I’m Niko, recently elected as the head of our student council, “SNOW,” for 2024. My connection with UWC ISAK started back at the UWC ISAK Japan Summer School 2024, an experience that profoundly changed my life and led me to apply to ISAK’s three-year high school program. Now, as a second-year student and leader of SNOW, I am eager to work alongside my amazing team to make ISAK an even better place to live and learn.
Photo credits: Loogmai (Thailand / Class of 2024)
Embracing a New Year and the Legacy of our SNOW Team
As the new school term makes a beginning, this also signifies a start for the new student council team. Following the footsteps of the powerful SNOW team of 2023, we have an equally passionate and motivated team that is ready to take on any challenge that comes our way.
The Evolution of UWC ISAK’s Student Council
Over the years, ISAK’s student council – SNOW – and its influences have developed from its origins. With each term, new ideas on how to function as a group emerged. Currently, under the SNOW team, we have 8 representatives, including a newly established UWC representative role and roughly 5 committees. Each representative has their own focus area and in SNOW we work together to tackle issues that the school faces and to dream of the possibilities.
Lessons in Leadership from the 2023 SNOW Team
The number of applications that we had and the strong team that we were able to build is testament to how incredible the previous SNOW student council was. Our new team reflects the successes of the previous one. The SNOW team of 2023, showed us by action, what is possible in this position. From things that seem seemingly small like opening up a building so that it can be used all the time, getting outside wifi, allowing students to work on the grass, as well as huge initiatives of connecting with external organizations, the changes that they made to the school were truly remarkable and our second home feels even more like home now. In a tight-knit community that remains open-minded and supports student ambitions in leadership, so much is possible for a student council. Seeing the potential for what can be done, and dreaming of making changes as they did, the 2024 team came together.
Current Initiatives and Future Plans of SNOW 2024
Three weeks into our term, there are already many ideas taking off. Some relate to areas of improvement in our school while others are ambitious and idealistic pursuits. We have initiatives related to improving the environment within the school, revisiting the community agreement system that we have in place, organizing culture and focus weeks to celebrate the diversity that we have on campus.
Global Connection: Strengthening Ties with UWC Schools
This year we have a strong focus on strengthening our relationship with the other 17 UWCs around the world as well. On an isolated campus it is sometimes easy to forget that we are part of a bigger movement and community. We have 4 students from UWC Thailand visiting our campus in February and in March, we will be visiting them back in UWC Thailand and also UWC SEA in singapore. We believe this will be a crucial way to understand and learn from our fellow UWC schools. There are still big questions to be asked such as ‘How do we balance being an international school and a school in Japan?’ ‘How do we become more sustainable as a school’ and so on. We will continue having these conversations between the student body and the representatives to bridge the faculty and students.
Meet the 2024 SNOW student council
President: Niko (Japan/Australia)
Vice President: Raphaël (France)
UWC Representative: Lana (Croatia)
Pastoral Representative: Shanida (Namibia)
Communications Representative: Sayaka (Japan)
CA Representative: Anirudh (India)
Academics Representative: Midori (Japan)
CK Representative: Valery (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Leadership Representative: Ethan (Hong-Kong)
Clubs and Activities Representative: Victor (Guatemala)
Shanida (Pastoral Rep) says she wants to “Focus on issues related to three areas: 1. Residential life and well being, 2. Mental health and school morale, and 3. Financial assistance.” She aims to “enhance the ISAK experience ensuring a supportive environment uniquely crafted for ISAK students.” Valery (Cezars Kitchen Rep) says he wants to “make good use of the role of “representative.” Getting more direct and effective feedback from students, using my voice to address all sorts of comments or complaints.”
Lana (UWC Rep) speaks: “After every SNOW meeting I feel confident that the old SNOW and students have chosen the great team. I feel confident that we can connect the student body with faculty and staff to create an environment for every student to grow and thrive in our community.“
Carrying Forward the SNOW student council Legacy
SNOW 2024 is the aftermath and product of a successful SNOW team in 2023. Our team is diverse in personalities, experience, backgrounds and thought. What we all have in common is passion and ambition for our roles. We understand the influence and responsibility that comes with it and we understand our need to do our best in a school where we can color the student experience largely. In this coming year, we will work together, recognizing the uniqueness in what we have here, realizing the potential in our position, and striving for the ideal.
Carrying the legacy of SNOW, passed down through generations, we are the same organization with a new breeze. A newly imagined SNOW is making a start.