Student government associations need more power
March 27, 2023
Student councils often serve as the liaison between the student body and the school administration. The student council can be a powerful advocate for students, but many councils may lack the power necessary to make meaningful changes. In my opinion, the SGA needs more authority to effectively represent the interests of students.
“The student council doesn’t really have much power at all. They might have some say in planning school events, but they don’t have any real authority over school policies or decisions,” said Maria Bravo (‘24).
One reason why student councils may lack power is that they do not have the same status as school administrators. Administrators have the power to make decisions that impact students’ daily lives, but councils often do not have the same level of authority. In some cases, school administrators may even overlook student council proposals or disregard them entirely.
“The student council is really just a figurehead. Just like the monarchy in England. They might make suggestions, but they don’t have any real power to make changes,” said Koi Baker (‘26), siding with Jane.
Another reason why student councils may not have enough power is the lack of resources and funding. Councils often have to rely on limited resources and funding to execute their projects. As a result, student council projects may not have the same impact or reach as the school administration’s initiatives. This can leave student council members feeling powerless and unable to make significant changes.
Moreover, student councils often have a limited tenure that lasts just one year. By the time councils become acclimated to their roles and develop their ideas, it may be time for a new election cycle, and the projects they started may be left unfinished.
Many students feel that the student council’s power is limited to organizing events and activities, such as dances, spirit weeks, and community service projects. While these activities are important, they don’t address the larger issues that students face on a daily basis.
“I don’t think the student council has any real influence over policies like dress codes or homework loads. These are things that affect students every day, and we should have more of a say in them,” Bianca Vitoc (‘25) told Eastside Online, speaking on the topic of the limited power of student councils.
A potential solution to these problems is to give student councils more power and resources. Administrators could better empower student councils by granting them an official voice in decision-making processes. This could be achieved by granting councils voting rights on school committees or boards. Additionally, councils could be provided with a budget to execute their projects and ideas.
In conclusion, student councils are an essential institution in schools. They have the potential to make significant changes in the school environment and help represent the interests of students. However, many student councils lack the power necessary to carry out their vision effectively. By granting student councils more power and resources, they can become more effective and have a more significant impact on the student body.
As Baker said, “We need to work together to create a school where everyone feels heard and valued.”