Link Crew should shift focus from ‘links’ to issues
Each school year begins with the infamous freshman orientation, the introduction of the incoming freshmen to the daunting world of high school. At Saratoga it is spiced up with the leadership of Link Crew leaders, upperclassmen who put in hours of preparation to dress up, entertain and introduce groups of freshmen to the school.
Yet just a few months or even a few weeks later, upperclassmen can be heard trying to recall the names of their Link freshmen, and some freshmen even admit that they never really learned the names of their Link Crew leaders in the first place. As well-meaning as Link Crew is, “links” often do not truly form between many Link Crew leaders and their freshmen.
Beyond running the one day of freshman orientation, Link Crew leaders also have to lead about three tutorials at the beginning of the school year, host Link Crew events such as “Coffee and Cram,” and contact their freshmen monthly.
Yet not enough bonding occurs between the leaders and the freshmen. During events, the freshmen tend to congregate into their own separate groups, with the occasional “How’s freshman year going?” from the upperclassmen. Other than during the forced encounters in Link Crew events, many freshmen do not associate with their Link Crew leaders. Thus, there is not much relatable information between the two groups to discuss.
Overall, Link Crew needs a new focus. Aside from fruitlessly attempting to link the upperclassmen with the freshmen, it should address larger issues. Freshman orientation should not consist of simply introducing freshmen to the campus layout, the personalities of different teachers and the difficulty of various classes.
If there exists a constant problem with bullying in the incoming freshman classes as there has in the past two, the issue should be addressed from the start, beginning with freshman orientation as students are first getting to know each other. To maintain the “Saratoga culture” of limited bullying and cheating, students, parents and staff cannot merely complain about the problem and try to reform it after the problem has spread.
Teachers can aid Link Crew by observing and analyzing the adjustment and progress of the freshmen in their classrooms. While it is too much to hope that Link Crew can eradicate bullying in the freshman class, it would be a step toward minimizing the problem.
Currently freshmen are paired with their Link leaders after both the incoming freshmen and upperclassmen note their most important extracurricular activities. One extracurricular may prove a common interest, but it can be hard to bond over. More interests should be noted when Link leaders complete their applications. Additionally, both the freshmen and Link leaders could take personality surveys, so people with similar personalities can be grouped together. For example, a group of extroverted people who love performing shows could bond more easily than a group people who just note they love dancing. Hopefully then more true friendships and “links” can be formed.
Freshman orientation and Link Crew, however, need not consist of boring lectures on bullying. Link Crew members should incorporate entertainment as well as lessons for the freshmen to easily transition from their middle school lives to the larger world of Saratoga.
May 31: First Period Final
June 3: Senior Awards Night
June 3: Second and Third Period Final
June 4: Fourth and Fifth Period Final
June 5: Sixth and Seventh Period Final
- Boys' tennis vs. Serra in CCS semis; girls' softball plays Milpitas for league championship; girls' lacrosse @ Paly at 7 in SCVAL playoffs.
- Boys' Tennis stunned No. 2 ranked Monta Vista 11-4 on Monday in CCS.
- Varsity baseball starts a best of 3 series with Wilcox for the League Championship. Today's game is @ Wilcox 3:30
- The swim team is competing at League Finals today at Palo Alto.
- The baseball team beat Palo Alto 4-3 on May 2, sweeping the season series against the traditional powerhouse. Kyle Dozier pitched 6 innings.