School Stundent Councils. Is ours just bad or are they just dumb?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by yoyo5280, May 30, 2008.

  1. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000


    Feb 24, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    So, I am on the student council for my school

    We have been set up for about 3/4 of the school year

    We have had many great ideas and sugestions but have basicly been forbidden to go through with them

    The only achievement that we have done is a teachers suggestion to get bigger bins. Students are unhappy. im unhappy.

    Im voicing my concerns loudly to teachers and students but no changes seem to be happening

    Are all student councils this useless? I was hoping to make my school enjoyable but obviously we are discouraged to do so. WTF?
  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    yes they are largely useless in high schools. its just a huge bureaucracy to get through and get anything done.
  3. yoyo5280 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Feb 24, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    Its annoying the hell out of me...

    I was talking to my friend, who is also the secretary about how I wanted to quit...she said I probably can't and its good extra credit...

    it feels so cheap.
  4. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Welcome to the real world.

    I've been on charitable councils, staffed by volunteers, but they have zip to say about the direction of things.

    The paid hands control everything.
  5. yoyo5280 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Feb 24, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    This sucks...One teacher said to me " The student council has no power until the teachers decide"

  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    builds character, and organizational skills.
  7. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I don't know about your school's exact set-up, but at my high school the student council had the ability to control those funds that the students had raised on their own. The only time the teachers could object is if spending the money would violate a law or create some conflict of interest. Otherwise, they had little say in the ways of restricting how the students spent their money.

    Our student government had 3 principle sources of revenue:

    1) revenue from fundraisers like car washes
    2) selling ASB stickers (gives a discount on yearbooks, dances, etc)
    3) every club had to give a small portion to ASB in order to be guaranteed a table during rush week and the ability to host certain events (like dances).

    I realize our set-up was a tad unusual, but I'm sure that your school has at least elements 1&2 since they are common to most high schools these days.

    Since you're not in the US (I think) this probably doesn't apply to you though. Maybe you should find out what exactly your school does allow by reading the student council's constitution. The teacher who told you that might be speaking half-truths if you know what I mean.

    In the end, even if he/she is right, take PlaceofDis's advice and learn about team building, cooperation, and public speaking. These are all skills that will prove useful to you later in life (actually, probably sooner than you think), and writing it on your resume/cover letter will demonstrate initiative and leadership skills, both of which are very important to many, many jobs (and colleges).
  8. bstreiff macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2008
    Austin, TX, USA
    Resume building for college/scholarships/jobs. And the illusion that students' opinions matter.

    Welcome to politics.
  9. theLimit macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2007
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    The point is to teach you that a council comprised of the "little people" is absolutely useless and decisions will still be made by those who hold power by wealth, fame, or birthright.
  10. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    I was a Prefect at my high school, we put on the school dances, decorated the place for certain special days and held a few fundraisers. That was about it really, none of us had any pretense about "making a difference" or anything, we just wanted the cool tie badge and a bit higher profile.

    High School here seems so much more laid-back than the US. We just go, do our learning and go home. We have sports teams but no grandstands or cheer leaders or people who have to be called "Coach" - in fact our coaches were regular teachers during the day and when we were training we called them generally by the first name or by their nickname. And this was in a big fancy school with blazers and ties and 200 acres of "grounds."

    Uni's pretty much the same, just relaxed but with more study to do.
  11. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    I've been the class president for the past 2 years at my high school. I am running this year and will probably win again.

    Yea, its stupid and pointless. Basically we just come up with fund raisers for the prom while all the students sit back and complain that we don't raise enough money. In two years I brought the class treasury from $130 to $3500 basically on my own (since none of the 4 members do anything) so **** off everyone. Fund raising and planning class events and the prom are basically our only responsibility.

    It's very hard to do anything. There are so many rules and laws about what we can sell and who can sell it. For example, we wanted to sell t-shirts. We could not sell t-shirts because the school store sells t-shirts. The school store is run by the National Honors Society (club) but THE SCHOOL STORE IS NEVER OPEN.
  12. MonksMac macrumors 6502a


    Dec 5, 2005
    When used correctly StuCo's (Student Councils) are a great resource to the school, it's staff, and the students. Last year in Middle School I was in student council and it was great! We did lots of things like dances, fund raising, and etc. We made lots of money for the student council and the school. This year I was going to be in StuCo again, but I my life was and still is kind of unpredictable so I have been somewhat off track. The StuCo leader at my school ( a Freshman only campus that is separate from the main HS) is one of the teachers that I know exceptionally well and wish that I had joined. Next year at the main campus seems like it may be difficult to get anything done. Like the O.P. the top administration is not well liked and makes things excessively difficult to do. The principal there is new starting this year and is intensly disliked by almost all of the staff and students.
    So in short- Yes, they can be useful to an extent.:apple:
  13. Luis macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    Costa Rica
    Yeah I'm on the same boat... It just seems that the bureaucratic process of the administration of my school is bigger than that of the country, and everybody seems to want avoid change and stick with what is established, even if hey know change is needed, it boggles my mind.

    For example, they (the administration) know the cafeteria at our school sucks, but what do they do? They block everyone of our attempts to better the system a little. More meetings for everything (that always end up in nothing) and they happily go out of campus to eat on subway or something while we students have to eat the garbage food they sell us. How can they defend the system when they don't even try it? Even more why do they defend it? And this happens in practically every area, from professors, to sports to IT; so I understand the frustration you are going through.

    Seems like there is a secret pledge to block every Student Council proposition, even if it is clearly a good one. Meh, they say the effort is what's worth.
  14. yoyo5280 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Feb 24, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    Thanks for all the replys.

    As for our student council we don't even do any fundraser or dance shiz. Thats all left for the older years of the school...Im cool with that. I don't care about doing the dances, they are fine the way they are.

    Lemme explain my school a lil bit...Its a tiny school on two floors of a womans uni. Its filled with stingy snobs who have money coming out their ears but still have to pirate bloody movies. Some of these people are such scumbags. For example there is no letter or anything going home to parents explaining that the uniform is changing next year.I know cause im a council member. The school thinks they can get away with , towards the end of the year, sending home an OLD uniform sheet that you can buy off of. THey don't say its old though..

    This money goes towards new bins.

    The whole school wanted a microwave. We where told no foor health reasons. Dumb answer but accepted.

    Now the pupils wants to have a vending machine because we are banned from using any on campus or going to the near by convenience stores during or after school. But there seems to be so much resistance on the teachers side.

    I am behind the councils back doing my research and putting together a little keynote to present to somebody high up later.

    Im sick of it though.

    Sorry im just venting.
  15. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    Yup, useless in high school, unless you want to break away from school support and start agitating for something...

    My understanding was that high school student councils basically just plan the prom. So if you're into decorating your school gym, have fun! But as far as effecting real change in school policy, think again. Your college student government will likely be better, but they'll still run up against lots of resistance from the administration.

    The thing to remember is that a student government does not *govern*: It has only three likely functions--planning programs, distributing money, and lobbying the administration. I personally think the last of those goals is the most important, so perhaps you should get your student government to stop thinking about things to "do," but rather about things to "change."
  16. MacNut macrumors Core


    Jan 4, 2002
    I always thought school elections were stupid. Vote for me for class president, what's the point. All they are is sanctioned popularity contests.

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