A fresh start: The new Student Council faces its first test

Prince of Wales Collegiate
St. John's, Newfoundland

By: Matthew (Grade 10)

Wave out the old and bring in the new, that was the scene as a new student council format was established by both students and faculty of Prince of Wales Collegiate.

The election process took place this past October, and the council has been meeting on a regular basis since then. It was a good time to ask some elected members what they think of the new format and what they have in store for the student body in the future. President Kris D. and vice-president Sally H. recently took the time to discuss the past, present, and future of this year's student council.

Kris won the position of president this year, and he is the leader of the forty-two member council. He attributes his success to the fact that he did not have a particular image that he reinforced during the election week. "I didn't use posters, and I think that that was a good idea," he commented.

He felt that his speech was what made most of the difference since his approach was "different from the others." Kris also did not make any specific promises to the student body, not wanting to make promises that may not have been feasible. He explains his chief responsibility in the student council as "to help students realize their goals... and to make their opinions easier to bring out."

Kris encourages an open exchange of ideas between students and council, and is open to suggestions. "There are some loopholes, but we'll get through it," he said.

Sally is no stranger to student council, having served as president of the student council at Macdonald Drive Junior High a couple of years ago. When asked what gave her the edge over the other candidates in the election, she said, "I give the student body a lot of credit, and I think that they want someone who is genuine."

Neither she nor Kris believed that popularity played a role in this election, and they agreed that all the other candidates ran excellent campaigns and gave very good speeches. Sally agrees that her speech was the key in her campaign, and she believes that she got through to the student body in her message. "I love this school, and I wanted to do something for the student body. I want to help students enjoy themselves as much as possible."

She too is open to suggestions, and encourages students to speak to their class representatives or to her if they have any ideas.

Now that the council is in place, what has it accomplished so far? There are a number of achievements to date. The council presented a comedy special in the school on November 22 for the students' enjoyment. They also organised the semi-formal dance on December 13, and have a Spirit Week upcoming.

Another significant decision that has been made by the council this year is part of the election process itself. Beginning this year, the council elections will take place towards the end of each year, and the candidates will be elected at that time for the following school year. That way, the student council can begin work at the start of the year, and there will not be any unnecessary confusion. The council is working on plans to have the grade nine students from the feeder schools vote at that time as well.

Although it may not have looked very hopeful at the beginning of the year, the student council has been successfully put together. There are forty-two members ready to deal with the issues and to make the school year enjoyable for all students and faculty. However, the student council does not have supreme control over everything that happens in the school and can therefore not please everybody. There are differences of opinion and occasional conflicts of interest between the council and other powers that be in the school. Nevertheless, the student council has been created for a reason. It exists to protect the interests of students, and it is a resource that should be used to the maximum.

The school newspaper will serve as a liaison between the council meetings and students throughout the year, but that is not to say that students need only watch the proceedings. All comments are encouraged to both the student council and the school newspaper about its coverage of the meetings. Through the efforts of the school population and the council, the students will be an effective and active force in the making of school decisions.

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