What do House Captains Even Do?

Positive Change at BC High


Christian Topinio ‘23, Editor

When I first applied to be a house captain, I wanted to make positive change. I wanted to be a resource for people around me whenever they needed help, and I wanted the position to influence people’s experiences in BC High.

Since then, I’ve realized that a large part of the house system’s success and effect depends on transparency and cooperation. By cooperation, I don’t mean that one group should have control over another or that the school should be turned into one big chain of command. All of us would benefit if BC High allows students, teachers, clubs, administrators, and countless other people to work with each other. 

This may seem idealistic, but it is why I’m writing this article. I want to write about what I basically do on a day-to-day basis as a house captain, as well as how I would want to improve the house system going forward. I hope there is some value here for people curious about becoming house captains next year, and I hope that people will know more about what we do in general. 

  • Registration
    • You will see me walking through the halls of M2 most mornings before school. I usually talk with people in my house and ask them how they’ve been and what’s going on in their lives. For me and other house captains, this part of our day is important to us. I find a lot of meaning in catching up with other people, and it helps me stay connected with the people in my house.
  • Planning House Meetings
    • Usually, I reach out to Mr. Docanto, my head of house, a couple days before the house block to see our location. Then, I plan with my vice captains (shoutout to Zach Ewing and Pat Maroney) on what to do that day. After we do that, I reach out to all of the senior mentors about our plans. We can also plan ahead on what future house meetings should look like.
  • Meetings with Mr. Stephens and Mrs. Manning
    • Each Wednesday, the house captains meet with Mr. Stephens and Mrs. Manning to essentially discuss what’s going on around the school and our future plans. Imagine a student council meeting, and you basically have a good idea of what our meetings look like. This is how we planned out what to do about what happened in the bathrooms in the beginning of the year, and it is also how we bring up some of the things we want to act on.
  • How We Can Improve
    • The application process for house captains, vice captains, and senior mentors needs more student input. In 2023, we can restrict the candidates to only apply to their house. The head of house and the senior leaders should narrow down the candidates for captain to three people; then, everyone in the house should vote for which person they want next year. 
    • Fifty minutes per week isn’t enough time for house captains to meet. Because it is a relatively short time, our agenda is a bit limited. I think having more time to meet will allow us to plan more things to do as a collective.
    • There should be some sort of way for clubs within the school to directly work with the house captains. A lot of our affinity groups such as AAPIC, BLSU, and the Diversity Cabinet are raising awareness about racism and other forms of bigotry in BC High. Clubs such as The Eagle newspaper (thank you for picking up this paper) and The Boltolphian also need to distribute materials to the broader school community. The house system should be an opportunity to aid these clubs in their goals; this would increase student voice and would create more cohesion with all our disparate efforts.