Developing Leadership Skills through Student Council at YCIS Pudong
Every academic year, YCIS hosts Student Council elections, which gives the student body a chance to vote for a selection of their peers to represent them in student matters. The Student Council focuses on organising events and gatherings for students promoting awareness and raising funds for charities, and also providing a direct line between the student body and the school leadership. To have equal representation of all of the different year groups, each homeroom class elects a Student Council representative. Two Co-Presidents share joint responsibilities in leading the Student Council.
Being a YCIS Student Council representative bears significant responsibility, but the rewards are clear for those who run. The obligations are even more significant for the Co-Presidents. This year during a special assembly, seven YCIS Pudong Secondary candidates each spoke for several minutes to stake their claims for the two top seats at the Student Council table. Voting took place during the same week, and, later, the two 2018-19 Student Council Co-Presidents were announced.
In the end, Alexandra (Year 11) and Shu Min (Year 12) were re-elected for a second term in office. “We are excited to continue representing our school in the best way we can,” said Alexandra.
It is essential for the Student Council to interact with the student body, so communication is something the Co-Presidents will be working on in the coming year. “We want to make communication between the students and the Student Council even more effective,” said Alexandra. This will mean testing various methods, which could include suggestion boxes or monthly surveys for the students. “We want more of those [interactions] if we’re going to encourage the students, listen more closely to their voices, and to make sure that they’re heard,” said Shu Min.
Being elected to the Student Council provides students with a fantastic opportunity to garner leadership skills that can be used both in school and in future endeavours. The leaders are aware of how they can implement such skills. “Based on the types of activities we organise, we need to have different styles of leadership,” said Shu Min, who also believes that being flexible is integral to the role. “We are eager to listen to the feedback from students in Year 6 through Year 13, and they will have differences between their needs.”
Gaining leadership skills and taking on extra responsibilities aren’t limited to those on the Student Council either, as there are plenty of opportunities for students to develop these skills by participating in Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs), or Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) projects. “Our school doesn’t limit us by saying, ‘If you’re part of the Student Council, your responsibilities lie only there.’ They encourage everyone to get involved,” said Alexandra.
Overall, the Student Council and its representatives are an essential part of the school, and students, parents, and staff see participation as an excellent opportunity to develop leadership skills and to make the running of the school a more inclusive mission.