Published On: Fri, Sep 27th, 2013

Student Opportunities: Student Government: Could it be for you?

Student Opportunities by Constance OwlNow that students are settling into their classes for the new school year, many middle and high schools are beginning to pull their student government associations together. In most cases, each grade might have officers that make up a student body assembly, and this assembly may also have an executive student council with its own officers. Choosing to become involved in your school’s Student Government Association is a great way to represent your fellow students by bringing important issues of student concern to the forefront, or just to experience the process of how government works on a micro level. The biggest advantage to a school that has an active (and proactive) student government is that the students themselves can impact internal school policy while providing students a real voice. Your participation is also a great indicator of your committed involvement to student affairs and helps demonstrate your leadership qualities and capabilities.   

Some schools require candidates for student government to initiate elaborate campaigns while others are much more relaxed. If you are considering running for an office in your student government consider carefully which office is the best fit for your interest and available time. Most student governments meet during school hours and establish focused goals for the school year. When my brother served a Senior Class President, he led a successful recycling campaign at school. Other positive initiatives I have heard of include the installation of hand sanitizers in school hallways, initiating beautification and landscaping projects on school campuses, starting anti-bullying awareness campaigns, and organizing prom dress swaps. I am currently serving as Vice President of the Senior Class at Murphy High School where we are considering a project to raise funds to purchase screen protectors for classroom shared IPADS.

Most importantly, your involvement in your school’s Student Government Association prepares you to become an active participant in your community, tribal, state, and national government as well. You learn how to present points, debate issues, organize events, manage and raise resources, and identify the issues most important to those you represent. You also learn how to communicate ideas and thoughts effectively, and learn to work within a group in a concise and focused manner. College admission applications often ask if you have served as an officer in student government because this is an indicator that you may be someone who is engaged in student affairs and will positively impact their student community. With election time looming, seriously consider if student government might be for you. Who knows, your first steps might just lead you all the way to the White House one day!

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