High School is notoriously known for its assessments, projects, and homework, but it can also be known for being an opportunity to experience new things and for teenagers to develop into independent adults. School can encourage students to take a step out of their comfort zones and learn new skills, such as leadership, cooperation, and time management. A worthwhile experience to take part in is the school’s class or student council.
At Northview High School, there are class councils and student councils. Both of these require members to be chosen by election. Student council is for the entire school as a whole, while class council is a board of elected students in each grade level. The positions available are president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and 15 class representatives. At the beginning of each year, freshmen can choose to run for class council.
Students running for the election must submit two teacher recommendations and an explanation of why they want to join. Once approved, students are free to campaign around school to win votes. Some students perform speeches, hang posters of themselves and the positions they are running for, and others hand out gifts to their classmates. Students running for positions other than class representatives are also required to film speeches to post for others to see. They also campaign on social media by posting Instagram stories about what they will accomplish if elected, and how they can make a better year for everyone.
If elected, the class council members volunteer in numerous school events, such as international night, talent show, homecoming decorations, and fundraising. They also distribute gifts to welcome students during the second week of school, help teachers run auditions for school shows, and help with ticket sales, prize distribution, and stage support for the talent show. Being a part of the student or class council is a great time commitment because students must attend meetings once a week in the mornings and spend extended amounts of time after school, so people should be mindful of the dedication required to hold these positions.
Becoming a student leader may be extra work, but it provides many benefits as well. Aside from gaining positive attention in the college admissions process, student leadership positions can also help students gain social interactions, learn interpersonal skills, get a chance to network, and strengthen emotional intelligence. These skills can refine students into more reliable, independent people who can achieve greater things in the future.
Next time schools hold student council elections, students should take a step of courage and campaign to express their voices. Although it may sound difficult at first, campaigning can be a rewarding experience bound to last in students’ memories.
Sae-Eun Lee, Grade 12,
Northview High School