What is Student Council? Who is on it and how does it function? These are questions that I did not know the complete answers to even after spending most of my high school career in this organization.
In theory, Student Council is the voice of the students, the union to the school’s corporation, an organization that is always there to fight for the rights, wants and needs of all of the students of Southwest High school. But, in reality the primary goal of Student Council is to ensure that every student who attends Southwest feels safe and comfortable, and to provide students with a climate that allows them to thrive both academically and socially.
The organization boasts of a diverse group of over one hundred members. Selected from a wide range of applicants every fall, those accepted come from different races, grades, and social circles. These students meet once every Thursday at 7:45 in the media center to discuss and plan major school events.
Aside from these major meetings where every member of Student Council is expected to attend, there are many sub-groups that have more specific areas of focus. For every grade, there is a board consisting of about 15-20 members only from that grade. So for example the Juniors have a “Junior Board” that focuses primarily on all of the Juniors. These groups meet twice or so every month to discuss ways that they can better the members of that grade and accomplish anything else that is needed to help aid Student Council as a whole.
At the tippy top of it all there is the Executive Board, the brains of the operation. They discuss and plan almost everything student related in the school, everything right down to type of clothes you should be wearing on October fourth (classy clothes). Exec Board consists of 16 members each of who is focused on one particular aspect of the functioning of the organization. Because of the rigid, organized, structure of Student Council, work is almost always done with extreme efficiency and care.
Every year Student Council invites the whole school to celebrate Blast Day, a very exciting day for students and administration filled with activities and other goodies for students to participate in. The organization uses this to promote awareness and raise money for a certain charitable cause. This year Blast Day will be centered around the Sanneh Foundation, an organization that raises money to help to build soccer fields and encourage soccer leagues in impoverished areas ofHaiti.
Additionally, Student Council is charged with planning, funding, and managing every single dance at Southwest High School (except Sadie Hawkins, which is run by NHS). Currently, the organization is focused almost entirely on planning another great Homecoming. They are rethinking and constantly questioning how things were done in previous years to attempt to create the greatest dance and spirit week possible for all grades. “We’re really trying to rethink how we do things,” says Maddie Portnoy, Student Council co-president. “We’re completely changing the parade and replacing it with ‘Southwest Strut.’” This year Homecoming will be at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Minneapolis and is looking like it may be one of the best dances that this school has ever produced.
Student Council is honestly the strongest, most hardworking and dedicated organization in Southwest high school. It has been this writer’s privilege to be a part of this organization with leaders like Maddie Portnoy and Danny Fisher who have a contagious enthusiasm and dedication to the well being of the students. The ever present force of Student Council was a major factor in creating and maintaining the greatness ofSouthwest High School.