A student council is an organization and regulatory board of student activities, curricula, and discipline. Schools, colleges, and universities all have student councils elected by the student body themselves.
This group of student leaders is supposed to fight for students’ rights, provide them with beneficial projects, and most of all, be role models for the whole student body. But what do beneficial projects and good leadership look like?
A collective of officers elected by the whole student body and some faculty members as advisors serves as the main channel of communication between the executive administrators and the students. The student leader organization should also be responsible for regulating academic, discipline, and school activities and prioritize the benefit, concerns, and issues of the students, as they are one themselves. In simpler words, student leaders who share the same desire and passion for connecting and serving their fellow students.
Anthropologists refer to the cause that bonds people in an organization as ideology, and student organizations all have ideologies. The only question is if it does serve the best interests of students or not.
An ideology has three specific categories: beliefs, values, and ideals. People’s beliefs provide them with an understanding of how they think their world works. With student leaders, their underlying beliefs help them prioritize their agendas and goals in their post and how they would respond to both the administrative pressure and student demands.
These core beliefs often touch base with the concerns these student leaders face. Their values tell them the differences between what is right and what is wrong and what is morally right and not. Therefore, student leaders should exhibit strong founded beliefs as well as compassion to other students. It is important to note that everyone has ideals, but not everyone has positive models for what they hope to do with the responsibility and privilege of being a leader.
The Student’s Perspective
Students elect fellow students to lead them, and the higher-education is not something anyone can underestimate because this industry also means money. Thus, balancing the beam between students and admin is the job of each student organization. It isn’t very reassuring for students to face that fact.
After all, the school funds everything that the student leaders want to implement. Projects such as improved student facilities are funded by the school too. However, there are beneficial ones such as healthcare projects and seminar workshops that can be achieved through donations. Bringing excellent doctors, reliable orthodontists, and other medical care professionals into the campus to facilitate events may be too much for the students’ funds. That is where student organization proposals matter.
So if one officer does not think or react the way you do, you cannot simply blame them. Instead, you could look at their ideals and beliefs since this is the core of who they are. You would get to understand their bias, stands, and even motives. Let us say that a certain officer is with the tuition fee increase while hundreds are in opposition to their absolute stand.
You must keep in mind that a leadership strategy is only as good as the vision the guides it. In this case, a student leader that is pro to a tuition increase might have substantial plans to sustain the campus but lacks the emotional intelligence to sympathize with other students who can barely afford to pay their student loans. Remember that emotional quotient (EQ) carries much more weight than IQ in determining who emerges as a leader.
The Importance of a Student Body Representative
Students are no strangers to rules and regulations that are designed to keep order but sometimes push their backs against the walls. If there had been no student activism, perhaps the country’s academe is still divided and limited to only white people. No one understands the value of learning than young students, and therefore a voice and a chance to be heard is important to continue doing so. Learning does not end after graduating, and most of the time, even educators can learn from their students as well.
In every social student organization, there are culturally unique ways of thinking about adopting more competitive, beneficial, and less bureaucratic ways of delivering services to the student body. However, if it turns out to be wrong about whom you elected, it is wrong to hold it against them personally. After all, people cannot share the same sentiment about things that really matter. Some cannot even distinguish useless projects from important ones.