beyond that, it’s taking reformative action and making the situation right again. As an honor council representative, I would individually help anyone who needed guidance or a place for self-reflection so that we as a community can become better people. We aren’t perfect, and messing up in high school isn’t the end of the world. But this time and space is an opportunity for us to learn and grow together, and I will help us face the challenges that stand in our way of this growth. Thank you and I hope I receive the honor of being your honor council representative next year.

Sophia

I want to be one of the three honor council representatives for the senior class to be an effective liaison for the student body. I enjoy listening to my peers and often find myself reflecting on conversations and thinking about solutions to problems. Already, I am working to bring closure to situations that have brought harm to our community by working with administrators to try and rectify the damage done. While these efforts are not always completely successful, they never stop me from fighting for the student voice and trying to do the right thing. One of the main points I have heard from the overall student body is the frustration with the application of restorative justice. While restorative justice is meant to understand the full picture of a student’s actions, this process at OES is highly secretive. A possible way to solve this problem but still maintain the confidentiality of students is to write anonymized case studies of past cases (of students who no longer attend OES) to give clear examples of what situations would cause the honor council to get involved and the process the honor council goes through to recommend next steps of action and consequences. As your honor council representative, I would hope to demystify what the council does and also be a voice and advocate for you.

Please vote Sophia Dube for a representative you know will listen!

Clara Michaux

I want to be on Honor Council because real restorative justice is something I care about and believe in. Having read The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Colleges and Universities by David Karp, I understand how to and want to implement effective RJ in the school environment, for all types of offenses. This doesn’t mean that all the person does is apologize and there are no other consequences. Genuine Restorative Justice can be very powerful including disciplinary action, reparations, and community healing, but when it lacks transparency and group understanding, it is difficult to forgive and be forgiven. Restorative justice is built on the principles of restoration and transformation of the offender, proof of a change in action, and communication about what all parties need to heal from the incident. These are things that I want students to consistently see and experience when going through honor council and in daily interactions around school. I think we lack a deeper understanding of what restorative justice is and how it can effectively be implemented in a school, and I would like to help change that. Many problems I see in our community are around trust/understanding, and communication between the students, faculty, and honor council is key to solving that. I would like to be the senior honor council representative in order to help shape our understanding and use of restorative justice.

Fiona Ing

Being on Honor Council is about making decisions, ones that can have serious implications for your peers. I recognize the gravity of these decisions and genuinely worry about being able to make the best choices to support a student and set them up for success in the future, though this worry I have is something natural and necessary to take this position seriously.

Firstly, I strive to make unbiased and fair decisions. Presumption, subconsciously or not, is the basis of rushed decisions. While no one is completely immune to bias, my knowledge and background in speech debate and other activities has allowed me to develop critical thinking skills to take a step back and evaluate fairly.

Secondly, I would work to demystify what exactly restorative justice is and how it is implemented at OES. Obviously, the sensitivity of these cases requires confidentiality, but we should all know how a branch of student government functions and what it has accomplished.

As a member of Honor Council, I would have the empathy to treat those who commit offense as fellow students. The aim of Honor Council is not to punish, but rather to do the best to help these students. I hope you make the decision to elect me as your Honor Council representative so I can make the decisions to represent and serve you all!

Ani

Out of all the Student Council positions, choosing an honor council representative is definitely the most sensitive. We all want someone who would be on our side if we were to go in front of Honor Council and we all want someone who aligns with our values to influence the disciplinary system. I was going to write about how my experience on debate would allow me to be unbiased, and approach each case without preformed opinions. But that is simply not true. It is impossible for me to promise that I won’t let my own personal opinions affect my decisions on Honor Council. What I can do is tell you what I believe now, so you know exactly what you’re voting for when you vote for me. I believe that OES has work to do regarding equity and accountability. I believe that everyone in the 12th grade is responsible for making OES a safe and inclusive place, all the time. I also believe that we all make mistakes and that how we handle them is what matters. Lastly, I believe that everyone in our grade deserves respect and a committed and engaged honor council representative. If elected, I promise I will stick to my values and represent all of you fairly, regardless of our personal relationship.