Many students believe that the more equal distribution of leadership among students is a bad thing, that the administration is just trying to make people “feel good,” but I would argue that there are other compelling reasons to keep people from holding multiple, time-consuming positions. The old system where one could hold as many leadership positions as he or she wanted seems as if it was made for a time when students had more free time. But now that there are many students who pursue leadership positions and have one or no free periods, it is unrealistic to think that students could possibly do as well academically when they have too many outside of school commitments. Most of these students would probably be wonderful leaders, but they simply wouldn’t have the time to devote to more than one position.
What the administration is doing will keep people from overextending themselves. How is someone supposed to effectively captain a sport, do six or seven subjects of homework, go to a peer-counseling meeting, run a club meeting, and then go proctor a hall at night? Students won’t be able to contribute the same level of energy to all of these tasks that they could if they only had one leadership position.
Deerfield students often try to do as much as they can, but when there’s no one telling them that enough is enough, they’ll take on too much. Giving students a cap on the number of positions they can hold will ensure that students think carefully about the leadership they will choose.
The new rules will keep Deerfield from having leaders who are distracted. Underclassmen will benefit when their proctors are around more, students who need help with a class will benefit when peer tutors have time to teach, and students who need to talk will benefit when peer counselors are less stressed.