Meet the Candidate: Madis Kennedy ’21

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Photo credit: Ultimate Exposures

By Oracle Staff

2020-2021 Exec Board candidates filled out applications for the position. All candidates were given the opportunity to share those responses with the Oracle for the student body to read.

1) Choose a leadership quote and in a short paragraph explain how it applies to your “style” of leadership and why. 

You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.”

— Mother Teresa

This quote is really meaningful to me because it is kind of meta. The quote itself demonstrates a form of leadership. It doesn’t tell the reader what to do, or give some grand piece of advice, but rather points out such a simple fact that I think leaders often look past. No single person can do it all. The first step of leadership is acknowledging one’s own weaknesses and strengths, and guiding others to acknowledge their own as well. In doing this, a much stronger team is created. I feel that as a leader I am good at helping people see what they are good at, and where they fit. Student Council is oftentimes hard to navigate, and I’ve personally experienced the anxiety and stress that surrounds trying to find your own role in all of it. I will recognize my weaknesses, and focus on delegating to people I know feel strong in the areas that I do not. My greatest goal for Student Council is to help everyone contribute to its success – those who are good at art, organization, or math, those who are louder and are comfortable telling people what to do, but also those who are more thoughtful and speak up a little less. I think this quote really embodies that mentality.

2) As a student council member, what important goals would you have for Student Council? For Archer?

First, I want to push Archer to be even more united. After being stuck at home for almost a month and a half now, I’ve realized that the people I miss the most aren’t my best friends, or the people in most of my classes. It’s the people who I don’t usually talk to that I miss the most. The people who smile at me in the hallways and the people who I see in really cool costumes during Spirit Week but never end up talking to. I want to push the school to a place where fewer of those people exist. Where inter-grade connection can occur, where school culture allows for deeper conversations between acquaintances. This can be done by adding events throughout the year, similar to the diversity conference, that create space for conversation and connection between the entire student body. I talked about my goals for student council in the previous question, but in addition to those I would like to push student council to collaborate more with AAA clubs, community service, and the arts programs at Archer to push towards my goal for the school as a whole, creating a more connected community.

3) What are your plans for increasing school spirit and student participation at Archer?

I think I talked about this quite a bit in the previous question, but I plan on increasing connection through more events centered around conversations about Diversity Equity and Inclusion, along with increasing collaboration with AAA clubs to create new events. In addition to this, I really want to get a bouncy house. At some point. I am not sure if it’s possible, but I just feel like it would really get people excited, kind of like the ball pit. I want to create more surprise events that we plan without the knowledge of the student body, and more schoolwide games (assassin maybe?). Next year, I definitely want to keep and expand color wars, especially by connecting it to the Senior V. Faculty Volleyball/Softball game at the end of the year.

4) What role(s) do you think Student Council should play at Archer? Is Student Council currently fulfilling that role? If not, what changes do you propose to make it happen?

Student council is doing its job very well in terms of creating events that foster competition between the grades, and also in terms of overseeing a successful and organized event. However, in terms of actually pushing the school to be more connected, and creating real meaning in the community, it is lacking. We need to collaborate with all of the student groups on campus to make Archer the connected space that it is so close to being. Leadership has to come from a desire to better one’s community, and StuCo should give students more opportunities to fulfill that desire. There should be more correspondence between StuCo and all of the adults on campus, so that we know what changes we can actually make, and how they can help us make them.

5) Why do you want to be on Student Council, really?

Because for the past two years it has been the highlight of my archer experience. I love seeing small ideas tossed around in Ms. Finney’s room turn into full-blown events with the whole school in attendance. I love the little adrenaline rush that happens when everything is just coming together. I have so many hopes and dreams for the future of StuCo and I would love to continue to see them come true. In all honesty, I don’t think I would be able to imagine my days without StuCo.