Lion and Sword: Ensuring the right kind of members / by Rish Basu

The Lion and Sword Society is having increased difficulty in ensuring that its members fulfill their obligations more completely than some are now showing. 

Headed by sponsors Kerry Schneidewind and Korey Mack in the admissions office, the Lion and Sword Society, the school’s student ambassador program, serves to provide prospective families with tours across campus during Open House and school events like Baccalaureate and the Cum Laude ceremony. 

While we respect the fundamental purpose of the society, we also understand that its members must be unreservedly committed to its responsibilities — without the additional imposing from sponsors Schneidewind and Mack.

In order to identify and recruit more committed members, we feel significant changes need to be made in the group’s application form. 

We understand that it would be very time consuming and somewhat tedious to conduct interviews for each applicant. However, with a few simple additions to the application, the sponsors can take the same amount of time to review each application while attracting the best possible candidates.

We feel the teacher recommendation form does not appropriately reflect what is required of a Lion and Sword member and ambassador of the school. However, we urge that the society’s sponsors implement and consider four key elements in the teacher form that we feel would reveal an exemplary candidate.

Public speaking. The scheduled tours — most involving extended conversations with a number of families— should be conducted by students with comfort and poise around other people. Having a conversation should be something that’s natural to a Lion and Sword member.

Knowledge. Every Lion and Sword member should be knowledgeable enough about the school to be able to clearly express and describe the school’s traditions, heritage and purpose. We recommend that the Lion and Sword application ask applicants to describe the operations of the school in a written paragraph. 

Outside activities. The number of activities a student participates in — which could correspond with the student’s commitment to the society in the future — is something we feel should be considered in the application process. If a student is playing three sports or is a member of multiple extracurricular activities on campus, his schedule and amount of spare time should be brought into consideration.

Comfort around adults. Every Lion and Sword member should feel comfortable around adults, as he will have to interact with them for a majority of events throughout the year.

It is impractical to place a majority of the society’s duties on three or four extremely dedicated members. However, through the aforementioned additions to the application, the Lion and Sword Society can maintain its high membership while identifying students who are capable of satisfying the basic needs of serving as a reliable and personable school ambassador.

Students who are members of the society should promptly respond to the sponsors’ emails, communicate frequently with the admission office and not treat Lion and Sword as a readily available resume addition.

We urge sponsors Schneidewind and Mack to completely alter the Lion and Sword application form so that the society continues to represent the school well with members who reflect the student body’s responsibility, engagement and integrity.