One of Student Council’s main goals for the 2021–2022 school year is to bring the Loyola Academy community together. The student leadership club hasn’t skipped a beat since classes began in August, and they’ve been focused on connection and community ever since. The first thing they did to achieve this goal? Student Council combined the separate grade level councils of the sophomore, junior and senior classes into one large group. This brought about greater community, collaboration and communication. The change also helped highlight different perspectives since multiple the grade levels were represented at once. For the first semester, the freshman council still met separately to learn leadership skills and get to know one another, but they’ll join the larger council in the second semester.
Senior Class President Liam Zidar '22 explains that Student Council’s influence in the school is unique among other student groups, which typically focus on hobbies (or even service work) outside of school. Because Student Council focuses on the student experience, there’s a big opportunity for impact at LA. “Student Council’s impact is more than just hosting homecoming and prom,” he says. “It’s creating this healthy and fun school environment that students feel safe and excited to be a part of and participate in.”
Junior Student Council member Helena Kavanagh '23 adds, "Each week we come together not only as a community, but as a family. I love the aspect of being able to be a leader in the school, the decisions we get to make, the activities we run and the people that look up to us."
In planning for the 2021–2022 school year, Student Council added new days to the student calendar. Every Friday became a Flex Friday with different activities for students to participate in during their flex periods. These helped provide new opportunities for all students to get involved. With activities like a water balloon toss and popsicles, capture the flag, relays, dodgeball, a field goal contest, BINGO, trivia, musical chairs and karaoke, there really was something for everyone.
Once a month, Student Council hosted Movie Monday in the Student Center. Students enjoyed popcorn and watching a different movie with friends and classmates each month. Featured films included “Ferris Bueller's Day Off,” “Monsters Inc.,” “Blind Side” and “The Grinch.”
In addition to Movie Mondays and Flex Fridays, during the first semester Student Council sponsored Spirit Week, the annual Powder Puff game, the Pep Rally and Homecoming.
In September, members created a display of 2,974 American flags at the Loyola Academy sign on the corner of Lake and Laramie Avenues to recognize the 20th anniversary of September 11th. On National Ice Cream Day, they sponsored an ice cream bar in the Piazza.
In October, they held the Senior Sunrise, a new tradition for the senior class. For Halloween, Student Council hosted an event for Ramblers to decorate sugar skulls, set up Halloween Hidden Prizes and organized the sale and delivery of popular “Boo Gram” messages to classmates.
In November, Student Council hosted a station for writing Christmas cards to soldiers and, in December, there was an opportunity for making ornaments for Christmas.
“All of these events encouraged the student body to be more open to coming back together and ultimately strengthened the sense of community of Loyola,” Zidar adds.
After a successful (and busy!) first semester, Loyola’s Student Council has no intention of slowing down. “It is crucial that the Student Council remains strong and committed year round,” says Zidar. “We serve as a voice for the student body and if our council is not committed, that voice will not be heard. We are dedicated to providing a means for student expression and assistance in whatever school affairs or activities the student body is concerned with.”
"It is so important for the Loyola community to have a strong council during these times because it has been so hard to feel like a community after being separate for so long," says Kavanagh. "Having a group that is committed to making the school feel like a community and bring everyone together is crucial. I have met many new people in Student Council and grown so close to them and I am so lucky and honored to be part of such an amazing group."
"Being a part of Student Council, I've been able to contribute to creating this community at Loyola," adds sophomore Student Council member Maddy Byrd '24. "Having a strong Student Council is so important during these times to help students feel like we are here for them. I think Student Council has made coming to school during these times so much easier. I've loved getting to see the progress Student Council has made and can't wait to see how much we can accomplish!"
Thank you to the following Student Council members for all of their hard work and dedication!
Loyola Academy Student Council Officers 2021–2022
President: Liam Zidar
Senior VP: Kendall Beil
Junior VP: Luke Hughes
Sophomore VP: Maddy Byrd
Freshman VP: Annie Atwood
Secretary: John Phillips
Social Media: Jane Calk, Kate Ginn, Ally Walsh
Senior Student Council Members
Mary Claire Hendrick
Junior Student Council Members
Sophomore Student Council Members
Freshman Student Council Members
Elizabeth (Elle) Anderson