Forum’s Role in Changing Blake

Movies playing in the JNA and at the Carlson Commons, the endless supply of sugary baked goods that lured students to the food stands, the freedom to be virtually anywhere in the building: utter and total relaxation.

This event was created and supported by Forum, designed for students to relax and decompress. As a secondary cause, the profits from the Fall Fest food sales were donated to local charities: thus, a “double-whammy”.

From running a blood drive, a homework-free weekend mission, and countless other community events under its belt, Forum’s work has a bit of a signature, as it always takes on the form of either organizing or performing good for others.

“I love people,” says Drew Anderson ‘17, a first-year freshman Forum member. “I want to listen to them and then translate their wants into my actions.” There is no better way to express the collective compassion of the Forum committee.

Composed of ten students, two per grade with the addition of the junior and senior class presidents, this club is the unsung hero that pulls strings to maximize both the enjoyment factor and the range of opportunities students get to experience at Blake.

Lately, Forum members have begun to experiment with ways to further develop their impact in the school. As experienced Forum member and current Senior Class President Margaret Graham ‘14 says: “We are working on [amending] Forum’s constitution because we want to make it a more effective and visible body.” She excitedly reports that the group is also drafting a budget to extend their ability to create action in the community.

Catalyzing these changes and events is tough work, and notably time-consuming. Anderson comments, “The changes definitely take a while to put into action. But [the reason] it takes so long is because there is a lot of discussion.” The process of approving an idea undergoes intense debate and numerous votes, to ensure the right decision is made. Though conflict can become a barrier that holds the group back from reaching a conclusion, members agree that heated discussion ensures that strong decisions will be reached. Cameron Downey ‘17 explains, “One of the best parts [of Forum] is that we all have an opportunity to speak.”

Looking at the many changes Forum has helped make over the years, the wait is well worth the results.

Leadership is unquestionably something highly valued at Blake. Graham explains her motivation in saying: “I love the power the role gives me to connect with more members of my class. One of the most rewarding [aspects] of this

Edmund Chute '16, former Forum member, attests that a typical Forum meeting is "discussion-based."
Edmund Chute ’16, former Forum member, attests that a typical Forum meeting is “discussion-based.”

experience is knowing I get to represent a larger group of people.” Graham mentions that she is very interested in politics will pursue that interest in college.

Members suggest that you listen to their meetings, as they welcome every spark of interest in leadership. Find something you wish to lead in–outside or inside school; an extracurricular or a social cause; formal or everyday. Practice communicating and cooperating, advocate for your ideas, and chase after the things whose importance you can truly grasp. Success is often achieved where a person’s strength crosses paths with passion.