What is a Student Council?
A Student Council is a representative structure for students only, through which they can become involved in the affairs of the school, working in partnership with school management, staff and parents for the benefit of the school and its students. It’s a really great way to have your voice heard in your school community and make a difference for your peers. Usually, the Student Council is run by a member of management with the help of a School Council. The School Council is usually made up of 6th Year students who chair and organise the meetings. Most schools have a student council, however, there are a number that don’t. If this is the case with your school, talk to your Principal about setting one up. It might be easier to go to your Principal with a group of like-minded individuals to help convince him/her.
Top Tips for setting up your Student Council
- Have 1 representative for every 50-60 people in a year: This will help manage your council numbers so that you can easily communicate with your council members
- Require a Letter of Application: By requesting a letter, you will immediately eliminate initial time-wasters and lazy people
- Have a School Election for the Student Council: This makes people feel involved in the council and the work it does
- Meet every 2-3 weeks: Frequent meetings allows students to confront arising issues quickly and effectively as well as gives them a time frame to have work done for
- Have Council Roles: Set up a working structure for your council. During the first two meetings, hold officer role elections to set structure and give jobs to the members-example; elections for Blog Officer, Irish Officer, Public Relations Officer etc
- Don’t be Afraid to be Strict: Put your foot down about attendance and co-operation. You could have a system whereby if a member does not come to a meeting 3 times unexplained, they are removed from the council.