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Fully Committed

by Adam Berg ’18, Student Government President

The first 10 minutes of my first Student-Faculty Senate meeting started off swimmingly. I introduced the four designs for the next year’s planner cover, asked everyone to close their eyes, and tallied up the votes. After meticulously scanning my chicken scratch on the whiteboard, it was clear that entry number three had won. “Wow,” I thought to myself. “That was easy!” What followed was a little more difficult.

Mr. Culberson had approached us, the Student-Faculty Senate, with the suggestion that the language of the Upper School’s Honor Code begins with the negative. Instead of outlining specific things students should not do, we wanted to create an honor code that stressed our values of honesty, integrity, dignity, and respect
that make Charles Wright the amazing place that it is.

With that concern in mind, we discussed aspects of the code that needed to change, which included a particularly negative clause about cheating. We spent multiple weeks drafting different copies and then one day, while reading through the student planner, we were reminded of the faculty commitments. We were inspired to create a set of student commitments that mirrored the simple and direct structure of the faculty commitments.

This process took time. At the onset of the project I naively believed that we would be able to draft the commitments in no more than three weeks. However, as one might assume, creating a list that attempts to include the most important aspects of our school was not an easy task, especially when a group of 20 people needs to agree. That being said, by the end of the school year, we were confident we had created something great.

We parted ways for the summer and then introduced the work that we had done at this year’s opening Upper School assembly. Although we were happy with what we had created, we wanted to make sure the student body felt included by allowing everyone an opportunity to give feedback. After reflecting on this feedback, we agreed on a couple of edits and concluded our meeting. The next week, we spent a lunch period designing posters and also wrote down all of the commitments, careful not to misspell anything, on a large piece of green paper.

We carried the paper downstairs and hung it adjacent to the main office and available for everyone to see.  Soon a more permanent display of our commitments will be in its place. Throughout this process, I learned a lot about some of the essential qualities of a great team. A team must be understanding, definitive, clear, and ambitious. I also stumbled over my words a lot. I was nervous. I vacillated when decisions needed to be made. However, I was surrounded by teammates who had a common goal in mind and allowed me as well as others to make those mistakes. We are a good team, but we strive to be more than good. We strive to be great. 

My commitment as a student in the Charles Wright community is to:

1. Act with integrity and honesty in my
academic work and relationships with others;
2. Respect the honor and dignity of all
community members;
3. Maintain an open mind and an inclusive, empathetic outlook toward those around me;
4. Strive to achieve my personal best in
all aspects of my student life;
5. Seek balance in pursuit of my overall well-being.

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