The Vertical House System lends itself nicely to creating leadership opportunities for older students as mentors and role models for the junior students. Within each House there are an elected number of students from grades 9-11 who become House Captains. These students are very active in the daily organisation and completion of administrative tasks. House Captains also help to organise house members for inter-house competitions and monthly assemblies. In addition to House Captains, the opportunity for two School Captains arises from the House System. Grade 11 students are eligible to run for this position. In the fall of the school year, eligible student leaders campaign and deliver a speech to prove they are the best choice to represent the student body for the remainder of the academic year. The winners are voted in by a student/staff representative panel, comprised of 2 students from each grade level and the majority of the staff body. The School Captains advocate on behalf of student concerns, advise the school’s Senior Management Team, organise and lead student initiatives and MC monthly assemblies. This approach empowers students to have a stake in their school, not as passive subjects of adult administration but as active leaders involved in the processes that directly affect them on a daily basis. The result is a school wherein ‘community’ is not a buzzword for a mission statement but an actual way of life that envelops the entire campus and its constituents.
UISZ develops opportunities for student involvement in the areas of decision making, building community, encouraging self-esteem and developing effective communication. One of the recognised ways of achieving such goals is by having selected students serve on the Student Council.