Indiana Area Senior High School

By JACOB CHRISTIAN – Positions of authority need to be chosen for capabilities, giving equal opportunity for all races, genders, and ages. This is a necessity throughout society at large, but also right here at IHS. In the various clubs and organizations at IHS, students that are given positions where they can lead are selected by a variety of methods based on a large range of requirements. For instance, some positions are only available to seniors, while others can be appointed to anyone based on abilities. While this ensures that the student has reached a level of maturity to an extent, students need to be selected based on their ability and their ability alone. Examples of different selection methods can be seen in the Marching Band, Sendracs, and Student Government Association.

Benjamin Van Wieren, the Senior Class Representative, talks about how SGA chooses their leaders. “Mr. Bertig makes a poll and all who want leadership positions will sign up. Then the poll is shared among SGA members and we vote… anyone can sign up to be a leader. Mr. Bertig looks for a commitment to the club and a leading spirit, with a great comprehension on how to run a complex and time demanding club.”

Much like SGA, Sendracs, the drama department at IHS, chooses leadership positions democratically. Junior Alyssa McLaine, the Sendracs Secretary, spoke about their selection process. “It’s a [democratic] voting process. First, members are nominated by a member of Sendracs. They require signatures from teachers and upperclassmen. They must also write an essay, then the entire club votes.”

In the Marching Band, positions are chosen differently. Senior Ty Matos, the Drumline Commanding Officer, speaks about the leadership selection process. “For drumline, similar to the other positions, you throw your hat in the ring and you’re considered based on ability.” He adds that Mr. Olear looks for qualities such as, “not putting up with nonsense, competency on their instrument, and being a decent person.” When asked if he thought positions were chosen fairly, he stated, “Zach Palko was a section leader sophomore year and he’s good, people get positions based on how well they play and not how old they are.”

While all of these leaders agree that merit-based appointments are the best way to go, some of them acknowledge the drawbacks to some of the methods used to select them. For instance, McLaine said, “I think there is always a risk with voting that people who don’t deserve positions will get them, but the current leaders are best for the job.”

The point she brings up is important; if leaders are chosen democratically, then there is a potential that the students could choose someone that they like, and not someone who is good for the position. This leads into the system Mr. Olear uses in Marching Band. His system works because he has less vested interest in whether the student is liked and is far more likely to choose them based on their ability.

When asked if their system was the best way, across the board, the interviewees gave a resounding yes. This is a great sign that these systems are working well, and that leaders are chosen fairly at IHS.

[Photo by Jacob Christian]

Photo Caption: “Owen Morris, a junior and Drum Major, conducts the marching band as they rehearse for their Friday show.”

Jacob Christian

Jacob is a senior and a first year reporter for the High Arrow.  He joined journalism to use as a creative outlet and as a way to challenge himself and improve his writing.