Student Council: Rights and Responsibilities

Student Council: Rights and Responsibilities

Maia Graham , Student Journalist

The student council is a bit of an enigma to most students and faculty, not only because of their election process, but because of their role in the Seton community

Student council elections last week not only raised wishful thinking, but also a lot of confusion. Ten students ran for student council and five students, Roger Brook, Cash Vaughan, Cecilia Leonard, Ashton McCann and Mary Redmore, got elected. They each delivered different electoral speeches and made the usual political promises, as far as high school politics go, but how are they going to fulfill their promises, and who’s standing in their way? 

The student council stands between the students’ wishes and the administration’s demands. They organize fundraisers, community service projects and new events, but the student council isn’t an authoritative power. Ms. Schmidt, the student council’s advisor, says, “the administration  has final say in whatever is proposed.” Also, whatever is proposed has to go through her first. The student council acts as a representative for students, but it’s a delicate balance between pleasing the students and adhering to the administration’s regulations. 

According to Ms. Schmidt, open discussions within the group and herself either lead to a definite proposal or to a draft in need of “tweaking.” Cecilia Leonard, who was re-elected this year, says that the decision-making process is a collaborative effort between the student council and the administration. “Since we are all so close and work together so well, I think that it’s not so limiting,” she commented. Cecilia went on to say that the student council, Ms. Schmidt and the administration keep an open mind and line of communication in negotiations. Keeping up with what students want is much harder. 

As the student council serves as the students’ representatives, it’s hard to please everyone. “People do think that we are in ultimate control, which isn’t true,” Cecilia says. It’s practically impossible to implement all of the students’ wants and needs into a final decision. For one, the decision is not ultimately up to student council members and some pleas are inevitably lost in translation. However, when students make their wishes known, the student council can at least offer a possible solution. It’s the first step towards change. The student council has taken up new responsibilities and projects this school year that will hopefully pave the way for a more inclusive upcoming year. 

Usually, projects are built upon what past student councils leave behind. This school year, however, unprecedented circumstances steered the student council in a new direction. The Spring Dance, which is normally a project for the sophomores, got taken over by the student council when no one else wanted to organize it. The House Olympics is typically run by the houses, but because of COVID in the past few years, the student council had to reinstate the house system. But perhaps their farthest reach into a new initiative is the SCC social media page, which succeeded in getting more than 500 followers on Instagram.

Student council members should feel confident in their leadership and social skills in communicating with students and faculty, but they should also feel confident in the need for constant improvement. Not just improvement in tradition, but persistence in finding new ways to improve as a school and community.