Suggestions For House Council

May 30, 2018

2 years ago, ISB introduced the house system to high school along with House Council in an effort to unite students from all grade levels. Through this system, advisory groups are placed in one of the 4 houses – Yaksha, Hongsa, Rajasi, or Makara. The mission statement of House Council states:

House Council plans student social events throughout the school year with the purpose of building spirit and community. Our council aims to strengthen the bond between grades using our diverse House system. House Council members are creative, collaborative, and committed.

For the past 2 years, House Council has organized a wide array of activities to foster unity among the high school student body. The Amazing Race was held at the start of the year, followed by icebreaker activities during House Assemblies, and events such as Clash of the Dodges and pie eating contests. Unfortunately, it seems to me that most student conversations about the House System seem to be, well, a little less than enthusiastic. That is not to say that there isn’t a ton of effort being put forward by the House Council, and of course, the program is still in its infancy.

Being a new student this past August, I also have to say that my first impressions of the houses were not particularly great, though I do think it can be something special.  So, with all due respect, here are two suggestions I have that may be worth considering as the House system grows up over the coming years… 

  1. Increased awareness of House Council

Many students do not know what House Council actually does. For example, the students only found out the factors behind the calculation of house points 11 months into the school year. There should be more transparency between House Council and the student body since there is still a lot that we don’t know about this new system. If students actually understood how the system works, how points are calculated etc, they would be more appreciative of the council and have more enthusiasm in participating. 

2. Spirit Day

House Council could organise a day where students would participate in various activities around the school and earn points for their house. In ISM, an annual event that all high school students look out for is Battle of the Bearcats (BOB). During BOB, students will participate in activities like Minecraft, quidditch, and even cake decorating in order to earn points for their grade level. The day starts off with a class cheer competition in the gym where each class would make banners and try to clinch the spot for “Best Cheer”. After that, students go around school with flags and makeshift drums, and spirit points will be awarded at each event to the class with the most spirit. The introduction of House Fest seems like a good emulation of a spirit day equivalent, but organising it earlier in the year would have allowed current seniors to participate and perhaps allow a space for students to form strong bonds, even among graduating seniors and others. Adding more events that the students are interested in (perhaps Dota or Minecraft) could greatly improve participation and fire up enthusiasm.

I understand something like this is planned for the last few days of class.  I say “Well done, House Council!” if that is true.  For the house system to really take hold, events like this need to happen consistently throughout the year, and be something we all look forward to.

Thank you for listening!

What do you think about the current house system at ISB? Do you have any suggestions that could improve the current system? Do let us know in the comments below.

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