By Julian De Ocampo ’13
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word “summit” has two meanings: “the highest point or peak” and “a conference of high-level officials.”
Each year, the Brophy Summit on Human Dignity creates this conference by hosting dozens of speakers and conversations to educate students about important social issues.
But if the Summit is like a mountain, then who brings the students to the peak?
Look no further than the Summit Committee, a group of dedicated students and faculty members who bring the entire program together.
The topic is chosen each year through recommendations.
“We sent out an e-mail asking for ideas for the Summit last year, and an overwhelming majority had to do with food,” said Assistant Principal for Ministry Mrs. Kim Baldwin.
Aside from oversight from the Office of Faith and Justice, 18 faculty members compose the Adult Summit Committee, which makes many of the major decisions.
“I hope (students) put pressure on the huge meat packing companies that are making meat that is hardly meat anymore, mixed with all kinds of chemicals,” said one member of the adult committee, Mrs. Catherine Steffens. “I hope that guys start maybe cooking more on their own and eating less junk food.”
However, Mrs. Steffens, who is part of the subcommittee to choose the keynote speakers, pointed out that it was a student, Mack Regan ’12, who gave her the idea for one of the main keynote speakers.
After Regan suggested that she watch the documentary “King Corn,” which focuses on the increase of corn products in a variety of products, Mrs. Steffens was so impressed that she invited one of the stars of movie to be a speaker.
This is just one example of student involvement in the Summit.
Within the OFJ, Ms. Krystle Powell heads a student committee composed of dozens of sophomores, juniors and seniors who work in different subcommittees to choose the speakers and make sure the assemblies run smoothly.
“I just thought it was a cool way to get involved,” said committee member Phil Matteucci ’12. “I’ve always wanted to help with the Summit, and being on the committee is just a great way to do so.”
Keeping a student perspective is important in that it ensures the speakers are appropriate to their younger audiences.
“We definitely look for people who keep the attraction of teenage boys who don’t always want to listen,” said committee member Nathan Walker ’12. “We went through some people who may have had interesting things to say, but the way they portrayed themselves wouldn’t have kept the attention of people like us.”
Students interested in helping out with next year’s Summit will have the opportunity to do so by filling out an application to the OFJ via e-mail shortly after this year’s Summit.
Read more Summit-related articles in the 2011 Summit Special Section.