Student Leaders’ Views on Their Leadership Training Program

As a part of their commitment to being student leaders, all Student Body and Cluster Co-presidents, dorm Proctors and Prefects, Day Student Mentors, and EBI seniors are required to partake in student leadership training every other Wednesday. The leadership training program consists of a series of courses designed to offer insight for student leaders in handling difficult situations within the dorm and across campus, helping students feel supported throughout the school year. 

Sean Meng ’22, Student Body Co-President:

“The leadership training was quite new to me, like the upper year I was a prefect and went through the leadership training but it was virtual. So having the orientation and everything in person has been way more effective to me. Particularly what’s been so good about leadership training so far is the emphasis put on practicality, it’s not just addressing what the problem is but rather when we had a guest speaker come in and talk about suicide prevention, they were sharing tangible things for student leaders to do. It was really helpful, very powerful. They came in and did a really really amazing job, same with all the organizations that came in. Overall very helpful, and the tangible advice they provided were the biggest plus for me in this program. 

Giselle Jones-Mollod ’22, Proctor in Stevens:

“There are definitely some valuable practical tips that we can use [taking from this program], like looking for signs of substance abuse problems, mental health struggles, or even suicidal ideation. But there’s also a lot of extraneous information that feels time-consuming and maybe not necessarily directly relevant. And I think even learning all this information, I don’t necessarily feel equipped to handle these serious situations in the dorm. It feels like it’s a little surface level and there could be maybe more in depth discussion or like practical information on how to actually hands-on apply this information.” 

Angela Chen ’23, Prefect in Chase: 

“During the leadership training I feel like a lot of it is value-based and kind of like repeating the same things over and over again. What leadership training can’t really do is that it can’t really provide us with the actual experience and they can’t really predict what, like even though it includes a lot of like real life scenarios, it doesn’t really predict what is actually going to happen inside a dorm. I [hope the coordinators could] make it more interactive and engaging because the past couple of sessions that we’ve had were really lecture-based. But I feel like it’s kind of similar to EBI, like I’m not the most appreciated of it, but I feel like it’s something that we should still be going to and listening to and paying attention to.” 

Jaeyong Shim ’23, Day Student Mentor:

“The Peer Listener Program is a good opportunity for me to interact with other leaders on campus and engage with different topics and relevant issues surrounding campus. We always have guest speakers to talk about different topics ranging from alcohols or substances to mental health. In our recent training, we got to talk about what we learned overall in the training program and reflect on our experiences this first month as student leaders. It was interesting to hear what different types of leaders had to say in their areas and how the solutions in resolving conflicts between my mentees and people in dorms may come down to a similar approach. 

Chase Reynders ’22, Pine Knoll Cluster Co-President:

“Recalling the past leadership training sessions, I thought Rosetta Lee’s talk about microaggression was really helpful. She taught us really concrete examples about how to identify and counter the microaggressions that are happening on campus. And I think it really made me realize how much work Andover has to do and it was one of the first training sessions where it really felt like I walked away from it with really invaluable leadership skills and actually having some tools to combat some problems on campus. Hopefully we could have more speakers like her in the future.”

Pema Sherpa ’23, Prefect in Hale:

“[The Leadership Training] provided insight to me on how to approach certain things, like things that I wouldn’t know how to do properly or like the right guidelines or like who to ask for help and stuff like that. So like it showed me, or like the other prefects, more ways to get help on campus. I appreciate the coordinators for designing the program and preparing it, but I also think it’s really time-consuming. Since a bunch of prefects and proctors are upperclassmen, [meeting] every other Wednesday for an hour plus is a really big chunk, especially [at] 6:45 when [most upperclassmen] have study hours or other commitments. So yeah, it’s really helpful, but it’s really, really time consuming.” 

Trey Wolfe ’23, Prefect in Rockwell:

“One thing I will say that is really helpful was about stress management, because a lot of kids, especially the Uppers [who] got used to the schedule last year and this year having like one and half times the courses with no time really during the day to work, are stressing a lot. They did a great job providing advice and insights into such relevant problems faced by students right now. I would say sometimes like certain things get repetitive [in the training], but it’s also very necessary information. [Though], I would probably change the times of the meetings because you know they are Wednesday nights, I would just make them earlier in the day.”

Ethan Sun ’23, Prefect in America House:

“To me, the presentations and activity done for leadership training are like reiterating and stating the obvious, like what do you do when someone’s trying to commit suicide, like help them out, keep their best interest in mind. I think the initial, it is helpful when you stress certain things and teach us how to care for people’s mental health and emphasizing your prefectees or mentees well being first, but it is frustrating when the same topic and solutions get reiterated again and again and stressing the same things without like adding anything new on to them. I do believe they do make good points and teach good initial lessons, but it feels like it doesn’t grow much past that. 

Editor’s Note: Sean Meng ’22 is a Business Editor for The Phillipian