SPS Today: Educating Student Leaders | LINC Sets the Stage
There was something amiss between humanities faculty member Chip Campbell and his languages colleague Alejandro Saravia, Ph.D. While in the company of 20 students, the two began arguing. Saravia stood bewildered, with a shabby bathrobe over his clothes, as Campbell sat back and barked orders. “Third Formers should be in and out of the shower by 8 a.m.,” bellowed Campbell, pretending to be a Sixth Former, as Saravia played the role of a Third Former. The crime? Saravia’s fictional newcomer utilized the only shower on his house floor five minutes before the 8:30 a.m. start of Chapel.
While Saravia’s commitment to the role drew laughs, Campbell’s assumption of power caused one student to remark, “Pretty mean, Mr. Campbell.” “Is that ok?” Campbell asked the group. The answer was a collective “no.”
The example was one of several live-action scenarios portrayed by faculty members during a day-long leadership training for returning Sixth Form officers, athletic team captains, Prefects, Chapel Council members, Student Admission Officers, and Living in Community (LINC) leaders. The session, coordinated by Vice Rector for School Life Theresa Ferns ’84, Dean of Students Aaron Marsh ’97, and associate deans Suzanne Ellinwood, Jennifer Cotton, and Mashadi Matabane, tested students on their comprehension of the student handbook and their ability to handle stressful situations and take action.
“The whole LINC curriculum that we have in place focuses on skills that are going to equip students to be able to act in situations like these,” explained Ferns. “We want them to work for the greater good, for the better of the community, to take the perspective of somebody else, and to have empathy.” From the time students enter the School until they graduate, these lessons are repeated and built upon in LINC classes. Among the adolescent development topics taught is bystander intervention, a theme explored further in the Fourth Form year, ultimately preparing students for leadership roles as Prefects or LINC leaders.