Written by Lucy (Class of 2020 / Canada)
In early 2019, near the beginning of our second semester at UWC ISAK Japan, Larry (Class of 2020 / Burkina Faso) and I found ourselves being asked to take over the responsibilities of running SNOW, the school’s reformed student’s union. Our seniors, Ayana (Class of 2019 / Japan) and Denzel (Class of 2019 / Zimbabwe) had chosen us to become the next two leaders. We were both honored and excited. We also had no idea what we were doing.
SNOW stands for Seito NO Wa and the mission of SNOW is “to provide structure and resources for students to take initiatives for the better of the community.” There are three committees of SNOW: the Assembly Team, The Problem Solving Committee, and the Student Voice. Each addresses a different but equally important aspect of our coexistence together on campus. In the words of the co-founder Ayana, SNOW is a “group of students humbly working for a greater school despite the difficulties in actually having a united voice of students.”
As the second generation of SNOW leaders, Larry and I focused our efforts on building SNOW’s reputation within the community and involving more students. Together, we successfully recruited 28 members of SNOW this year and worked on ensuring transparent and fair practices of the Code of Conduct with the implementation of a Disciplinary Advisory Committee. We also worked on transforming school assemblies with meaningful activities involving faculty, staff, and students, and problem-solving various issues from snack time on the weekends to extended curfew and the arrangement of the cafeteria tables (which, I assure you, is a pressing issue every day at 12:20 PM when the whole school is lining up for lunch)!
After a year of effort, it is time for the third generation of SNOW leadership to begin. We are proud to announce the next two leaders: Cararise (Class of 2021 / Zambia) and Kano (Class of 2022 / Japan), who have proven themselves as two motivated and passionate people dedicated to making positive change in the community. On their application form, both noted their priority was addressing social divisions among the student body and finding ways to connect and engage different members of our community.
Traditionally, two G11 students are chosen, but this year we picked a G10 and G11 student. Kano has stepped up to the plate in a number of ways in the community, leading the excursion club, sharing her Japanese culture, and leading projects such as planning next year’s orientation week. Cararise has also shown many positive virtues on the Assembly planning committee and exhibits patience, respect, and kindness in everything she does. Together they bring forth different perspectives and a willingness to listen.
Larry and I know how challenging this responsibility will be for them, but we truly believe that we have made the best choice, and wish them luck for the year to come. Being a leader is not always easy but the most important thing is that you take action, especially in the face of discomfort. 🙂
“seito” means school
“no” is of
And “wa” can mean many things:
“Wa” with 和 is harmony
“Wa” with 輪 is circle
“Wa” with 話 is talk
So SNOW is a harmony of students, circle of students, and talks of students.
Links to related blog posts about SNOW: