Link Crew rejection process flawed

October 23, 2008 — by Staff Ed

Most people love getting as much help as they can. But right when help is ready to be given, it’s thrown away. Such is the tale of Link Crew this year.
In the past, Link Crew has always gathered enough interested people to sign up. Those who have showed a desire to help freshmen got the opportunity to guide ninth-graders through orientation and the rest of their year. Due to the overwhelming number of applications to be on the 2008-2009 Link Crew—more than 200—guidance counselors Frances Saiki and Alinna Satake had to reject nearly half of the applicants.

The troubling thing was not how many were cut, but who was cut. Many of the veteran seniors and seemingly perfect candidates were passed over in favor of inexperienced juniors with no idea what being a Link leader entailed.

The arbitrary selection process seemed inconsistent and flawed to some. If the Link Crew coordinators truly wanted to maximize the benefits of the program for incoming freshmen, it would have been more prudent to allow experienced seniors to be the leaders. Furthermore, as a senior, one would have more knowledge and familiarity with the goings-on of the school, again proving more beneficial to the freshmen.

So what exactly were the criteria that applicants were judged on? The coordinators based their selections on the completion of applications, time commitment, past experience and leadership skills. If the students who applied were part of the crew last year, their attendance and commitment to all the events in the program was evaluated.

Though it is understandable that the coordinators want to take into account pre-existing time commitments, the average junior and senior have roughly the same workload. While juniors have tough classes and standardized testing, seniors have tough classes as well as college applications to deal with.

However, these students are good at managing their time, and the minimal Link Crew time commitment is not difficult to fit into a senior’s schedule.

The fact that the selection of accepted applicants included many upperclassmen taking a large number of AP classes rather than more well-rounded individuals only adds more fire to the flames. Well-rounded students possess greater potential to bond with freshmen and help them transition into the high school environment.
The Link Crew program was founded on the belief that the transition from middle school to high school is a difficult and confusing time for freshmen. If Link Crew truly wants to aid in smoothing this transition, the selection process should follow a consistent standard that chooses the most adequate candidates.