An Interview with Kathleen Fairweather – Candidate for Student Council President

Kathleen Fairweather: At Your Service


So, to start off, tell us a bit about yourself!

Well, my name is Kathleen Fairweather. I was born in Lausanne, Switzerland. Both of my parents are South African. I lived in Switzerland until I was about 14 and then moved here to London, starting Marymount in Grade 9. I have been part of many school communities since I came to Marymount like Choir, many school theatre productions, and the NHS Lecture Series since Grade 10. I also like reading, singing, taking a long walk in nature, and hiking.

What has been your most memorable Marymount moment so far?

It is difficult to choose just one! In the time I have been here I cannot pick one moment where I have been super, epically happy in comparison to other times. I have always been so consistently happy and have always had fun. I cannot pick out one memory that distinguishes itself from the other.

What prompted you to run for Student Council President?

I want to run for Student Council President because, aside from many of the things I want to do and initiatives I want to bring, I really want to give back to Marymount. Before this I have never run for many major leadership positions in anything I have ever been part of. I feel like Marymount has been responsible for a lot of my growth and development into a more confident and brighter person. I know that it has been the same case for a lot of other people. I feel that as Student Council President I could really use that energy and what the school has given me to hopefully give back something of my own value to the school community.

Our school has often been described as having ‘Marymount Magic’ – what in your opinion is this Marymount ‘magic’, and how do you wish to develop/enhance this with your position as SC President?

The Marymount Magic that people describe is the overwhelming sense of kindness and warmth in the community between the students and teachers that is just unlike any other school that I have been to or witnessed, because there is just no sense of malice or cruelty anywhere. That is the Marymount Magic everybody speaks of, because you are free to be yourself without judgement. I feel that if I were Student Council President, to enhance this I would of course promote the school goals like cultural diversity and other elements required to keep us being

such a tightly knit community, but I would also promote global outreach as part of the RSHM by interacting more with outside communities, like other schools and charities.

Do you have any initiatives/ideas/goals you want to accomplish if elected as President?

It’s funny you should ask that because what I said earlier actually contributes to my answer! I already have a variety of different initiatives, but as I said I want to encourage more interaction with other schools, boy and girl ones alike, for more familiarity and the possibility of gaining different perspectives. I think it would be nice to widen our scope so that we are not just such a tightly knit community, because although it is nice, it can sometimes be a bit of a bubble and to be international we must expand our horizons. We can do this in the form of events like mixers and college fairs that would be beneficial to all parties involved. I also want to encourage more contact between younger and older grades. You see this a lot in the form of programmes like the ‘Big Sister-Little Sister’ programme and maybe even Peer Tutoring, but there is never really an organized effort since we do not see a lot of each other. The ‘Big Sister-Little Sister’ programme seems to peter out after a while, and we need to keep fostering that connection so that we understand each other and maintain good will between the grades. I also want to encourage athleticism in the form of a potential more inclusive Sports Day, and also more outings to different parks like Richmond Park-it’s so close, I think we should take advantage of it! I also want to make the Student Council have a more active presence within the school. I feel that it can be more involved in all areas than just the ceremonial and presentation aspects that we often see Student Council do.

What do you believe makes a strong student leader, and how will you exemplify this as you lead the Student Council and the whole school body?

I think the ability to listen to others and empathy. You need to take into account everyone but also be the driving force that gets the ideas and makes them happen. You need to be responsible for everyone as well as yourself.

Being a leader comes with its own set of challenges. What do you think the challenges of the role of President might be and how would you overcome these?

I think some challenges that the role of Student Council President might bring would be making sure that everyone’s voice is heard. For example, even in Student Council meetings, the younger students that are present might be overshadowed by the older students who are more confident or who perhaps know how to express themselves better. So, a challenge would be to extract everyone’s ideas and make sure that the problem is resolved through that. Other challenges would be to represent the whole school. Like I said, you have to take into account the large student body and somehow express that into one unique voice-that is, the voice of the student body.

Do you have anything else you want the school to know about you and why they should vote you for President?

I know I can fill this role with purpose and self-determination. I know that I can bring a quiet strength to the role and make people feel at ease. I can bring my love of the school community, having been here almost three years, alongside my understanding and knowledge of Marymount, so that I may better serve and hopefully improve the school to reflect its worth. For it is worth a whole lot!