An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Sebastian A. ’19, student body president-elect

The following is excerpts from Sebastian A. ’19’s speech to the Upper School student body during Lakeside’s annual Student Government presidential election.

Throughout my time at Lakeside, I have had the good fortune of being a captain of the cross country team, in addition to being elected swim & dive captain for our 2018-2019 season. I lead Lakeside’s orienteering team, am a member of the leadership crew for Model United Nations, and currently serve as Student Government treasurer. As treasurer, I have had significant exposure to the administrative and monetary aspects of Student Government; it has allowed for an intimate understanding of Student Government administration in conjunction with its financial system and capabilities, an invaluable combination for any Student Government president.

I feel very passionate about organizing, prioritizing, and working with peers. My major achievements in Student Government over the past few months include:

  1. A simplification of the club funding process to include the use of credit cards, establishing purchase accounts for repeat users, and Amazon accounts to ease significant difficulties
    • Along those lines, I worked closely with the Robotics Team to ensure appropriate funding of their large-scale projects 
  2. I initially worked with Ben W. ’19, a classmate, to bring visibility to Student Government activities by orchestrating a Tatler section that tracks and reports our progress.
  3. I worked to add significant improvements to the Student Center, planning the layout of ping pong, foosball, and other activities in the outdoor patio area – construction will hopefully begin soon.

If elected, I will continue to stay very close to the issues that are important to all of us. I will create a channel of student representation in our school that will work not only with the administration, but also directly with the Board of Trustees, communicating expeditiously back to the student body what their priorities are for the coming year. I will do my best to embed our areas of concern into these priorities and ensure that our common goals are being achieved. As the Board makes important decisions affecting students, one would expect that students’ voices would be directly represented. How else can the Board holistically gauge the most pressing concerns for Lakeside School? I will work with Mr. Noe to secure a simple, easily implemented system for student representation. Although much of the Board’s agenda is focused on finances, student input remains necessary. 

The second area of impact involves diversity – I hope to help us move from a debate on why diversity is a positive to how we will drive and support diversity in our school. This is not a question of whether students will benefit from diverse learning environments so much as it is about how our school can foster the best conditions to maximize the impact of diversity. Students’ experiences in diverse classrooms can provide the kind of cross-cultural dialogue that prepares us for citizenship in a multifaceted society.

My record at our school demonstrates results-oriented advocacy on behalf of all of us. Nothing worth gaining is ever gained without effort. Student Government’s primary duty lies in making a leader out of every single one of you. In providing the pathways necessary for you to effect meaningful change at Lakeside. In giving you an opportunity to have your voices heard, and follow through with action. Student Government is meaningless – absolutely meaningless – without the student. Please give me the chance to have a lasting impact with you next year.

Before I finish up here, I just wanted to quote Julie Ipshording, professional American distance runner: “Run often, run long, but never outrun your joy of running!” Because, as you know, I am running for president. Please consider voting Sebastian. Thank you.