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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to win a student election, by a former class president.



Hoping to be your class president? Winning the position takes a lot of work, but you can absolutely make it happen. Why should you trust me? I was my Junior Class President and Student Government President my senior year, so I know what it takes to get there. In this article, I've outlined every step you need to take to become class president: starting with just getting on student council freshman year, all the way through running in a big election as a senior. 

Why Do You Want to Be Class President?

Before I talk about how to get elected, I want you   to think about why you want to become class president. Do you want to improve school dances? Do you want to have a wider variety of school lunch options? Create a class field trip? Start a fundraiser?

All of these reasons are legitimate. You need to figure out what your own goal is. If you're having trouble, sit down and brainstorm. Think about all the events your student government plans. Which did you attend? Were there issues at these events? What could have been done better? Is it something you could change? This brainstorming should lead you to some ideas of why you want to become president of your class or school.

Why do you need a reason to want to be class president? It'll keep you motivated during your campaign, and it'll help you explain to your classmates why they should vote for you. I'll delve into this in-depth later on in this article. 

First, I'll go over the two major steps you need to follow in order to run a successful campaign.

Step 1: Start Early

If you want to be president of your class or high school some day, you need to start working towards that goal early.

Plan to join student council your freshman year, but don’t expect to be elected president.  Freshman student council elections are usually a mess. Freshman elections typically happen within a month of starting school, so no one knows each other. The person elected president is usually the person whose name other students have heard the most. It’s not usually based on competence or trust.

My recommendation for freshman student council elections: Run for one of the “smaller” offices such as secretary or treasurer.  There is usually less competition for these positions, so you’ll have a better shot of being elected.  During freshman year, your aim should just be to get on the council. Once you're on it, you’ll be able to prove your effectiveness as a leader and can start the climb towards president. I was elected Freshman Treasurer, and then Sophomore Vice President, and then Junior Class President.

But by starting early, I don’t just mean joining the council early...

Step 2: Maintain Relationships

You need to work from the start to build relationships with your classmates so that they know and trust you. This is the most important step to becoming Class President.

Students want to elect someone they like and know is competent.  Be a leader in the classroom. Participate in class discussions and get good grades, it’s how you’ll prove your competence. Don’t be the class clown or the student who’s always on their cell phone or asleep.

Interact with the students around you.  Sit with different groups at lunch. Talk to them about their concerns and what changes they’d like to see happen at the school.

If you’re not currently on student council, ask if you can attend their meetings.  Some student councils allow students who’re interested in joining to sit in on their meetings, and some host an occasional meeting (monthly, bi-monthly, annual, etc.) for students who’re not on the council to voice their concerns and ideas.

Also, if you’re not currently on student council, ask members of student council if they need help with their events.  It’s a great way to test out student council to see if it’s right for you, and it's also a great way to show you’re fit to be on student council/leading student council.


With my advice, you won't be quite so lonely!

How to Run a Winning Election

The two steps I mentioned above will start you on the path to becoming president of your class, but to run a winning election you’ll need to do more.

#1: Get Your Name Out There

To win an election, you need to market yourself.  Start by creating a slogan, even if it’s as simple as “Lauren for Junior Class President.” You want to use one slogan for your campaign that will be used on all of your marketing materials so that your name becomes recognizable. If you don't come up with one slogan and instead use multiple slogans or designs, people may get confused. You want one good slogan that you'll use across all of your material to ensure a clear, focused campaign that'll create name recognition. Think about all of the US presidential campaigns; the posters always have one design from which they never stray.  

#2: Put Up Posters With Your Slogan

The posters can be super simple; even just a print out of the slogan on normal computer paper will work. However, you should have a lot of them.  The exact number will vary proportionally to the number of students in your class (or school, if you’re running for the overall Student Government President). What I mean by that is if your class has 100 students, 10 posters may be enough, but if you have 1000 students in your class, you may want to put up 50 or more posters. Count on some posters being ripped down or disappearing. Most schools have rules against this, but it’s hard to catch someone ripping down a poster. Plan on making extras.

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#3: Create Something to Hand Out 

This can be a sticker, button, pencil, etc. You can make these super cheaply by buying labels, printing your slogan onto the labels, and handing them out as “stickers” or putting these labels onto pencils. Again, as I said for posters, the number of handouts you should make will vary based on the number of students in your class or school. If you can afford it, I’d recommend making at least one sticker/handout per student in your class.  The campaigns usually last multiple days, so try to make sure you have enough handouts to give a second sticker or pencil to other students who may misplace the first.

NOTE: You may not be able to use all of my suggestions above. Different schools have different campaign rules. For example, some schools don’t allow you to hand anything out. Check with a teacher or school administrator to make sure you know what the rules are.


What’s the Point of Marketing Yourself? 

You won’t win an election if people don’t know who you are and why you’re running. As I said before, students want to elect people they like and know are competent. Even if you’re a leader in the classroom and getting good grades, if you’re in a class of 1000, you may not know half of your classmates. You want the other half of students who don’t know you personally to know your name and to talk about you with their friends.

Posters help create name visibility.  People will start to recognize your name and will hopefully start to talk to their friends about you. 

Handouts (i.e. stickers or pencils) also help create name visibility and offer you an opportunity to meet more students you don’t know.  At lunch time, travel around your cafeteria, walk up to people you don’t know and ask if they’d like a sticker or pencil . It’s a GREAT excuse to talk to people and will give you an opportunity to convince them to vote for you. 

Make sure you tell them why you want to be president. As I mentioned earlier, whatever reason you decided to run (whether it was to improve school dances or improve the lunch menu) tell it to them! Ask them what they’d like to see happen at the school next year. Show them you’ll be a good listener as well as a good leader!

#4: Ace Your Campaign Speech

Some schools have candidates give speeches or debate.   My school did not. If your school allows you to give a speech, definitely do so!

Here are my recommended points to hit in your speech/debate.

  • Introduce yourself (It may seem obvious, but it will help students who may not know you).
  • “Hi, I’m Lauren Jones, and I’m running for Junior Class President.”
  • Say why you want to be president and why you’re qualified. Your qualifications will be  a combination of personal characteristics and past experiences and successes.
  • “I'm responsible and a good listener. I served as Sophomore Class VP and fundraised more than $1,000 for the Red Cross.”
  • State your platform (what you plan to do differently).
  • “I plan to move our school dance to the Marriott Ballroom instead of our gym.”
  • Say how you plan to accomplish your goals.
  • “I will raise the money to move our dance to the Marriott Ballroom by hosting a school-wide bake sale.”
  • End with your campaign slogan.
  • “Remember, Lauren for Junior Class President.”  

These should be the main points you hit, but I’d recommend injecting some humor into it to make it more interesting. However, your speech should not be too long (I’d recommend 2-3 minutes maximum).  Make it concise and to the point or you’ll lose your audience.

If you market yourself well along with starting early, building a solid reputation, and maintaining relationships, you'll have yourself a winning campaign!

What’s Next?

If you’re interested in becoming class president in part to put it on your college application, you should learn about what makes an amazing extracurricular activity for your college applications . Also, you should learn  how many extracurricular activities you need for college.

Interested in learning about other great extracurricular opportunities? Learn more about job shadowing , community service , and volunteer abroad programs.

Aiming to get into Harvard and the Ivy League? Read our  How to Get Into Harvard guide  for everything you need to know to get accepted.

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?   We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download them for free now:

As an SAT/ACT tutor, Dora has guided many students to test prep success. She loves watching students succeed and is committed to helping you get there. Dora received a full-tuition merit based scholarship to University of Southern California. She graduated magna cum laude and scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT. She is also passionate about acting, writing, and photography.

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Student Body President Who Led Draft Resistance Movement

David harris, ’67.

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By Tracie White

When David Harris was growing up, he thought he would leave his hometown of Fresno, Calif., to attend West Point and then join the FBI. Instead, in 1964, as a Stanford sophomore, he drove with other students to Mississippi to help civil rights activists register Black voters. “Afterward, I didn’t look at America in the same way,” Harris said in a 2008 interview with Marin magazine. Soon after he returned to campus, he attended his first demonstration against the Vietnam War.

Portrait of David Harris

Harris, ’67, Stanford student body president and face of the Vietnam draft resistance movement, died February 6 at his home in Mill Valley, Calif., of lung cancer. He was 76.

In 1967, Harris left Stanford to travel the country, sleeping in his car and drawing crowds with his speeches against the draft. Folk singer Joan Baez joined him, “singing to accompany his powerful speeches,” she said via email. “We were risk takers and knew that no radical change in society can take place without a willingness by people to take those risks.” 

Harris encouraged young men to mail their draft cards back to the government in protest of what he called an unjust and immoral war. He emphasized that if no one participated in the draft, there would be no war.   When he received his own draft notice in 1968, he refused to report. That year, he and Baez married, two months before he was sentenced to federal prison for draft evasion. He served 20 months, during which time Baez wrote “A Song for David” and gave birth to their son, Gabriel Harris. The couple divorced in 1973.

Having turned to writing as a form of resistance after his release from prison, Harris wrote a 1973 Rolling Stone profile of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, the U.S. Marine turned anti-war activist who later wrote a memoir, Born on the Fourth of July . In 1982, Harris published Dreams Die Hard: Three Men’s  Journey Through the Sixties ,   examining the era’s issues and ideals through the lens of Harris himself, Dennis Sweeney, ’65, and former Stanford dean Allard Lowenstein, whom Sweeney killed.

In 1977, he married journalist Lacey Fosburgh. She died of breast cancer in 1993, when their daughter, Sophie Harris, was 9. “He was always an activist and continued to write op-eds throughout his life,” says Sophie. “He was proud of what he’d done. He created change. He helped stop the war.”

“I courted arrest, speaking truth to power, and power responded with an order for me to report for military service,” Harris wrote in “I Picked Prison Over Fighting in Vietnam,” a 2017 New  York Times essay.

People often approached Harris, telling him they admired his courage in standing up for his convictions, says Cheri Forrester, who was married to him for the last 12 years of his life. “Person after person talks about how hearing David speak changed their lives, and how he was the catalyst for them getting involved in the anti-war movement,” she says. 

Harris is survived by Forrester, Gabriel, Sophie, and a stepdaughter, Eva Orbuch, ’11, MA ’11.

Tracie White is a senior writer at Stanford . Email her at  [email protected] .

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Student Government in High School and College

ASO Staff Writers

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Student government offers students excellent ways to get involved in the inner workings of their schools, both in high school and in college. Students who participate in their student governments are privy to a range of personal and professional benefits, and they can be exposed to a variety of opportunities in school and beyond. Hearing from students who have gone through it before and gaining a little background information on student government structures, roles, benefits and challenges can help high school and college students decide whether student government is the perfect addition to their personal and academic pursuits.

Student Government 101

Many students are aware their schools have a student government, but the details can be bit hazy. With some understanding of student governments and their various elements, students can see why they might want to participate and where they fit into their school’s organizations.

What is student government?

Student government is a group of students that are charged with managing a wide range of events, activities, programs, policies and initiatives around school. Some members are elected by the student body, and others may be appointed by the elected officials to help with specific tasks or areas of interest. Student government represents the best interests of a school’s student body and helps shape the student experience on campus.?

What does student government do?

Student governments may take on a wide range of responsibilities, and a student government’s role can vary greatly depending on the school and its needs. For instance, high school student councils are generally responsible for organizing student activities like dances, spirit weeks, community service and fundraising movements and assemblies. College student governments, especially those of smaller schools, may take on similar responsibilities and manage clubs and student activities. Larger college student governments may have more responsibilities, like managing campus health and wellness, community outreach, sustainability, drafting and pushing initiatives and policy and budgeting for clubs.

Schools may have more than one student government to manage different areas of campus interest. For example, UC Berkeley is comprised of multiple student governments that represent the university’s schools and colleges. The main student government, ASUC, is so large that it is run as an independent non-profit entirely separate from university governance. ASUC not only controls student club funding, provides student support and organizes programming and activities, it also represents and advocates for students at the university at the local, state and national level.

How does student government differ in high school and college?

It depends on the school, but typically, high school student councils are smaller and have fewer responsibilities than their collegiate counterparts. A high school student council’s focus is very much within the school and centers around student activities. College student governments have the potential to be much larger to accommodate a larger student body and more intricate social and academic system. College student governments may have more roles and varied responsibilities, be comprised of both elected and appointed members, represent many aspects of student life and can have influence on university policies and standards as well as local, state and national legislature.

Who joins student government?

Any student can run for a position or try to get involved in other ways. Typically, students who get involved in their schools’ governments care a lot about their schools and campus communities, do well in leadership roles, are proactive, want to get involved with student life at its roots and are interested in government and politics.

Why is student government important?

It’s common for students to think that their student government isn’t important, but without student government, many of the aspects of high school and college life that they enjoy exist and persist because of student government. Student government also works as a representative body through which students can voice their concerns and interests. They are students advocating for students.

Is Student Government Right for You?

There isn’t a set of personality traits that students are required to have to join student government. Especially as they get into college, students will find that there are many different roles and responsibilities that benefit from unique perspectives, experiences and interests. However, having certain skills, wants and attributes can help students be successful in their leadership roles and enjoy the experience.

Doing a self-evaluation is helpful in figuring out if student government is a good fit.

Students who feel they are lacking in some of these qualities shouldn’t be discouraged; they may find that student government is an excellent way to develop and hone leadership skills and traits.

Structure, Roles & Responsibilities

High school and college student governments have established structures and roles to help ensure they function as effectively as possible. Looking at a school’s government organizational chart or trying to decipher descriptions of roles, especially when you’re not very familiar with the names and purposes of school-specific clubs, initiatives and events, can get overwhelming.

Luckily, while there is some variance, most student governments and councils have similar structures and positions for students to fill.

How Student Governments are Structured

The structure of student government can vary depending on the school, and the size of the institution and its level of student participation can play heavily into which structure works best. Despite their differences in details, there are a few main structures after which most student governments are modeled.

It’s common for student governments, particularly at the college level, to be modeled after the U.S. government. These student governments are made up of three branches: Executive, legislative and judicial. These branches work together to ensure balance of power within the student government.

The executive branch can take many shapes but at minimum consists of the President, Vice President and other directorial positions. It’s common for the executive branch to have a Treasurer, Secretary and Chief of Staff, who may act as head of the Presidential Cabinet, if one exists. The Cabinet can be composed of directors or vice presidents of different significant interest groups or factions of the student government, such as Legislative Affairs or Diversity and Inclusion.


A senate typically makes up the bulk of the legislative branch. School senators represent different colleges and schools or interest groups around campus and may cast votes on behalf of these groups. A speaker and parliamentarian preside over the senate and facilitate meetings. The legislative branch meets to address student needs, organize and carry out committee projects and initiatives, create legislation and work on ways to improve campus life.

The judicial branch is the big player in any legal matters associated with the student government and student interests. Comprised of a Chief Justice and Associate Justices, this branch works to ensure the executive and legislative branches, along with other student groups, uphold and adhere to legal standards. They may handle cases relating to student government bylaws and constitutions, contested elections and student government member conduct.

Schools may find that a bicameral system works better for them. Some schools may call this a “senate style” of student government. This model is similar to the federal model, but it usually forgoes the judicial branch. For instance, New York University is made up of a Student Senators Council and a President’s Council. These two groups work together to enhance student life and create policy that improves the overall student experience. The Student Senators Council brings student concerns to the University Senate, and the President’s Council works with the Student Senators Council to enact senatorial policy and increase student engagement.

High schools and some smaller colleges, like community colleges and technical schools, are likely to stick with a small student government, comprised mostly of the main roles of the executive branch: president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. At the high school level, the president, vice president, secretary and treasurer may be supported by officers and representatives from each class.

At the college level, club presidents may act as part of the student government, representing student interests. In these types of student governments, administrators and other school staff may play a larger supportive role than in larger student governments.

Common Roles & What They Do

The roles a student may pursue in their student government can be numerous and varied, depending on where they go to school, so the best way to learn about specific roles and responsibilities within a particular school’s student government is to go to a few meetings on campus and research positions online or in person.

However, students who want to get a general idea of the governmental roles they may come across at their schools can check out the following list to learn about common titles and what parts they play.

High School

Responsibilities: Runs student council meetings and facilitates discussion, acts as representative of the student body when meeting with school faculty, breaks ties in voting and participates heavily in student activities.

Responsibilities: Shares the president’s responsibilities and stands in for the president when needed. May be in charge of managing student clubs and other academic committees.

Responsibilities: Records the minutes and attendance of student council meetings, keeps records of discussions and decisions, and manages files and other important documents.

Responsibilities: Manages the student council’s funds and expenses, keeps financial records and works with the president and vice president to create budgets and allot funds for clubs and events.

Responsibilities: Each class level has its own president, vice president, secretary and/or treasurer. These are known as class officers, and they represent the particular interests of each class. They may have separate meetings from the student body council, and the president from each class may serve as the class’s representative voice during student body council meetings.

Responsibilities: Some schools may have students with close ties to student associations, clubs or other groups participate in student government. They voice the concerns, needs and desires of their respective groups during meetings.

Responsibilities: Student councils may have special roles for duties that may not inherently fall under another council member’s. For example, a speaker serves as emcee at student activities or presents the student council’s ideas to faculty and the student body. An activity coordinator is responsible for putting together events and activities.

Responsibilities: Elected by the student body and represents the student body as a whole. They choose a cabinet and designate roles to help ensure the school is run in a way that best serves the student body.

Responsibilities: Varies, but generally to assist the president in managing executive branch members and activities. May stand in for the president if the president is absent.

Responsibilities: Overseeing cabinet members and many of the logistics of running the executive branch. Chief advisor to the president and vice president and make sure that agendas are addressed and deadlines met. May meet individually with cabinet members to discuss needs and relay them to the president and vice president.

Responsibilities: The variety and type of committees, boards and groups colleges may have can be vast, and the president of a school’s student government is often responsible for creating roles to represent and meet the needs of these groups and interests. For example, a president’s cabinet could consist of a Director of Campus Life, Director of Equity and Outreach, Director or Sustainability, Director of Public Relations and a Director of Academic Affairs. There may also be smaller roles within these breakout groups that exist as part of the executive branch.

Responsibilities: College legislatures are composed of senators that represent schools, clubs or other committees within the college. Senators voice the concerns and interests of their respective student groups and work with one another to enact legislature that will improve students’ overall college experience. They may also vote in favor of or against the President’s cabinet appointees.

Responsibilities: Presides over and facilitates senate meetings. Serves as the representative voice of the senate in meetings with other student government branches, university staff and faculty, the student body and the general public.

Responsibilities: Operates the internal affairs of the senate. May manage the signing on and resignation of senators, the senate’s finances and relay necessary information to senate members.

Responsibilities: Facilitates senatorial elections, writing and disseminating bylaws and enforcing procedure during meetings.

Responsibilities: Presides over and serves as spokesperson for the judicial branch. Writes the official orders and decisions made by the judicial branch and relays this information to other student government branches and the university.

Responsibilities: Must attend all meetings and cast votes in hearings brought to the student government’s judicial branch. Must ask questions in hearings and ensure they hear all sides of an issue before casting a vote.

Responsibilities: Acts as a liaison between grieving parties, accused parties, justices and other student government branches as part of the judicial branch. They may receive complaints against student government members and conduct investigations.

Responsibilities: College student governments can have a lot of breakout groups and members within those groups, so students may be able to find student government roles specific to their interests. Responsibilities will vary based on the group and role.

The Benefits & Challenges

Participating in student council or student government can be an enriching experience with lasting positive impacts. However, the rewards don’t come without their difficulties. As with any commitment, students should be sure to consider all aspects of joining student government before going all-in.

Famous People Who Were Class Presidents

Participation in student government won’t necessarily skyrocket students to lives of prominence and fame, but student government members can at least count on being in good company.

Blake Lively

After filming her breakout role as Bridget in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, actor Blake Lively finished her senior year at Burbank High School in California, where she served as senior class president.

Hugh Jackman

Add political prowess next to acting, singing and dancing on Hugh Jackman’s list of accomplishments. Before Les Miserables, X-Men and a slew of other high-profile roles, Hugh Jackman was class president of Knox Grammar School in Australia.

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s political career began early in her life. She was senior class president of Wellesley College before pursuing bigger roles in American politics.

Herbie Hancock

One of America’s most prominent and innovative jazz pianists, Herbie Hancock, was elected president of his sophomore class at Hyde Park High School, where African Americans were in the minority, and was elected president of student council twice.

This iconic movie star, known for his unique voice and gait as much as for the iconic roles he played in movies like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, True Grit and The Alamo, was class president at Glendale High School.

Halle Berry

Prior to becoming an on-screen superhero, playing both Catwoman and X-Men’s Storm, Halle Berry was class president at Bedford High School in Ohio.

Jesse Jackson

Jesse Jackson, who is known for his lifetime of civil rights activism, was elected class president at Sterling High School. He would later run for President of the United States twice.

Ronald Reagan

The American actor who would later become the 40th President of the United States was first student body president of Eureka College.

Student Government Alums Weigh In

Susanna Compare High School Student Council Vice President

“I joined the student government my freshman year when I was new to Milton Hershey School. I wanted to get involved, and it sounded like a great opportunity to gain leadership experience while also meeting new people and learning about myself and how I could help impact the Milton Hershey School community. Some of the highlights for me were being able to plan events for my class and watch them come together as one, and work with other students who also wanted to make a difference. I also had the opportunity my senior year to get students involved in leadership roles and taking initiative who normally would not be in that position.

Being in student government, of course, has its challenges, but they also seem so minimal when you are actually able to make an impact. It was challenging to work on an idea and propose it and be told “no.” This, however, also made the times when you heard “yes” even better. My time in student government had a huge impact on who I am today. It gave me communication skills, confidence and friendships that I carried through all of high school. It also helped give me a better idea of what I wanted to do for my future career. I have those leadership skills ready for when I enter the real world.

I plan on doing student government to some extent in college, but if I decide not to, I will definitely be using the skills I learned. I learned a lot about patience, time management and how I can best serve those around me. I would highly recommend student government to other students—it is a great opportunity to not only be a leader to your peers, but to help you grow as a person and prepare you for after high school.”

Michelle McAdams College Student Government President

“I joined student government because I was applying for scholarships, and they all asked what I did outside of the classroom. I was looking for something to put on my resume other than just classes, and student government was during a time I didn’t have class. I never really had an interest in government before, but there are so many wonderful highlights that came out of being in SGA.

Getting to know what the Student Affairs department did and how to get involved in the University of North Georgia community was the best thing. I realized I had a love for Student Affairs and hope to be able to return to UNG as an employee in the Student Affairs Department and earn my Master’s Degree. I actually changed my major from business to General Studies so I could learn more about a variety of things for this type of position.

As SGA President, I was asked to give several speeches and address the student body and different members of the community in many ways. I hope through these speeches, I was able to encourage students to become more involved in the UNG community and to enjoy their time at UNG as much as possible.

I was also able to create new SGA positions and increase opportunities for leadership and campus involvement, and I had a hand in creating a memorial wall and carrying out a community service project that united UNG’s different campuses. UNG had gone through a consolidation a few years before I started, and we wanted to help students feel like they were part of the same university no matter what campus they take classes on.

The most challenging thing about my position was getting the help I needed to accomplish the things my council and I wanted to do. We had very poor attendance and participation because we are a commuter campus. Most students come to campus just to take classes, then leave to go home or to their job. Getting students to stay on campus was a challenge and getting them to commit to joining SGA was even harder. They felt they didn’t have time to participate in any activity.

The best lesson I learned from SGA was that to see an idea come to life, it takes a lot of time and dedication, but it also takes a lot of help from others. You have to have negotiating skills and leadership skills to be able to influence others to help you reach the goals you have set for yourself and your organization.

My advice would be to join and learn as much as you can about the organization, then run for office. Become a leader and participate in the activities at your school. You will form a tighter bond and connection with the community, and it will be a much more rewarding experience all around. Take advantage of all the opportunities you get to attend leadership training and conferences. You will not only learn new skills and have amazing experiences, but you will also make new friends you will keep for a lifetime. You might even have a new network of people you can turn to in your future career. And it looks great on your resume, too.”

Kendall Burchard

“I joined student government because I had a desire to serve my community and directly contribute to the events and extracurricular activities that gave so much meaning to school. Some of my fondest memories come from Leadership/Student Council in high school; both directly being responsible for and subsequently participating in the quintessential “high school” moments like Homecoming, Winterfest, Prom, etc. was both educational and meaningful. It wasn’t without its rough spots, though.

In high school, I lost two elections within two weeks of each other, and I was devastated. It was the first time my sense of self-worth had been rocked at my core, and the experience taught me how to fail gracefully and how to root my confidence and sense of being in something other than the titles I held. I’m grateful for the lesson to this day.

When I entered college at the University of Oklahoma, I continued my participation in student government. I was part of the Sooner Freshman Council during my first year, then served as Director of Student Organizations (Sophomore), Director of Student Organizations (Junior) and eventually became Director of the Interior for my senior year.

That year, the University of Oklahoma experienced a national controversy when fraternity men on a bus began a racially-charged chant while coming home from a party. As Director of the Interior, I handled a lot of the response for the Student Government Association, coordinating with the administration, other SGA members and community members. This was one of the most challenging and unexpected student government experiences I underwent.

I’d like to think that the student governments I’ve served in have made a positive impact. We created experiences for students to enrich their time outside of class, like prom; we advocated for their voices to the administration, like addressing parking concerns; and we saw our students through trying times on campus by serving as examples, like acting appropriately when dealing with the fraternity incident and, in high school, when a violent video of students fighting circulated around school.

I also credit my time in student government with developing my ability to manage people. I run two large organizations at my law school, and I find myself comfortable in management positions. It has also inspired an interest to serve my broader community in some capacity one day. I have also learned to work with administration and hold my own against those with actual power, and how to speak truth to power.

I’d absolutely recommend participating in student government to other students. The experience will enable you to hone a skill set and a number of organizational abilities that a classroom education cannot, and you’ll make memories to last a lifetime.”

Students looking to learn more about student government and student council or get ideas for improving their current student government system can start their research at these websites:

American Student Government Association (ASGA) ASGA is a go-to resource for members of collegiate student governments. This website provides a wide range of resources and services, from revamping an existing student government to conducting research.

Campus Compact Student Government Resource Center Students can use Campus Compact’s student government training and resources to become better leaders and build strong campus governments.

National Student Council (NatStuCo) NatStuCo is a national organization dedicated to helping student build more effective student councils. They provide leadership development opportunities, host events and provide a ton of resources for high school student councils.

Student Government Resource Center Student Government Resource Center is a comprehensive resource for college student governments. Students can access toolkits, training and other information and services to help them improve their campus governments.

“Fundraising Ideas for Student Council: Class Acts” – YouCaring Geared towards high school student councils, this YouCaring blog provides an array of fundraising ideas.

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The Admissions Strategist

Student council: the election guide for student leaders.

When it comes to extracurricular activities that make a positive impression on colleges, student council is near the top of the list.

Not only does it impress the admissions team, but student council also prepares you for experiences you’ll have in college and the real world.

Participating in student council, also called student government, builds leadership, communication skills, problem-solving, responsibility, and more.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of student council, how to get appointed, and what to expect.

Student Council: The Election Guide for Student Leaders

Click above to watch a video on Student Council.

What Is Student Council?

First, what exactly is student council?

Student council is a group of students elected by their classmates to organize activities and address student concerns and interests.

  • The structure of student council varies by school. Many high schools have a separate council for each grade level (freshman student council, sophomore student council, junior student council, senior student council).

Some schools, particularly larger schools, also have a school-wide student council that organizes major events.

What Are the Benefits of Student Council

There are many benefits to participating in student council.

Being actively involved in your school gives you the opportunity to make changes you’d like to see, and you’ll get to meet people you may not have met otherwise.

In addition, student council is a valuable leadership experience that will help you develop important life skills.

  • Colleges like to see student government on your resume because it indicates that you are a leader who gets involved on campus.
  • Admissions officers will interpret this as a sign that you’re likely to make valuable contributions to their campus as well.

Your student council experience can also help you develop a variety of career skills, including:

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Delegating tasks
  • Organization
  • Planning/coordinating events

In short, student council is an interesting and rewarding experience that helps you build skills you’ll need in college, the workforce, and life.

And of course, it doesn’t hurt that it makes a powerful addition to your college resume.

What You’ll Do on Student Council

In general, it is the student council’s responsibility to:

  • Enhance communication between students and school administration/faculty
  • Represent the views of the students on matters of concern
  • Promote respect and positive values among students
  • Support the development of the school and school culture
  • Plan events and fundraisers

Your specific experience as a member of the student council will depend on your role. Below, we’ll look at the various positions and what you can expect from each.

  • President – The president must plan and lead student council meetings, including assigning tasks to the other officers. They also lead and organize student activities and represent the student body when meeting with faculty.
  • Vice President – The vice president assists the president with his or her tasks and steps in if the president is absent or unavailable.
  • Secretary- The secretary keeps the student council organized by taking meeting notes (called minutes), keeping records of important discussions and decisions, and managing important documents.
  • Treasurer – The treasurer is responsible for managing the student council’s funds and expenses . He or she keeps track of finances and works with the president and vice president to create budgets for events and other expenditures.

If you like to lead and speak in front of others, being the student council president or vice president might suit you.

  • However, you’ll also need the ability to work well under pressure and handle criticism—after all, not everyone will be on board with every decision you make.

Do you have great organizational and writing skills?

Consider running for secretary. Are you responsible and good with numbers? You could make an excellent treasurer.

As you decide what position to run for, you should also keep in mind that being elected secretary or treasurer is easier than becoming president or vice president.

This is especially true if you don’t have previous campaign or student government experience.

Get personalized advice!

How to get on student council.

Student council positions are determined by student votes.

To earn a spot on your school’s student council, you’ll have to campaign. Depending on the school, you may also need to give a campaign speech .

Your campaign can include the following:

  • Designing and hanging flyers or posters with your name, the position you’re running for, and a catchy slogan
  • Choosing a main campaign message: What would you like to accomplish while on student council?
  • Spreading the word by talking to your friends and classmates about why you’d like to be elected
  • Handing out buttons, pencils, or stickers with your name on it (depending on the rules of your school)

Think about what would make you vote one of your classmates onto the student council.

You would probably want to vote for someone you like, trust, and believe will make a positive difference in your school.

To show other students that you’re this type of person, you’ll have to get out there and mingle with your classmates.

  • Introduce yourself, share some of your ideas for improvement, and ask your peers what changes they would like to see at school.
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep, but show a genuine interest in their responses. Smile and be polite and friendly.

You should also think about the impression you’re making in class.

Are you a dependable student who turns work in on time, treats others with respect, and performs well academically?

These factors can indicate that the school is in good hands with you.

Making a Campaign Speech

As mentioned above, some schools won’t require you to make a campaign speech.

Other schools will expect you to make a speech either at a live assembly or via video broadcast. Of course, this experience can be nerve-wracking.

Below, we’ll discuss tips for writing a campaign speech. But first, here are some general tips for effective public speaking:

  • Practice. Before giving your speech, practice with friends, family members, or even in front of your mirror. The more you practice, the more confident and prepared you’ll feel.
  • Speak slowly. We all tend to talk quickly when nervous, so slow it down and enunciate your words. And speak up—you don’t want people having to strain to hear what you’re saying.
  • Pay attention to your body language. Stand up straight, keep your hands out of your pockets, and try to avoid fidgeting, playing with your hair, etc. It’s fine to make gestures with your hands as you talk, but they should be purposeful gestures rather than nervous gestures.
  • Make eye contact. Speeches are more powerful if you can make eye contact with several members of the audience as you speak. If this is too intimidating, you can look slightly over the heads of the crowd. This can give the impression of eye contact.
  • Smile! Most speeches are somewhat formal, but you want to come across as friendly and likeable. Smile, and don’t be afraid to make a couple of well-placed jokes too. (In this case, after all, your audience is your fellow high school classmates!) As a bonus, smiling makes your voice sound more upbeat and confident.

Your campaign speech should be brief. If the school gives you a time limit, be sure to follow it.

If not, your speech should be no longer than 2-3 minutes. If your speech is any longer, you risk losing your audience’s attention.

  • Start by introducing yourself and the position you’re running for. Even if you think most students know your name, you want to be sure all students know who to look for on the ballot.

Next, explain why you’re qualified for this student council position.

  • You can mention both skills and experiences that indicate you’d be a good fit.
  • For example, “I was the Spanish Club treasurer for two years and have never made below an ‘A’ in math class. I’m also responsible and trustworthy.”

You can also state some of your main goals and how you will accomplish them . Repeat the same message that you used when talking to other students about your platform. If you found that many students had some of the same concerns or ideas, you may include these in your speech as well.

End with your name and campaign slogan (if you had one). This will help students remember you, particularly if your slogan is catchy or clever.

Advice from a Former Student Council Leader

Suzi Kutcher, a publicist at Ramsey Solutions and marketing all-star, loved her time during her tenure on student council.

She spoke to our team about her successes and advice she’d offer current students. Here’s her input:

How Suzi Got Involved

It’s been almost 10 years since I was involved in student council.

Back then, it was a club that I treated like a religion and is still credited with some of my favorite memories.

I first got involved in 2004 as a sixth grader in middle school.

After being elected Treasurer (2006) then Vice President (2007), I had the opportunity to attend my first state student council conference with the South Carolina Association of Student Councils.

From that moment on, I was HOOKED.

What Suzi Accomplished

By 2011 I ended up being elected Student Body President of the largest high school in South Carolina (Wando High School) and was also elected (the first woman in over 10 years) as the State Student Council President which meant I planned the state conference that year at my high school.

  • The relationships I formed then are still some of my most-cherished friendships and useful connections.

After graduating from the University of South Carolina I pursued a career working for Walt Disney World and Walt Disney Studios.

Today, I am now a publicist for a very well-known personality in the Personal Finance space.

Suzi’s Advice for Students

  • Go to the conferences : So much of being in student council goes unrewarded or unacknowledged.
  • The times where your dedication and hard work really go noticed is when you’re offered a coveted conference spot.
  • Getting to fly/drive/travel to wild locations to meet like-minded individuals and learn and C.A.S.E. (Copy And Steal Everything) ideas from other schools across the world is SUCH a unique experience.

By going to the conferences – yes, even in the middle of Summer/weekends I found college roommates, best friends, and got to see new parts of the country.

As a publicist, you’ve got to be VERY comfortable talking with strangers – from celebrities to some weirdos – you engage with all kinds.

Let me tell you – there is no better training for that than a student council conference.

  • Be the first to arrive and last to leave : In my role as student body president, I had to arrive at school every day by 7:30 am and quite often would be working on things until 6 pm.

It was in these off hours that I really grew to appreciate the people working there next to me.

It was also these times that some great memories with principles, coaches and of course my student council advisor.

  • Have fun : As a senior, I let a lot of power go to my head and forgot to enjoy that last year of high school.

I passed-up time with friends for time leading service projects or craft supply trips – I forgot to make time for other things in my life.

  • You don’t always have to be the leader : Looking back on my student council experience, I, of course, experienced a lot of drop-off and fading interest from those I worked with.

I didn’t see then that those people didn’t need a leader, they just needed to feel included – and that has been a takeaway I use to this day.

  • College student government and high school student council are NOT created equal :

After being so involved in high school, I wanted to be a part of the college’s student government.

After being rejected (yep, rejected) from the Freshman Student Gov program, I found myself in the very boring role of deputy chief of staff.

I joined because I wanted to still plan pep rallies and custodial appreciation gifts.

  • What I found was very boring hours of sitting in meetings talking about legislation and student election violations.

I wasted precious time that freshman year because I didn’t realize what it was I loved about student council and failed to research the organizations that performed those duties on a college campus.

What Do Admissions Counselors Think?

We asked Savanna Klein, admissions counselor at Sweet Briar College, what her fellow admissions officers think about students participating in student council:

Holding student leadership positions shows that you are an involved and active member of your community. Colleges want students who will add to campus life and make the most out of their time there.

There you have it! Colleges look quite favorably on student council, so it’s in your best interest to participate or run for a position if you have a passion for it.

Final Thoughts: The Student Council Guide

Student council is a great life experience and resume booster.

You’ll represent the student voice in communication with administration and faculty, plan and host major events, and be a leader among your peers.

Running for a position on student council can be a scary experience, but it’s also enjoyable and rewarding. Win or lose, you’ll learn a lot in the process.

Learn how we can help you with college and career guidance! Check out our YouTube channel!

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Student Council Speech Sample

Student Council Speech Sample

Writing a student council speech may seem daunting, but having an example to look at can help inspire you.

Use the speech on this page to help you think about what you might like to say to the students voting for you.

Following the example below, you will learn how to prepare the following parts of the Student Council Speech:

  • Introduction

If you need more guidance after reading this page, visit  Twelve Vital Tips for Student Council Speeches and see another Sample Speech by "Charlie" that follows a twelve step process from knowing your audience to ending with a call-to-action.

Student Council Speech - Sample with Checklist

The speech below was sent in by Stephanie who was running for student council President of her high school. 

Thanks for sharing your speech, Steph, and for helping other students get an idea of what to say!

After reviewing Steph's speech, check out another  student council speech sample  for additional inspiration.

Also, the book   Student Council Campaign: Winning Strategies, Speeches, Poster, and Slogans  reviewed below can help you take your entire campaign to a whole different level, not only your speech. 

Beginning of the student council speech

  • Introduce yourself
  • Set your audience at ease
  • Use a quick attention getter or theme
  • Provide a brief foreshadowing of your call to action 

Good afternoon, students and staff members! My name is Stephanie, and I'm running for student body president. I'll keep this quick as I'm sure you are ready to get out of here.

You might be saying to yourself, "Should Stephanie really be the student body president? After all, she's only been at our school for two years."

Body of the student council speech

  • Organize around just 2-3 main ideas
  • Provide 2-3 supporting details for each claim
  • Points should solve for a pain your audience (your fellow students) feels

It's true that I am fairly new to Jefferson Anderson High School. At first glance, this may seem like a disadvantage. I didn't attend this school for my freshman and sophomore years, and I've only known most of you for a couple of years.

When you think about it though, there is actually a benefit in choosing someone who is coming into the school from somewhere else. I have new ideas that I can bring in from the school I was at before.

Are you tired of doing the same old things year after year? Are you ready to do something different?

One thing I noticed about this school when I came last year is that most of the students didn't really get to make any of the decisions here at the school.

Did anyone ever ask you what you wanted to do for a fundraiser? Did anyone ever ask you what you wanted to buy with the money we raised? Who makes these decisions?

Those types of decisions are left up to student council. The person you choose to represent you as president will speak for the entire senior class. Do you want to choose someone who will make those decisions for you without knowing what you want?

If you vote for me as student council president, I promise to always get your opinions before making any decisions. You should have a say in the actions that will affect you.

Every single one of you can come to me with your ideas, and I promise to listen and speak for you.

Listen to this speech

Conclusion of the student council speech

  • Briefly summarize your main points
  • Weave in your theme
  • Include a clincher and call to action

I may not be the most well-known person running for student council president, but I promise to listen to each and every one of you.

You matter. Your opinion matters. Don't choose someone who will make all of the decisions for you. Don't vote for the person who will pick whatever their friends want them to choose.

Choose someone who wants to be your spokesperson. Choose someone who cares about what you want.

Choose me, Stephanie, for your student council president.

End of Speech

When writing a student council speech, you need to remember to research what the student body NEEDS and WANTS . Connecting with the audience is key. Let them know how you will serve them!

You can interview students, teachers, administrators, etc. to find out what would help your school grow and develop in a positive direction, then incorporate those ideas into your presentation.

This advice is useful whether you're running for student council president, treasurer or secretary. Do your due diligence and know what it is your target audience wants to hear before you write your speech!

Continue reading  Twelve Vital Tips for Student Council Speeches  and see another Sample Speech.

Or, check out the student council speech in the video below for more ideas on how to present the best address ever. This guy has charisma and is funny as well!

Winning Strategies for a Student Council Campaign eBook:

Amazon Student Council Campaign Book

According to Isaac Myhrum, a winner of student council seats beginning in the 6th grade, you can develop the confidence and skills to lead. Isaac rose above the typical popularity contest to win on merit and credibility. His book  Student Council Campaign: Winning Strategies, Speeches, Poster, and Slogans  will guide you to improve your overall strategy and your student council speeches. 

Some of the lessons to help you win election include:

  • developing campaign speech ideas and topics
  • voter audience analysis
  • forming a campaign team
  • examples of successful posters
  • and more advice for appealing to student voters.

You can order on  Amazon  for reading with the free Kindle App and support Best Speech Topics with a small commission. 

[Full disclosure: Best Speech Topics is a compensated affiliate of Amazon.]

Running for student council is an admirable pursuit. Use our student council speech guidance to become a representative of your council for the right reasons - to make positive change and help fellow students. Winning provides an opportunity to improve your school and make meaningful change. (Owens, E. (2015, August 11). Viewpoint: 4 reasons to run for student government . Retrieved December 2, 2018, from

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Another Student Council Speech 

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Why Colleges Want to See More Than Class President on Your Applications

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See how your profile ranks among thousands of other students using CollegeVine. Calculate your chances at your dream schools and learn what areas you need to improve right now — it only takes 3 minutes and it's 100% free.

The Importance of Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities are an important part of your college applications. While your grades and SAT scores demonstrate your academic achievement, extracurriculars give colleges some insight into who you are, what interests you, and what you might bring to their campuses.

The term “extracurricular” covers a wide range of activities. Briefly, it means anything you take on outside the classroom that isn’t for pay and holds some kind of meaning for you. It encompasses clubs, community service, independent activities, sports, and many other areas.

To learn more about what qualifies as an extracurricular activity, check out CollegeVine’s What Counts as an Extracurricular?

When you complete the Common App and other college or scholarship applications, you will enter the details about your activities, as well as any leadership roles and awards you held or received related to each one you list.

As we discuss in Your Resume Revamped: Securing Leadership Positions and Perfecting Your Extracurricular Profile , leadership positions and awards demonstrate dedication, commitment, hard work, special talents, and other qualities colleges value. They can also help show an area of specialization , something colleges also want to see in their prospective students.

What’s wrong with having certain extracurriculars on your resume?

In short: nothing. There isn’t anything bad about having leadership roles like class president or football captain on your application. Like most other extracurricular activities, especially those involving leadership, these positions require hard work and dedication. However, these roles, as well as similar positions, are fairly generic; many other candidates will have similar roles on their applications, especially at competitive universities.

Furthermore, they usually don’t demonstrate a particular niche — an important aspect of your application, which we discuss further in Well-Rounded or Specialized? — and won’t do much to help your application stand out from a pool of similarly-qualified peers.

The importance of standing out

Competitive college applicant pools are full of highly qualified students with activities like student body president on their resumes, and unfortunately, colleges couldn’t accept all of those students even if they wanted to. Given low acceptance rates at top schools, you’ll have trouble getting noticed if your applicant profile doesn’t distinguish itself in any way from the others.

So what do you do? You need to make an effort to stand out . This is a must if you are hoping to attend a competitive college. Top colleges are looking for smart, talented, and interesting students who will bring something unique and special to campus.

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What can I do to avoid this pitfall?

During high school, focus on extracurriculars that are less generic than those in which many of your classmates are participating. This may mean looking outside of school, or starting a new club within school. Starting your own club requires dedication and leadership, and shows colleges that you’re invested in your school and classmates and willing to step up and fill a gap when you see it. For tips on getting started, check out Organizing Your New Club .

Looking outside of school may take a little extra effort, but it will be well worth it. Start by looking online and asking teachers, guidance counselors, friends, and family members for ideas. Brainstorm activities you like to do, and look for something that matches up. Are you a creative writer? Enter some competitions geared to high school students or join a writing group . Want to work with kids? See if the local daycare takes volunteers. Love science? Apply to participate in National Youth Science Camp .

Check out How to Turn Your Interest or Hobby Into an Extracurricular Activity for more advice on making the most of your talents.

In short, you need to prioritize less-common activities that are particularly well-suited to your strengths over generic activities like student government and sports teams — if you need to choose between them.

While it is certainly fine to run for National Honor Society president or take on a similar role, and such positions will add to your application, don’t be discouraged if you don’t win the election; your time and energy are just as well spent on activities that are unique and more closely related to your particular interests.

To learn more about how to best target your extracurricular activities to your unique goals and interests, check out these posts:

  • How to Choose the Right Extracurriculars in High School
  • Your Resume, Revamped: Securing Leadership Positions and Perfecting Your Extracurricular Profile
  • How Do I Decided Which of My Extracurriculars Is the Most Important?
  • How to Turn Your Interest or Hobby Into an Extracurricular Activity
  • Managing Extracurriculars: A Guide to Strategic Quitting

Looking for help navigating the road to college as a high school student? Download our  free guide for 9th graders  and our  free guide for 10th graders . Our guides go in-depth about subjects ranging from  academics ,  choosing courses ,  standardized tests ,  extracurricular activities ,  and much more !

Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

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How to Write a Student Council Speech

Last Updated: April 24, 2024 Approved

This article was co-authored by Patrick Muñoz . Patrick is an internationally recognized Voice & Speech Coach, focusing on public speaking, vocal power, accent and dialects, accent reduction, voiceover, acting and speech therapy. He has worked with clients such as Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, and Roselyn Sanchez. He was voted LA's Favorite Voice and Dialect Coach by BACKSTAGE, is the voice and speech coach for Disney and Turner Classic Movies, and is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 127 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 2,038,832 times.

Being a member of the student council can help you help your school. However, it takes hard work to get into the student council . You need to craft a good speech that gives your classmates incentives to vote for you.

Your Student Council Speech

Use a strong, attention-grabbing opening. Discuss your qualifications briefly, then move on. Focus your speech on your passion and present a blueprint to achieve your goals. Close with a strong summary and call to vote for you.

Sample Speeches

student body president essay

Writing the Introduction

Step 1 Find an attention-grabbing opening statement.

  • Do not merely start by saying, "My name is ___ and I'm running for student council." Your classmates will already know as much and this is not really a unique statement. There will be time to state the basic information after you've got the class's attention. [1] X Research source
  • You can open with a question. Something like, "If there was one thing you could change about this school, what would it be?" Or a question that adds some humor , like, "I know what you're thinking. Why should I listen to this person?" and then proceed to lay out your credentials. Quotes on leadership, power, and guidance would also make good openings. However, make sure to double-check your sources and especially if you're finding quotes online. Many online quote databases, like Quote Garden or Brainy Quote, sometimes attribute quotes to the wrong sources. [2] X Research source
  • If you're stuck, look up and read famous speeches. You can find many speeches from presidents, world leaders, civil rights activists, and others online. Pay attention to how they opened their speeches and ask yourself, "Was this interesting? Do I want to keep reading/listening? Why?" [3] X Research source

Step 2 State the basics.

  • State your name and grade in school. This may feel somewhat unnecessary if you go to a small school, but it's considered a formality. If you're missing this part of the speech, you may end up looking sloppy in comparison to other students. [5] X Research source
  • State what you want. That is, what you're running for. Do you want to be the president , vice president , treasurer, secretary? Even if you think most students are aware of what position you're running for, make sure you state it here to remind them. [6] X Research source
  • Try to keep this section brief as it's not as important as your qualifications and plans to improve the school . Even one sentence would suffice. For example, "My name is Ramona Hart, I'm in the 11th grade, and I'm running for treasurer of the student council."

Step 3 List your qualifications.

  • Any accomplishments relevant to the position warrant mentioning here. If you're running for secretary, for example, talk about your summer job filing papers in your uncle's law firm. If you're running for student council president, talk about your leadership experience being captain of the swim team. [7] X Research source
  • While this section is important, try to keep it minimal. A couple of sentences laying out your qualifications is enough as the body of your speech is where you should spend the most time. For example, let's go back to the above example. From there, we could say, "I am currently enrolled in advanced placement algebra and I have been an honor roll student for three years. This knowledge of numbers and diligence qualifies me to have responsibility for finances for our student council." [8] X Research source

Writing the Body of the Speech

Step 1 State your main ideas on how to improve the school.

  • You should list your ideas and then expand on them later in the body. It might take a bit of research to figure out what you want to change. Ask around the school, talking to students and teachers, and see where there's room for improvement. What are the concerns of the students? What are people happy with regarding the school? What would they like to see change? Asking these questions can help you get a sense of your audience and community.
  • Remember, you should not make promises you cannot keep. Do not say anything just to get elected. While many students might want gum-chewing policies eliminated or for the lunch period to run twice as long, this is probably not necessary or possible. Try to focus on areas that seem important to keep your school running safely and efficiently. Concerns about things like bullying , academic standards, and extracurricular activities should be your concern over fun and games. [10] X Research source
  • A good opening statement for your body would state the causes important to you and what you plan to do about them. For example, if you were running for president, you could say something like, "I understand we need to improve how we handle bullying, increase interest in extracurricular activities, and expand access to AP courses throughout the school. As your president, I would work to bring in speakers to talk about sensitivity in the classroom, increase advertising for basketball games and quiz bowl tournaments, and start a tutoring program to help students struggling with certain subjects." [11] X Research source

Step 2 Find support for those ideas.

  • Using the school library or computers, figure out the best means to tackle certain problems many schools face. How have other schools dealt with bullying? Poor test scores? Low interest in extracurricular activities? What can you reasonably do as a student council member to address these problems? [12] X Research source
  • You do not have to have a point-by-point plan laid out, but a few sentences on some preliminary ideas can help you stand out from your peers. People are more inclined to vote for someone who's thought about how to solve problems in addition to identifying problems. [13] X Research source

Step 3 Keep your ideas short but very strongly worded.

Ending with a Strong Conclusion

Step 1 Reiterate your main points briefly.

  • Do summarize, briefly, your qualifications but do not put the main focus on them. This is where you should sincerely state your passion. Students should not just vote for you because you'd do a good job but because you genuinely care about the school. State your passion for your community and how much you want to see other students succeed. Lots of students have high qualifications. You can set yourself apart by being a candidate who really cares. [16] X Research source

Step 3 Ask the audience for their vote.

  • Research what other student council speeches are like on video websites. This could help give you ideas.

Expert Q&A

Patrick Muñoz

  • Only promise to do things that you really can do. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 0
  • Practice reading your speech a few times, as you'll likely be nervous before giving it. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 0

student body president essay

  • Even if you write a great speech, understand you may lose. Be prepared to lose graciously and sincerely congratulate the winning candidate. Thanks Helpful 104 Not Helpful 16
  • Unlike in a governmental election, student council candidates should not attack each other, previous leaders, or other students. Otherwise, you could get into trouble and leave a bad impression on voters. Thanks Helpful 78 Not Helpful 16

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About This Article

Patrick Muñoz

To write a student council speech, start with an attention-grabbing statement such as a question or a powerful quote about leadership. Next, briefly explain who you are, what position you are running for, and why you are running. Then list any relevant qualifications, such as a summer job. In the body of the speech, discuss at least 3 ways to improve the school. For this section, make sure not to make any promises you can’t keep. Finally, end by briefly reiterating your main points and asking for the students’ vote. To learn more about how to support your ideas and research for your speech, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Dartmouth Student Government discusses issues with referendum on no confidence

At their weekly meeting, senators and members of the student body discussed the ongoing student referendum — with some saying they felt pressured to vote no confidence in college president sian leah beilock..

1.17.20.Collis_Olympia Nagel-Caland.jpg

On May 12, the Dartmouth Student Government Senate met for its seventh weekly meeting of the spring term. Led by student body president Jessica Chiriboga ’24, the Senate and members of the student body discussed the student body referendum on no confidence in College President Sian Leah Beilock’s leadership. Several people said they or their friends had felt pressured by students in support of no confidence to also vote no confidence.

The Senate passed the resolution to hold a campus-wide referendum on no confidence on May 7, according to a May 8 email from DSG to the student body. The vote, which began on May 9 and will close on May 15, responds to the May 1 pro-Palestinian protest and is “advisory” and anonymous. 

Students, regardless of their D-Plan, are able to select “I have no confidence in President Beilock’s leadership” or “I do not support a motion of no confidence in President Beilock’s leadership.”

Chabad president Mia Steinberg ’25 said she encountered a group of students tabling in the Class of 1953 Commons who gave “very simplified” and “very biased” descriptions of the arrests on May 1 that were “jarring to hear.” 

Steinberg said she believes it “absolutely should be right” for students to campaign for the no-confidence vote. However, she said the students tabling in ’53 Commons “crossed the line” because the dining hall “is a neutral space on campus,” adding that she found the tabling “disturbing.” When she tried to confirm at the Collis Center’s front desk that the students were registered to table, she said she was told there was “nothing [Collis staff] could do” because the students were tabling on behalf of Spare Rib, a feminist magazine. 

“I think that’s an abuse of what these organizations do,” Steinberg said. “[The students who were tabling] are co-opting a club that has nothing to do with [the vote of no confidence] and making that the [club’s] cause.”

Steinberg said she has also recently felt “uncomfortable” in Robinson Hall — where many student-led organizations are based — because there are Palestinian flags and pro-Palestinian signs with slogans such as “divest from Israel” and “end the apartheid.” As a result, she has been “going less” to the Dartmouth Outing Club, one of the student organizations housed in Robinson Hall. She added that she has heard from other people who have also chosen to “take a step back” from the DOC due to the “decorations” and “this rhetoric” in the club’s GroupMe.

West House senator Crawford Hovis ’25 said one of his friends was recently asked if he “had voted no confidence yet” by a group of students advocating for no confidence in Novack Cafe. After his friend said he had not, the students began “checking to see what his ID [information] was.”

“We didn’t expect [voter suppression tactics] to happen when we decided to do the referendum, but if I could go back I would push harder against the referendum [after] seeing the way some people are being treated on campus now,” Hovis said. 

Oren Poleshuck-Kinel ’26 said he believes the “whole idea of a referendum” is “problematic” because “the majority of Jewish students are grateful for Beilock’s actions to protect them.”

“If 90% of the campus votes against Beilock [but] all 10% of Jewish students vote for her, that means Beilock did the right thing,” he said. “The right action is not always the most popular one.”  

Town affairs liaison Nicolás Macri ’24 said he believes the “purpose” of the referendum is to allow students to “digitally” and “anonymously” voice their opinions. 

“I would encourage everyone, including those who are opposed to no confidence … to please vote because that way we know what you think,” he said. “We [the Senate] can’t just keep guessing.”

Steinberg also said she finds it “concerning” that “pro-Beilock” and “Jewish” are “becoming more synonymous” with regard to the vote of no confidence. Conflating the two terms “[puts] Jewish students into a bucket,” even though support for Beilock in the Jewish community is not “across the board,” she said. Nonetheless, she said it is significant that “a majority of Jewish students” oppose the vote of no confidence.

“I think [DSG] should think more about what that means and why a specific minority group on campus feels so overwhelmingly in one way,” she said.

Chiriboga asked the Senate and members of the student body if they had a “preference” for advocating for suspension of classes for a day or “intentional” weekend programming “related to engaging in dialogue across difference and addressing wellness and providing resources.”

Hovis said days off from classes sometimes have the “inverse effect” because X-hours are used to replace the lost class time. North Park House senator Sydney O’Connor ’27 suggested any discussions about the May 1 protest should be led by Jewish studies and Middle Eastern studies professors so that students would be “not afraid to voice opinions.”

Steinberg, however, said she was concerned that “faculty have not been hearing Jewish students.” She suggested that the Senate should provide an opportunity for students to share their opinions with faculty.

The Senate discussed ways to improve the referendum process. 

School House senator Roger Friedlander ’27 said he has seen supporters of the no confidence vote share “talking points” that the Senate “[knows] … to be false.” He advocated for DSG to “make sure” students have “as much accurate information as they can possibly have” to inform their referendum vote. 

North Park House senator Sabik Jawad ’26 also advocated for the Senate to improve future referendums by “setting standards” with the Elections Planning and Advisory Committee — a student-run committee that oversees campus-wide elections — and “punitive measures” for those who violate the standards. In a statement to The Dartmouth after the meeting, Jawad said the standards would be “similar to the ones student body candidates follow.”

No members of the student body spoke out against Beilock at the meeting. DSG Senate meetings occur weekly on Sundays at 7 p.m. in Collis 101 and are open to all students. 


Graduate student reported missing


Looking back at recent unionization efforts at the College


A history of financial aid at Dartmouth

Dsg fails vote of no confidence in college leadership, beilock: college president apologizes for community harm, letter to the editor: we dartmouth faculty members support the recent actions by college president sian leah beilock, individuals arrested at the may 1 protest share their experiences, letter to the editor: statement from dartmouth’s jewish organizations.

The Dartmouth
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Freshman Student Body President Scholarship

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Priority Date Dec 01, 2023

For president of the entire student body during senior year of high school $2,000 for one year only

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  • Submission of the General Scholarship Application
  • This includes submission of your counselor, principal, or other high school official's email address.
  • Letter of verification by a high school guidance counselor, principal, or other high school official must be uploaded into the MSU scholarship portal by December 1.

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Mississippi State University awards automatic scholarships based on specific academic criteria. Calculate your potential amounts using our scholarship calculator. Opportunities for additional scholarships, such as departmental or private scholarships, are available based on submission of the General Scholarship Application , which opens on October 1, 2024, for students entering in summer/fall 2025.

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