The election for your student council representatives for the 2022 - 2023 school year is underway! Read on for more details.
What Is the Student Council?
Student Council, sometimes called Student Government, is the elected governing body at your high school. The group is composed entirely of students; often they have a faculty adviser.
Duties for All Members
All student government members are responsible for attending meetings. These biweekly meetings include all members of the council as well as the faculty adviser. At these biweekly meetings, members brainstorm events they'd like to plan and divvy up the tasks. Occasionally (typically once or twice each school year), the student council will hold an open meeting to allow their classmates to come and voice their concerns or suggest ideas.
Members of the student council plan and execute programs for the entire school (such as Homecoming Week or a school-wide fundraiser).
In addition, members of student council assist in planning and running major school-wide events such as the Homecoming parade, Homecoming dance, and pep rallies.
Typically, senior student government members have an obligation after graduating from high school: planning your high school reunions.
What Are the Position Specific Duties?
President: Responsible for planning and running meetings (i.e. creating meeting itineraries, facilitating discussions), delegating tasks (i.e. deciding who on the council will be in charge of finding someone to design the class t-shirt, who will be responsible for finding a company to print the t-shirt), and for holding people accountable (i.e. making sure people complete their assigned tasks).
Vice President: Responsible for assisting the president (i.e. running meetings in their absence, making sure people are completing assigned tasks, etc.)
Secretary: Responsible for taking notes at all meetings and emailing those notes to all council members.
Treasurer: Responsible for budgeting and managing money (i.e. collecting money when selling tickets for Homecoming, depositing that money into the proper account, keeping records).
Campaign Tip: Make Sure People Know (and Trust) You!
Plain and simple, you will not win your campaign if only ten people know who you are. You will also likely not win if your entire grade knows you, but only as the person who isn’t taking school seriously. To win the campaign, you need to make sure people know you and trust you.
How do you get people to know you? If your school allows it, make posters.flyers with your name on it or ask to go between classes to announce your candidacy. The size of the posters doesn’t matter, but the quantity does. It’s better to print 50 posters on printer paper than to make 10 on fancy posterboard. You want people to see your name so that they can talk to their friends about you and try to figure out who you are before election day (November 4th).
Next, start to develop your campaign platform or main focus. Why do you want to be on student council? Do you want to improve school dances? Do you want to improve spirit week? Create a class field trip? Start a fundraiser? Having a focused platform will help you seem trustworthy and will help you stay motivated.
Now you have to spread your message. During your lunch period, you should not be sitting down; instead, walk around the cafeteria or campus. Introduce yourself! Talking to people is your best weapon. Tell them about yourself and why you want to be part of student government. Ask them what events they’d like to see planned this year or what ideas they have. However, you don't want to annoy other students (if you do, you definitely won't get elected), so try to cap yourself at 2-3 minutes of chatting, and then move on to another group.
How do you get people to trust you? This is a more difficult task. Talking to people and asking about their ideas will help build some trust. To continue to build trust, you need to show your competence in the classroom. Make sure you’re known as the person who does all of their homework, gets good grades, engages in class discussions, etc. Don’t be known as the person who is always late to class.
What Are the Benefits of Joining Student Council?
By joining the student government, you’re able to influence your high school. You can start new events and fundraisers. If there are things that bother you about your school that you'd like to improve, student council gives you an opportunity to do so. If you hated the Homecoming last year, you can plan a better event. If you dislike a school policy you can advocate for change.
Student government also gives you a great leadership experience to discuss on your college application. Colleges like to see leadership experience and involvement on your resume. It shows that you can get involved in your school and improve things, which makes colleges think that hopefully you would do the same at their school.
Be aware that there are potential drawbacks to joining student council. You might get blamed or criticized if people don’t enjoy your events. For example, you may get criticized if you make a class t-shirt. Someone is always unhappy and doesn’t like the design.
Rules for Campaigning for Office
Students can only campaign using posters, all posters must be approved by Mr. Heneghan
Campaign posters must be no larger than 8½” x 11”
Students can have a total of 8 campaign posters
One on your locker
One poster in up to 5 different classrooms
Two general space (hallway, lunchroom)
Posters will be positive and cannot mention other candidates