The Inauguration of Gonzaga’s Senator (2017-2018)

It has been almost 6 months ever since the execution of senate chairman election. The new senate chairman has been inaugurated during a flag ceremony on January 23, 2017. Elisabeth Sekar Kusumawardhana (grade 11) and 10 other senate members were ready to fulfill their duty with the motto: “Servire Exempla Trahit” which means “serving is duty in action”.

Keeping track of Sekar and friends’ rise to their current positions in the Senate was no easy task. They had to go through many different tasks.

The first step of the journey involved participating in a written test, which was done by 120 students. The results are then narrowed down to the 60 participants with the best score. Phase two has the aforementioned 60 participants joining an LKI (Latihan Kepemimpinan Ignatian, Ignatian Leadership Training). The training itself takes place in Civita Youth Camp and is led by Father Bei, SJ. Third, the candidates are asked to be the coordinators for many events that take place within SMA Kolese Gonzaga. They’re responsible for hosting crucial events such as Christmas masses and the “first day, free day” event. Both events went astoundingly well. Step four, candidates go through an interview test. They are interviewed by the dean of students himself, the senate’s aide teacher and former senators. The results of these interviews are used to narrow down the amount of remaining candidates to three people.

         

Step five, the three remaining candidates are given two weeks to promote their campaign as head of senate. Step six takes place after all the promoting has been done, and requires the three remaining candidates to participate in an event called a “pleno”, which is a whole community meeting to discuss each candidate’s campaign as president of senate. The meeting is witnessed by the entire school, which includes the students, teachers, and staff in general. The meeting is used by the candidates as an opportunity to tell the school about the programs they intend to undergo if selected as president of senate. During the event, each candidate has a right to criticize each other’s programs. In a similar manner, said candidates also have the right to ask and acquire information about the other candidates. For these reasons, the pleno is a highly anticipated event for all members of the school. The final phase takes place on the day of the election, and the votes are counted at the end of that very day. Once the results have been counted, the president of senate will be officially selected based on the candidate with the highest number of votes.

There are lots of lessons to be learnt from the senate selection process in SMA Kolese Gonzaga. Students are taught to select leaders through the process of democracy in a polite and elegant way. In addition, students also learn that in order to be a leader, you need not only intelligence, but also compassion and kindness. In order for one to be a good leader, one also needs to be a willing servant for others.

We wish Elisabeth Sekar Kusumawardhana and the senators of the 2017-2018 the best of luck. Be strong and rejoice in serving. We would also like to thank the members of the 2016-2017 senate for your service in the previous year. You have surpassed all our expectations. God bless all of us.

AMDG