The establishment of Student Council play an integral and important role in the student community. Student Council provide a representative structure through which students can debate issues of concern and undertake initiatives of benefit to the college and the wider community
Students have a voice and a contribution to make to their college. It is important that they be given the opportunity to express their views on issues of concern to them in the college. It is equally important that they are listened to and encouraged to take an active part in promoting the aims and objectives of the college.
The guidelines mentioned in this manual are intended to provide practical guidance to Student Council members in the establishment and operation of the Student Council.
A Student Council is a representative structure through which students in the college can become involved in the affairs of the college, working in partnership with the Administration of the College, staff and students for the benefit of the college and its students.
The role of the Principal is of central importance in the establishment and operation of a Student Council. In assisting the Administration of the College in the development of college policy, and in working with teachers and to implement it at day-to-day level, the Principal is centrally placed in all aspects of the college’s operations.
In the initial stages, the Principal, together with the other teachers, will assist in the development of a Student Council in several ways, for example, by discussing with students the role of a Student Council and the role of individual representatives on the Council and by advising on the appropriate constitution or statement of objectives. As the Council develops and begins to expand its role, the Principal will assist in guiding the Council’s development, so as to allow for a constructive and purposeful Council.
More generally, the Principal can promote a college culture which recognises the potentially valuable input that students can make, through a Student Council, into the development of the college.
The role of the Co-ordinator is of importance in the operation of a Student Council. The co-ordinator should assist the Administration of the College in the development of college policy, and in working with students and to implement it at day-to-day level.
In the initial stages, the Principal, together with the Co-ordinator and other teachers, will assist in the development of a Student Council in several ways, for example, by discussing with students the role of a Student Council and the role of individual representatives on the Council and by advising on an appropriate constitution or statement of objectives. As the Council develops and begins to expand its role, the Principal will assist in guiding the Council’s development, so as to allow for a constructive and purposeful Council.
More generally, the Principal can promote a college culture which recognises the potentially valuable input that students can make, through a Student Council, into the development of the college.
Developing a spirit of partnership and co-operation between a Student Council and teachers has benefits for both. The Student Council can play an important role in recognising and supporting the work of teachers. Similarly, the interest and support of teachers will be of great value to a Student Council, particularly during the early stages of its development.
It is generally desirable for a member of the teaching staff to attend meetings of the Council. The support and guidance offered by a teacher will be very useful to a Council when planning its activities, and providing for a teacher to attend Council meetings will help to build a co-operative and good working relationship between students and staff of the college.
The functions and activities of a Student Council should support the aims and objectives of the Council and promote the development of the college and the welfare of its students. In planning and undertaking activities during the course of the college year, the Council should:
This should be one of the fundamental aims of every Council. It involves talking and listening to the student body, considering their views and concerns, and discussing these with the college Administration of the College on behalf of the students.
Improving communication within the college community is a shared responsibility and a Student Council can contribute to this process. Making presentations at staff meetings to keep staff informed of activities, keeping a Student Council notice-board or organising a regular newsletter are just some ways the Council can communicate with the students and staff.
The Student Council can contribute to the learning environment for students in the college by, for example, setting up study groups for students in exam classes or homework clubs, or organising lunch time activities such as language clubs.
Starting college life is a challenging new experience for 1st Year students. During the mentoring programme senior students help new students to find their feet and can help their integration into the college community.
The Student Council can actively contribute to the development of college policy in a wide range of areas viz. influencing, uniform requirements, behaviour code, extra-curricular activities etc. The Council could form sub-committees to consider individual policy issues.
Student Council can assist in organising and developing sports and cultural activities within the college, including, for example, sports days and drama or musical events.
Student Council can organise events both within the college and involving the wider community, for the purposes of raising money for designated charities or for any other social cause.
It may be useful for a Student Council to bridge with Student Council in other colleges, particularly in the organisation of sporting and cultural activities and when fund-raising. An existing Student Council could have a useful role in helping and advising a newly formed Student Council in another college.
The college after consultation with teachers draw up rules for the establishment of a Student Council, having regard to the following basic principles:
The college should provide them, in a timely manner, with a copy of the rules it has drawn up in accordance with these guidelines.
The size and composition of a Student Council shall be determined by the college having regard both to the need for the Council to be representative of all students in the college and the need for it to function effectively. It may not always be appropriate for each class to have a representative on the Council. Appropriate gender balance on the Council should be given priority.
The Principal should set a date for the selection of representative(s) to the Student Council and its formation.
The Principal or a designated member of staff should convene the first meeting of each newly formed Council. The first meeting of a newly formed Council should take place early in the academic year.
Removal: The President may be removed from office by the process called 'Impeachment' on grounds of proven misbehaviour and inefficiency. The motion for Impeachment to be initiated in the Student Council. However, before impeaching the President a 14 days advance notice must be given of the said cause endorsed and signed by not less than 1/4th of the members of the student Council.
Removal: The Secretary may be removed from office by the process called 'Impeachment' on grounds of proven misbehaviour and inefficiency. The motion for Impeachment to be initiated in the Student Council, however, before impeaching the Secretary a 14 days advance notice must be given of the said cause endorsed and signed by not less than 1/4th of the members of the student Council and Recommended by the President of the Student Council.
Removal: The joint Secretary may be removed from office on the recommendation of the President and backed up by not less than ½ number of the Student council representatives.
Removal: The Co-Secretary may be removed from office on the recommendation of the President and backed up by not less than ½ number of the Student council representatives.
The Student Council may make rules governing its meetings and the business and conduct of its affairs, but it shall consult with the advisor before doing so.
Normally a Student Council shall stand dissolved when the term of office of the members expires. Administration of the College may dissolve the Student Council before the expiry of its term in accordance with the rules and procedures governing dissolution.
This will only happen in exceptional circumstances after consultation with all concerned. Where Administration of the College intends dissolving the Council, it will give the Council adequate notice of the proposal, and the reasons therefore. The Council will be allowed to appeal the dissolution to the Administration of the College or Principal of the college
Where the Student Council is dissolved another Council may be formed following the procedures outlined earlier. Where a Council is dissolved less than 6 weeks before the end of the college year, the appointment of a new Council may reasonably be left until the following academic year. Circumstances that may require the early dissolution of a Student Council include:
Sometimes it may be more appropriate to remove an individual member (or members) of the Council rather than dissolve the Council as a whole. This may happen in two ways:
The Student Council may remove any member or officer of the Council for a continuing failure to attend meetings of the Council, or for a lack of commitment to the purposes of the Council, or for stated misconduct (including significant breaches of the college’s code of behaviour). Such a decision should be taken on a special majority of vote of the Council, and the member should be given adequate notice of the proposal, the reasons there for, and the opportunity to present his/her case.
The Administration of the College, on the advice of the Principal or on its own initiative, may remove a member of the Council in accordance with the rules and procedures in this regard. Both the member concerned and the Council should be given adequate notice of the proposal, the reasons there for and the opportunity to appeal the removal to the Administration of the College or Principal of the college.
Where a member is removed or resigns from office, the resulting vacancy should be filled in accordance with the procedures.
Students should pay careful attention to the rules they are given and should not hesitate to ask the Co-ordinator if they don’t understand some part of the rules or need advice in general. At this stage regular communication with the Principal and teaching staff is necessary as it is important that everyone works together and that trust is built up between the students involved and the staff.
The first meeting of the Student Council will generally be convened bythe Co-ordinator. The Co-ordinatoror one of the teachers acting on behalf of the Principal may address the first meeting of the Council and this will be an opportunity for the student members of the Council to raise any particular issues or concerns in relation to their role and the role of the Council.
The Student Council as a whole has responsibility for:
While the Student Council members all have a part to play in the activities of the Council, not all can or need to be involved in organising the work. It is for this reason that the Council should appoint officers. It may also decide to establish subcommittees.
Every Student Council should appoint the necessary office bearers as listed above.
Rather than trying to plan and organise every activity during the year, a Student Council may find that it is more effective to use subcommittees to plan and oversee specific Council activities. Sub committees should be required to submit their plan to the Council for approval and should report back to the Council on their activities. One area where a subcommittee might be useful is a fund-raising sub-committee. It is a matter for the Council to decide how many members of the Council will sit on a subcommittee and the Council may choose to dissolve a subcommittee at any time.
The President is responsible for presiding over meetings of the Council. The President, with the Secretary, prepares the agenda for each meeting and, where necessary, signs the minutes once they have been agreed by the Council. The President may also be designated to represent the Council at meetings with Administration of the College.
The Vice-Presidents are responsible for assisting the President, and when the President is absent from a meeting s/he assumes the role of the President for that meeting.
The Secretary, with the President, prepares the agenda for each meeting and the Secretary then circulates it to all the members of the Council either in advance of the meeting or at the start of the meeting. This will involve consulting with the other Council officers in order to decide what will be included on the agenda. All agendas should include a provision for ‘Any other business’; this allows Council members to raise a matter for discussion in the event that it has not been included on the agenda.
The Secretary also keeps a record of Council meetings and any decisions taken by the Council (the minutes). If necessary, these minutes can be circulated to all members of the Council either with the agenda for the next meeting or at the start of the next meeting. The Council can be given the opportunity to make any changes to the minutes before they are signed by the President.
The Cultural Secretary along with Joint cultural secretary will be responsible for planning and conducting cultural events. The Sports secretary and Joint sports secretary will be responsible for all sports activities. The literary and joint literary secretary will be responsible for organising literary events. The fine arts secretary and joint fine art secretary will be responsible for organising fine art event.
All Secretaries should coordinate with the staff advisors whenever necessary.
The Treasurer is responsible for managing any funds raised by the Student Council and should keep a complete account of all income and expenditure of the Council. Advice and assistance in this regard may be provided by Administration of the College or a teacher acting on its behalf. The Treasurer should provide the Council with a complete financial report at the end of the college year. Given the responsibility of the post, a Student Council may reasonably require the Treasurer to be a senior student. It is the responsibility of the treasurer to obtain and maintain all documents from the outgoing treasure. As a general rule any payments made by the Treasurer should be countersigned or endorsed by another member of the Council or a teacher designated for this purpose.
Regular, effective communication is the key to success for any Student Council. This doesn’t happen by itself and it is a good idea to develop ways of keeping the college community informed of and involved in the various activities planned by the Student Council. Some examples include:
The Council may also appoint a Public Relations Officer to take on these responsibilities.
The Student Council represents all students in the college. It is very important that students receive regular information on the plans and activities of the Student Council and that as many students as possible participate in events organised by the Council. Each member of the Council has a special responsibility and should ensure that their views are brought to the attention of the Council and that they remain fully informed of the Council’s activities.
Procedures should be put in place to ensure that all students are fully informed about Council activities. One way of ensuring this would be to provide for regular meetings between individual members of the Student Council. The Council could also carry out a survey of student views on particular issues, or on the role of the Council itself.
Regular communication between the Student Council and Administration of the College, Principal and staff provides the basis for building a good and lasting relationship, based on trust and respect, between students and the rest of the college community. Much can be achieved where all members of the college community work together towards common goals, and good communication is vital if a common understanding is to be reached on what those goals are, and how best to achieve them.
Good communication doesn’t simply mean keeping everyone informed of planned activities; it also involves seeking their views and suggestions. It means consulting with, and sharing ideas with the Administration of the College, Principal and staff members and listening to their suggestions and making sure that all sections of the college community understand the purpose and goals of the Student Council.
Having a teacher attend meetings of the Council on a regular basis also helps to improve communications. Also, the Principal may wish to address the Council from time to time on key issues affecting the college community.
Read any information sent out before the meeting, such as the Agenda or the Minutes of the last meeting. Prepare any points you want to raise.
Listen carefully to what others have to say, and be open to other people’s opinions. One of the purposes of meetings is to exchange ideas and information and to learn from each other.
It is much more constructive to raise matters of concern to you at the meeting, rather than afterwards.
If you undertake to follow up on a task, then do so, and be ready to report back at the next meeting.
A Student Council may wish to hold fundraising events. The Treasurer has responsibility for ensuring that any money raised by the Council is used for the purposes for which it was collected. A financial report should be provided to the Council at the end of the year by the treasurer.
The following is a sample format when creating minutes of a meeting. The minutes are usually completed by the Secretary, but can be assigned to someone else by the President.
|1.||Purpose of the meeting||(list the purpose)|
|5.||Members present||(list all members that attended meeting)|
|6.||Members Apologies||(list members that did not attend the meeting)|
|7.||Guests||(list any guests that attended such as speakers, or any potential new members)|
|8.||Agenda Item #1||Discussion: (summarize the discussion at the meeting) Action: (list any action to be taken by whom and by when)|
|9.||Agenda Item #2 Advisor’s Report||Discussion: (summarize the discussion at the meeting) Action: (list any action to be taken by whom and by when)|
|10.||Agenda Item #3 Committee Reports (create separate agenda items for each committee report)||Discussion: (summarize the discussion at the meeting) Action: (list any action to be taken by whom and by when)|
|11.||Agenda Item #4: Old Business (create separate agenda item for each unfinished business item)|
|12.||Agenda Item #5: New Business (Create separate agenda item for each new business item)|
|13.||Announcements:||(list any announcements made)|
|14.||Future Agenda Items:||(list any suggested agenda items that are to be tabled for the next meeting)|
|15.||Next Meeting:||(list Date/Time/Location of the next meeting)|
|16.||Minutes prepared by|
***Any Provisions of this rules found contradicting to any such rules and regulations of college, university or any such bodies exercising functional or authoritarian power on the College or university itself, the discretion of the Principal or any such other person designated on behalf of the principal may exercise his/her authority to draw a proper conclusion out of such contradictions. And in all cases decision taken by such an authority is final and lies no appeal or objections therewith over such authority