Wilson’s Hospital Student Council
“A student council is a representative structure for students only, through which they can become involved in the affairs of the school, working in partnership with school management, staff and parents for the benefit of the school and its students.”
This is the definition of a students council taken from the official Students Council Website. In 1998 the government brought in a new policy ensuring that every secondary school would put a structure in place for their students to be able to actively discuss anything concerning them in the school and also to have an official forum through which they could take action, in other words, a student’s council.
Wilson’s Hospital School has had a student’s council for several years. It has been growing in popularity and also in numbers of willing and eager participants. Usually the Student’s council (SC) elections are held in September for the 2nd to 6th years, and a month or so later for the 1st years, in order to give them time to get to know each other. The elections follow the typical democratic system. At first, time is given for nominations to be put forward, after that the elections are held. Each student can give their first, second, third etc. vote to each of the nominees. Then the votes are counted. Each year has either 2 or 3 representatives, depending on the total number of students in the years. The CSPE students for Junior Certificate get a real life insight to the Proportional Representation process. After that the real business begins!
The Wilson’s Hospital Students Council meets every fortnight, in a designated classroom during the lunch break. The Warden is in charge of the SC in so far as she sits in on the meetings and helps the SC in any organisation necessary such as for fundraisers etc. During one of the first meetings, elections within the council are held to find a chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary. Each of these has their own roles; the chairperson coordinates meetings, making sure everyone gets their say, the secretary writes the minutes and makes sure they are put up on the official students council notice board. This board keeps the other students informed of what their representatives are discussing.
The main idea of the SC is that every student has the opportunity to bring any issue they feel affects them, to their representative, who will then bring it up at a meeting and the SC will try to find a solution and also take any appropriate actions. Over the years, Wilson’s Hospital student’s council has achieved a number of different things and has brought about many changes in the interest of all the students. It is a very good opportunity for the students to get involved in their school, and the advice to any student is to use this chance by either becoming part of the council itself or using their representatives to let their voices be heard, because in the end of the day all schools are only there because of the students, no-one else.