Student Government Explained
By Jasmine Pancheco
Although not often talked about, student government is an underrated and highly beneficial opportunity that all students should consider taking advantage of throughout their high school years.
A student government is a group of students who are put in charge of managing a wide range of activities, programs, and events associated with a specific school. The Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS) student government includes four class committees which are each made up of five students per grade. The PVHS student government council is simply the combination of all the class committees and contains a total of 20 student representatives. Student councils would be important to include in a school’s student government since its main purpose is to supply a sense of unity within the separate committees. PVHS college counselor Ms. Lee stated “The main purpose of having a student government is to provide a student body with a voice on campus through elected student leaders.”
Joining a student government is most commonly associated with running for class president and planning homecoming dances. Student government is exactly what it seems to be and much more. It gives all students an opportunity to run for the position of being a class representative. The faculty sponsors then select positions, such as president and treasurer, from the elected students. This gives students a chance to make their own leadership decisions as they negotiate and converse with adults and other students. Mr. Weinbrenner, the head of student government, stated, “Joining student government will give you a chance to act and have your voice heard.”
The PVHS student government specifically focuses on expanding of PV students social activity by having them come up with their own school events that can improve the overall welfare of PVHS. PVHS has used student government to promote awareness in the past by raising funds for school activities, such as community projects or social events. Student government is mainly used as a platform to remind students to become proactive and join in school as well as out of school activities, such as clubs including Beaches Go Green, Epic Cure, The Guana Club, SAFE Pet, Senior Connections and much more. Mira Bhutani, a junior currently running for student government, remarked, “As a student government representative, I would want to focus on bringing awareness to the programs and initiatives around school. This not only includes events and activities hosted for students, but also organizations like Sources of Strength, designed to strengthen networks between peers and caring adults. Overall, it is crucial that students are given the right tools to understand their needs and identify their support systems.”
Along with introducing new forms of expanding a student’s social activities, student government also grabs the attention of high-level colleges and universities. Joining student government looks great on a resume but holding an executive position highlights a student and helps them stand out for these schools. Lilly Myers, a PVHS junior, stated, “I never realized how great of an impact simply being in student government could make for the long run. It definitely made me regret not running for the position this year.”
Being a part of a student government comes with many responsibilities as well. The PVHS student government will make a student accountable over themselves by attending all meetings, aiding in planning as well as advertising, working with a productive approach, collaborating with their team in a respectful manner and much more. A former student government participant remarked, “While there are many responsibilities, I enjoy giving back to the school and making meaningful change. There is a definite feeling of satisfaction and pride in going to the school dance you planned yourself.”