Campus Leaders Share Tips on What it Takes


Credit: Poojaa Prakash Babu

Leaders have the responsibility to be their best selves and be role models for the underclassmen in the community. Leadership roles differ, but whether it’s a team captain or a proctor, each position comes with a demanding workload and responsibility.

There will soon be a whole new crop; on April 13, future sophomores, juniors, and seniors turned in their applications for leadership roles.

Williston brought in a new system for choosing future leaders this year. The applicants this year only had to fill out one form to apply for either International Mentor, Discipline Committee, Proctor, and Admission Intern, the four most prominent forms of leadership on campus. Additionally, there are other leadership opportunities on campus, including captains of sports teams and dance clubs, running a student-led club, being in the student council, and various other positions.

Oscar DeFrancis ’20, is an admission intern, writing center tutor, co-president of the spike ball club and classics club, and future co-captain of the cross country team. Oscar enjoys the responsibility that comes with being such a visible and positive on-campus presence.

“I think it’s really being a leader just means that you are someone people can come to when they need help,” Oscar said.”They feel comfortable talking to you and I think leaders bring communities together.”

Before Oscar became a leader he looked up to Nick Hill ’17, senior class president and the cross country captain. Nick’s selflessness brought everyone together on campus, Oscar said.

“He was our captain for two years…He was really welcoming and he ran with me over the summer,” said Oscar. “And his main goal was the happiness of the whole cross country team as a whole and the community as a whole because he cared about other people more than he did himself and he loved this community.”

Nick currently is a sophomore at Middlebury College.

Nat Markey ’20, is a day student proctor, a future co-captain of the cross country team, a junior class representative, writing center tutor, math center tutor, Arete tutor, and, with Oscar, co-president of the spike ball and classics club. Nat believes as long as you are “willing to put in the time and effort to fulfill” your responsibilities, you can be a leader that “represents the school in a good way”.

Nat, like Oscar, was inspired by past cross country captains, who were also involved in student government.

DJ Poulin ’19, is the current senior class president, he believes that part of a leader’s duty is to lighten everyone’s mood and “getting people energized, getting people really wanting to be around for events on campus.”

DJ went in depth to explain what the campus expects of the upcoming leaders.

“There is a higher expectation for leaders to really be role models, to talk to everyone,” he said. “You know our campus is small enough where you can know everyone’s face at the very least.”

Advice DJ has for the soon-to-be leaders is to, “take initiative, talk to everyone, just be good role models, you can’t go wrong.”

Chelsea Clark ’19, is a proctor in Mem East, admission intern, speech lab tutor, president and founder of the Jewish club, and yearbook editor. Chelsea stated that having leadership positions helped her meet various type of people and become more open.

“I like it, it created a lot of connections with people who I wouldn’t have normally connected with if I wasn’t a leader on campus,” she said. “For example being a proctor, like I don’t think I would ever have contact with a lot of the sophomores if I wasn’t their proctor last year and this year. So I have created a lot of friendships.”

Chelsea said she had to be outgoing so people could come to her if they needed any assistance or guidance. Her advice to future campus leaders: “use your time wisely.”

“Depending on what leadership position you have, be comfortable going outside your comfort zone and your box and reaching out to new people,” she said. Chelsea said many of her friends “would say I am quiet,” but that in her capacity as a campus leader, she tries to be louder, more outspoken, more visible and present as a role model and example.

Kate Garrity, Assistant Dean of Students, also offered some pointers on how upcoming leaders should behave and hold themselves in front of the campus.

“I think the people who are willing to make the tough choices instead of the easy choices, even if it isn’t the most popular thing, makes them a good leader,” said Garrity. “I think the people who are willing to have their door open and be interrupted by someone who needs support makes a good leader. I think you need to be willing to reach out to, but more so listen, to all types of people. There is no leadership position that is a solo job.