Student councils from local high schools discuss activities

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Student councils from local high schools meet to discuss activities

Kelly High School student council members paraded around the Show Me Center in cowboy hats and cowboy boots to emphasize this year's District Student Council convention's theme, Cowboy Up with Leadership.

Kelly student council president and convention organizer, Jamie Jackson, chose the theme because in the past they were not allowed to wear jeans to the convention.

They're all from the country and like to wear jeans, Jackson said. She thought it would be a good way to get the whole school involved.

Around 1,300 students from 36 area schools participated in the annual District Student Council Convention on Thursday.

Students and advisors spent the day attending leadership workshops and talking with other schools' student council members about events and projects.

"It's important to keep a tight knit bond between the schools that are really close," Central student council co-president Ida Shafaie said. "You learn a lot from other kids as to what events they're holding and how they're doing their fundraisers."

The best part of the convention for Scott City student council vice-president Daniel Schuenemeyer is finding out what programs and events did not work for other schools.

"We know not to try them and we don't waste our time on the event," he said.

The most popular event discussed at the convention was a stoplight dance that Park Hills High School had success with.

It sounds fairly simple, on the day of the dance students who do not want to attend the dance wear red, those who want to attend, but don't have a date wear yellow and those who are attending and have a date wear green.

Scott City and Central student council presidents are considering having a stoplight dance in the near future.

Student council is more than just dances and school fundraisers.

"I think a lot of kids at our school think student council's role is to plan the dances and that's something we do and it is a really big responsibility, but it's only a small fraction of what we do," Shafaie said.

Another popular idea from the convention is a community service project called, "Rake and Run" where students would go door to door in a designated neighborhood and then leave a sign that says for example "Central raked your yard."

It's just another way to get involved in the community Central co-president Maggie Limbaugh said.

Throughout the school year Central student council holds fundraisers for the Safe House, the United Way and other community organizations. Later this month, Central will hold an auction to raise money for the state student council convention, which they are hosting.

Jackson has a spirit shop where students who dress up for spirit days can win prizes like T-shirts.

Student councils also act as the student government, a check on the school's administration.

For example, Central recently got a "gender bender" spirit day approved, something Shafaie has worked on since she was a freshman.

"We work closely with our school administration as far as the vice-principals and principal goes. They approve everything the student senate does," Shafaie said.

In the past, the Scott City student council has tried to passed resolutions affecting the student body, said Schuenemeyer.

Jackson has not had to petition their administrators or pass resolutions because their school is supportive of what the council does, president Tyne Swain said.

Each school pays $40 in dues and each individual student council member pays $10, which helped pay for $6,000 worth of T-shirts, the $2,000 price tag for renting the Show Me Center and $1,000 for Karen Dawson, the key note speaker.

Next year Scott County Central High School will hold the presidency for the district and their student council president will be in charge of organizing the convention.

ameyer@semissourian.com

335-6611 extension 127

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