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Vote b for BOT

Bianca Seinafo (Year 10) has just been voted in, by a majority landslide, as Student Representative (2004-05) on the Board of Trustees, Linwood College. The team here at Pulse wanted to find out what this was all about, so we sent one of our reporters down to meet her …

So how did you get into this?
Truthfully??? I know the person who did it last year! But she's gone on to be Head Girl. She reckoned I'd really enjoy it and would make a great representative so … here I am.
What did you have to do to get elected?
I had to write an essay explaining why I wanted this position and then it was up to how the students voted. There were four people going for it and I had to get together a really good electoral campaign as it was all about marketing myself. One of my main selling points was that it'd be good to have a junior BOT representative as the Junior School far out-numbers the senior school. I know a few of the senior students well and asked them for their help and they campaigned on my behalf, actively asking their friends and other senior students if they'd heard of me.
Anything else?
Bianca SeinafoOh yes! I had to talk at both assemblies which was a bit scary but kind of okay! I talked mainly about who I was and what I wanted to do … but I think in one of them I was pretty nervous and ended up talking nearly all about myself and not a lot about what I intended to do! I also designed a couple of posters - one of them read "VOTE B FOR BOT". My friends all call me Bee and I thought it was a pretty catchy slogan but after I'd had 200 printed I realised that nobody else in the school would know who Bee was, so I ended up have to handwrite my name on all of them before I could put them up anywhere! Most of these went up in the really popular areas - the canteen and corridors etc. I made some different ones with Maori and Pacific Island designs on them which went up in the Samoan Cultural and Maori Cultural rooms - I really want to try and get more involvement from both these groups in school stuff and get them doing more performances as well.
What info have you found out already?
Well, I really wanted to be prepared with some facts about what's going on and what's happened already so I interviewed a group of seniors about a few issues, just to get an overview - How they thought the school had changed, how it could look more effective, what could be changed - stuff like that. Feedback showed that the new canteen is great and working well and that the school is cleaner and staff are friendly. The one thing that's been coming up again and again though is that students feel more sports are needed but not just sporty sports - fun things too, so that'll be one of my main priorities.
Bianca SeinafoHave you been to a BOT meeting already?
Yes. I have to report to the Board once a month. My role is to collate information from the students, get it all together into a report which I then present to the Board and get feedback on it the following month. There's a lot of issues out there and my job is to consider what's viable or relevant and what's not because the whole process is really complicated and although it seems easy to change something, I've realised it's not! For instance, a lot of students wanted form time to be mixed again - at the moment they're separated out in Junior and Senior but when I really went into it and found out more about it from the teachers, I realised it wasn't something that needed to be put before the Board as it wasn't a feasible idea and that I could actually get back to the students with what I'd found out by myself. Shoes are another issue - but that's along story!
So, when do you do all of this?
Oh, in my own time - usually in my lunch hours … but it's really good fun! Plus, I'm going to have suggestions boxes around the school where students can post any ideas or issues they've got.
What do you think your biggest challenge is going to be?
Getting along to all the school events. I think it's really important because if there's an issue around anything I want to have been to it myself so I know all about it. That way, I don't have to rely on someone-else's opinion.
Is there any part of the role you're not looking forward to?
It ending!
What do you think is the best thing about Linwood College?
That is such a hard question as there are so many great things about Linwood … the range of subjects, the great teachers, Mr Burrough, all the help and advice from the careers department - I mean, right from Year 9 you're given help about what it is you might want to do and how to go about it. Linwood's really great in finding out about each student and taking the time to sort things out with them individually.
And what do you want to do in the future?
Well, I love acting but there's also the practical side of me that realises just how hard it is to make a career in the Performing Arts, so I've decided I'll train to be a barrister as well … just in case! And I know you'll laugh at this as it seems so unrealistic, but I really want to be the first Pacific Island woman to be a New Zealand judge …

Laugh???? Nope, we don't think so coz we reckon we'll be reading about her appointment to the Bench at some point in the future - and we'll be able to sigh and say, do you remember when we interviewed Bianca when she was only a Year 10 at Linwood College …

2004