Are you thinking about running for student council? Trying to weigh the pros and cons? The actual rules for student council will differ from school to school, but these tips will help you decide if student council is right for you and will help you prepare a successful campaign.
Reasons to Run for Student Council
Student government might be a good activity for you if you:
- Like to bring about change
- Would enjoy a career in politics
- Enjoy planning events
- Are outgoing and sociable
- Have time to prepare for attending meetings
Common Student Council Positions
- President: The class president normally runs council meetings. The president often represents the student body in meetings with school administrators.
- Vice President: The vice president assists the president in many duties. The vice president also stands in for the president and runs the meetings when necessary.
- Secretary: The class secretary keeps an accurate record of meetings and student activities, programs, and sessions. You should be organized and enjoy writing and taking notes if you run for this position.
- Treasurer: Are you good with numbers? Interested in bookkeeping or accounting? The treasurer keeps track of student council funds and is responsible for the disbursement of funds.
Consider Why You're Running: Ask yourself what kinds of changes you want to effect and what issues you'd like to resolve. What is your platform? How will the school and student body benefit from your participation in student council?
Set a Budget: There are expenses involved with running a campaign. Create a realistic budget, taking into account materials like posters, buttons, and snacks for volunteers.
Find Campaign Volunteers: You'll need help creating your campaign and communicating your goals to students. Choose people with a wide variety of skills. For instance, a strong writer can help with your speech, while an artist can create posters. People from different skill sets can help leverage creativity while people with different interests can assist in broadening your connections.
Brainstorm: Think about your strengths, the words that best describe you, your advantages over the other candidates, and your unique message. It's often helpful to ask others to describe how they see you.
Tips for Student Council Campaigns
- Review all the campaign rules carefully. They will differ from school to school, so don't make any assumptions. Remember to check for paperwork submission deadlines.
- Make sure you meet academic requirements.
- Complete the application in a professional way. No sloppy handwriting or incomplete answers. Teachers and advisors will be more supportive if you demonstrate that you take the position seriously.
- You may be required to collect a certain number of signatures from fellow students, teachers, and administrators before you can run. Consider preparing a notecard with important points about your goals and plans and use it as you "meet and greet" school staff.
- Identify a certain problem or policy that is meaningful to your classmates and make it part of your platform. However, be sure not to make promises you can't keep.
- Create a catchy slogan.
- Find an artistic friend who can help you create publicity material. Why not create postcard-sized ads? Just be sure to follow school rules when it comes to publicity.
- Prepare a campaign speech. If you are worried about public speaking, practice your speech and follow tips for speaking in class.
- Remember to play fair. Don't remove, destroy, or cover over other students' posters.
- Be sure to check the rules at your school before investing in giveaways such as items with your name printed on them. At some schools, this sort of advertising may result in disqualification.