Ninety-three days from now, Seniors will gather on the Great Lawn to receive their diplomas. For the members of the Class of 2012, Commencement will mark a transition into new phases of life. But for the rest of Andover, Commencement carries another meaning–the transition of Andover’s student leadership to the Class of 2013.

Yet the Commencement ceremony is only the ostensible manifestation of the student body’s transformation. The passing down of leadership is not an overnight changing of the guard, nor is it a transformation that can occur without careful nurturing from Andover’s experienced leaders.

It is this conscious cultivation and the thoroughness of application processes that allow new student leaders to gain the knowledge and experience that they require to serve as capable role models and mentors.

Students in leadership positions help guide Andover’s atmosphere through their endeavors outside of the classroom. Whether they are organizing weekly club meetings, fostering forums of open discussion or gathering support for disaster victims, student leaders’ energy and wisdom shape the spirits of their projects, and, as a result, Andover as a whole.

This week, current student leaders and faculty members convened with those interested in serving as proctors, prefects, Blue Key Heads, Cluster Presidents and Disciplinary Committee Representatives for the coming year. The election for Student Council President is already underway, and from the race will emerge the team of Uppers who will officially lead and represent the student body.

These roles are, in essence, governed by each student leader’s own decisions and judgments. But application processes, requirements and conversations between current leadership and students poised to take the reins ensure that students understand the gravity of their future obligations and that they will take the right approach to their responsibilities.

For example, Presidential candidates were required to collect extra signatures last week to stress that the Student Council President and Executive Board must adhere to a strict and unvarying standard of moral accountability.

These requirements exist neither as obstacles for students to overcome nor as impediments intended to dampen the students’ drive to apply for leadership positions. While the applications do allow decision-makers to evaluate the strengths of candidates in those areas, they also serve to underline the qualities necessary for a successful transition of leadership.

Without a systematic transition, the continuity of Andover’s best qualities would be jeopardized. In that regard, cultivating conscientious and critical development is necessary to stabilize the bridge between old and new.

Andover embraces student leadership, initiative and individual pursuits. Regardless of the position, any Upper who wishes to make a mark will find his or her own way to impact Andover.

Rather than taking issue or viewing them as burdens, students should remember that deliberately designed applications ensure that a sturdy foundation for student leadership can exist for generations to come.

This Editorial represents the views of The Phillipian Editorial Board CXXXV.