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Standing “Virtue in Action” Committee Looking to Implement New Ideas

Hailey Spaeth

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By Hailey Spaeth ’17, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The efforts of Peer Mentors, and Student Council and Honor Council Members on the Virtue in Action committee are finally coming into fruition this spring. The group began meeting in winter to discuss ways of improving our community and emphasizing the motto of “Virtue in Action”, Country Day’s moral code highlighting our core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, compassion, and courage. After retreats and lunch meetings, the Virtue in Action committee was formed, a group that will continue into the 2017-2018 school year. A sort of mix between Student Council and Honor Council, the group will organize activities to create a stronger, more empathetic community. But many students still have doubts that what the committee has in store will really make a lasting difference.

Head of Upper School Mrs. Luebbers sees the Standing Committee as “a way for our student leadership to build their collective voice and extend their impact to all areas of culture and community engagement.” The committee is led by senior Roshan Chandrakumar, Tony Wen ’18, Nellie Shih ’19, and freshman Joely Virzi. The foursome was involved in the preliminary retreats, and because of their commitment to the message they were trying to convey to the school, stepped up to lead the standing committee. Chandrakumar wanted to lead this effort because he felt passionate that through Virtue in Action, “we could build better connections within the school. He added, “If we get everyone to care about someone or something, to have something at the school really matter to them, that we could fix a lot of the issues we’ve been having as a community.” Shih wants the community “to be more inclusive… and to give everyone a place [here].”

The committee has now broken up into three groups. Group 1 is trying to answer the question: What might we do to better prepare 8th graders and orient them to the Upper School? This is what Shih chose to focus on, because she was “just a freshman last year, and hopes that [she] can help the new freshmen feel less intimidated during their transition to the Upper School.” Group 2, led by Chandrakumar, is planning a one-day event for the high school that will help form bonds amongst students and promote Virtue in Action. He believes this break from classes will “help build connections between students who otherwise might not know each other… and when we create these connections, we create a more inclusive community, a community of togetherness.” Group 3 will be working on using advisory time more effectively and promoting more group interaction during that period.

Despite the students on the committee’s passion for the activates being planned, many other students are skeptical of their effectiveness– especially the one-day event. In casual conversation, students have mentioned that one day isn’t going to make people change out of their cliques. Abby Evans ’17 added: “Students may bond for a few hours, but the next school day they’ll be back to their normal groups.” To contrast, Luebbers believes “The Virtue in Action Committee.. [will] further strengthen our Upper School.” Whether the committee will be effective is still up for question, but it’s obvious that the passionate core of students and faculty in VIA will be working hard to make it so, and that might just be enough.

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Standing “Virtue in Action” Committee Looking to Implement New Ideas