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Definitions, Leadership, Student Activites, The Facts|February 14, 2011 6:01 pm

What is Student Government?

Student Government is the most visible student-run organization on campus and acts to represent the good of the student body.  Not all campuses have a student facilitated governing body, so count yourself lucky if your campus empowers the student body.  Student governing bodies have several names that differ campus to campus with the most common names being legislature, council, senate, and government.  The precise role of the student government differs from campus to campus, as does the extent of its influence. Nonetheless, student government is the most powerful student organization on campus and is viewed by the staff, faculty, and administrators as the voice of the students.

To understand the structure of your student organization, you should review the constitution drafted by the founders and amended by past members of the group.

The following are some common responsibilities and privileges allotted to Student Government.

- represent the demands of the student body to the administration and campus community

- allocate funding to all other student groups

- make decisions on the funding and development of student facilities such as Student Union

- coordinate tasks with student services to ensure initiatives are executed

- plan major campus events and community activities

- support campus life by sitting on campus committees such as athletics, alumni, and at some colleges – the Board of Trustees/Directors

- meet regularly to establish action items and evaluate project statuses

Student governments are composed of active voting members and a group of officers: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, and in many cases committee chairs that oversee certain operations under the groups’ control.  Officers usually have multiple roles including the ability to represent the student voice on other collegiate boards such as the Board of Trustees, the athletic board, educational policy committees, and student unions.  Since officers have the ability to interact on various boards, they are empowered to work and communicate with campus figures including administrators, Deans, Presidents, and prominent faculty, staff, and alums.

As can be seen, student governments wield considerable influence on the student body.  If you are willing to work hard, not only is joining student government rewarding and great for your resume, but also a means to make a real impact on campus.  Plus, you will walk away with an introduction to negotiations, meetings, event planning, and budgeting which are professional skills that will follow you long into your professional career.

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488 Comments

  • In our school, we call it “Supreme Student Council”. I salute every officer of our council coz they are not just there in their position for fame and power. They re-echo our pleas..our needs to the administration.

  • Students gotta enroll to schools with student governing bodies. I got to be honest that without a student government the needs and demands among students are not that satisfactorily catered. It still feels different when your fellow studs voicing out your needs.

  • The name itself sounds heavy. Student governing bodies are created as a training ground for leadership. Though it carries great responsibilities, just to be part of a council/government is something which is really worth it.

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