HOW THE SENIOR SEVEN BECAME THE SENIOR EIGHT
Diabate is the first Community Standards Leader at SBP
On the last day of the 2019-20 academic year, eight seniors got on a Zoom call to learn who among them earned a place on the Senior 7, the senior group leadership team for the year. “Why am I here?” Sekou Diabate ’21 wondered as positions were announced, thinking one of them was about to get cut. After Sunil Das ’21 was named Senior Group Leader, Sekou was the last guy standing. Headmaster Fr. Edwin Leahy, O.S.B. ’63 revealed a new senior leadership position centered on student discipline, and asked Sekou to take the helm.
If the creation of the new leadership position surprised Sekou, it’s responsibilities did not. The genesis of Community Standards Leader began in an unofficial capacity last year, when Malachi McCoy ’20 asked Sekou to help him with discipline issues like chronic lateness, dress code infractions, and overseeing JUG (Justice Under God) afterschool for the Boys Prep Division. Once the duo got going, conduct immediately improved. “Before we started the Discipline Committee, people were walking up the street to get to Convo,” Sekou recalled. “Getting there early or on time, wasn’t really a priority. Once kids had something on their back — I don’t want to be here after school for an hour and 30 minutes for JUG — they started running to Convo.”
Malachi and Sekou’s efforts worked so well, faculty and student-leaders wanted a permanent position within the senior group leadership team. The original title slated for the role however, Discipline Leader, didn’t sit well with Sekou. “When Malachi and I were doing the Discipline Committee, the vibe I had from students was us versus them,” he explained. “Now that we’re the Senior 8, I didn’t want to create that image of the eight of us, versus everyone else. I changed the name to Community Standards Leader to make it more comfortable without having that police like vibe.”
As the School’s first Community Standards Leader, Sekou recognizes the decisions he makes this year will shape the position for future Gray Bees. “I don't have anyone to model off of like all the other leaders,” he acknowledged. “It gives me a lot of leeway to do different things that I can add on for the following year.” He plans to build on the progress he and Malachi established, and is taking on new responsibilities as a member of the Honor Code Committee.
Watch Virtual Convo closely and you’ll see Sekou work community standards in subtler ways. He’s intentional about singing the Convo songs to keep the energy of Gray Bees up and has even nudged Fr. Ed on occasion to keep the live stream moving and start classes on time. Click here to watch clip of banter between Sekou and our Headmaster.
“We have that friendly relationship,” he acknowledged with a smile. While he’s giving his all to his brothers and community senior year, Sekou, who is a varsity wrestler who qualified for the National Prep Championship last year, still has to plan for his own future. Right now, he’s thinking about colleges and enlisting in the military. “I just want to be successful and to provide for my family,” he said. “That’s it basically. That’s the end goal.”