We are here for the students of HOL Hogwarts. We are here because we like what we're doing (and most of us willingly signed up for this job?). With that in mind -- let’s look at our duties.
Prefects are the first and main contacts for all students. As such, you are a role model, setting an example for your fellow students by being responsible, fair, active with HOL activities (in the whole of HOL, in your own house, or both) and responsive to the needs of the main body of students. You help people feel they are respected and in the right place.
You will have your own in-house duties which will be covered within your own house. Generally these responsibilities will be in line with what is listed here, but more house specific.
Prefects are chosen at the discretion of each Head of House -- and each house has its own way of choosing prefects. One really good way to not be chosen as a prefect is to ask the Head of House if you can be one! The Head of House (or Deputy Head of House) looks for possible prefects amongst the house populace. What you do, then, is get busy and involved with your House activities. Is there a newspaper? Write for it! Is someone asking for volunteers for 'this' or 'that'? Volunteer -- and then follow through! Be consistently present. It's good to get attention by being helpful and reliable. Who knows what might happen from there?
The HOL Hogwarts chain of command is:
Student/Squib -> Post Graduate -> Prefect -> Head Student -> Professor -> Head Office
Notice how Head Prefects or Prefects-in-Charge (or what-have-you) are not mentioned here. That is because HOL-wide, they are still seen as prefects. While their responsibilities go far and beyond what is expected in their own house, the status is a house-status. As prefects, please respect the difference (and certainly respect your own house's Head Prefect), but if you are the subject in question, please do not make an effort to expect special treatment out of it.
All students are supposed to contact a prefect (preferably one of their house prefects) first if they have a question, a problem, a comment or a suggestion. The prefect’s main duty is to answer the questions of the student body. If someone sends you a PM, email or HOL Message, then you answer it — even if what you need to say is that you don’t know the answer and are referring the question to someone who (hopefully) does! Do not leave queries unattended!
You are required to know the rules of HOL Hogwarts and follow them. The responsibilities of a prefect include awarding and taking house points according to the house points rules. If there is an infringement of the rules, take points. If there is a reason to award points, award points. Often there is a forum in which you can post what you did, and why, so that if later on someone asks ‘why’, an answer is easily available.
One of the more active forums in HOL is the Ask a Prefect forum. In this forum students (and sometimes professors or post graduates) will post a question. When you answer the question, be sure that your answers are accurate! Incorrect information given as a reply can confuse matters greatly, both for the person asking the question and for anyone else reading your answer.
More than likely, people will ask questions found in the AaP FAQ. Make sure to skim through it at least once so you know what questions can easily be answered and pointed to. You can also find the a link to the AaP FAQ here.
The only persons to respond to said queries in the AaP forum are Prefects, Post Graduates and/or Professors. Any non-Prefect student answering a question will suffer the consequences of having their post deleted and points taken.
It is part of the responsibilities of a Prefect to make sure that there are fun and interesting things to do at HOL Hogwarts. Some of this is keeping the forum activities alive. Is there a topic or two that you are interested in? Post in there! Also, do you have ideas for fun things to do? Post your ideas in the SC forum.
If a student has an idea for an activity to take place in HOL Hogwarts (not ‘just’ a House acitivity) they might get in touch with you and explore the possibilities. Part of your job is to discuss this activity with the student, come up with a viable way to make it work if at all possible, and then present it in the Student Committee forum. If someone else has posted an idea for an activity in the Student Committee forum, your job is to comment upon it! Can it work? Can it not work? How could it be made better? Oftentimes an initial idea isn’t viable but it gives birth to something that can work.
The Student Committee
The HOL Student Committee (SC – which is comprised of the Head Students and the official House Prefects) has their regular meeting once a month. It is highly recommended that you attend as many of these meetings as possible. During the meetings the highlights of the recent Staff meetings are relayed, progress reports on any scheduled competitions or activities are given and generally an update of what is going on is conveyed (during the riotous party).
Be aware of the Student Committee forum in the HOL forum. If you cannot find it, bug a Forum Administrator for access! If something is written in there, it is your job to be aware of what is going on, and if necessary, respond. The notices of the monthly SC meetings will be in that forum, as well as ideas for contests, any difficulties being encountered, staff notices, etc. If a student gives you an idea for a contest or activity, you will post that idea in the Student Committee forum for other Prefects to see and comment upon. Any idea that is passed by the SC then goes to the Staff for their decision. (The ideas are conveyed to the Staff by the Head Students.) Also conveyed to the Staff are any other complaints and/or initiatives that come out of the SC meeting.
Each house has its own internal chain of command. Often a Head of House will appoint one (or more) of their prefects to be a Head Prefect. If this is the case in your house, go to your Head Prefect for help (if your own prefect is unresponsive) before going to your Deputy Head of House or Head of House. Again, this is an internal chain and within respective houses. If a student from another house would rather take a problem straight to the Head Prefect, fine. But please keep in mind that they do not outrank prefects from other houses when it comes to HOL-wide matters. So please treat each other with respect.
Your House has a channel on IRC. If you are a regular visitor to IRC, you will be most likely be made an OP (room operator) in your own House's IRC channel. As such you are responsible for keeping the channel a family-friendly place to chat in. Learn the abilities that you have as an OP so that if something happens and you must take action, you are able to do so immediately.
Taking a Break
Part of the duty of being a prefect is knowing when you can no longer maintain your duties. Real Life (RL) has its own set of demands and sometimes one is required to slow down one’s online activities. Don’t just disappear (or slack off on your duties) without at least telling your Head of House what is going on and what you need to do. While not all that common, a person can lose a prefect badge; a Head of House can and will 'fire' a prefect if it's perceived as a necessary action. So, let your HoH know what is going on with you. Perhaps you can have a ‘vacation’ for a while (some have actually asked for a bit of hiatus to clear their heads) ... perhaps you might need to ‘step down’ as a prefect. Either way, though, you are still maintaining your position and being responsible to your house and to HOL Hogwarts.