Photo credit: Flickr CC user: Dan Fornal
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
In two years, Americans will be heading to their nearby poll booths to vote for the next United States president. Until that big election comes, there are important issues on your school campus that need to be dealt with, and that’s where the guys and gals of student leadership come into play.
Back in 1985, Whitney Houston belted the famous lyrics, “I believe the children are the future, teach them well and let them lead the way.” These words still ring true almost thirty years later. Sit in on any student council meeting, and you’ll see that the future is indeed in good hands.
Student-run governments are a huge part of many middle school, high school, and college campuses. While Hollywood might depict election time as a type-A feeding frenzy like in the Reese Witherspoon cult classic film, Election, most school elections aren’t quite so cut throat and students from all backgrounds are encouraged to participate.
Your student council members offer unique insight into what’s going on around campus and what changes may be in store for future generations. As the liaisons between the student body and the administrative staff, they are a direct line to change. That’s why it’s important to highlight these future leaders in their own special election spread in your yearbook.
All schools hold elections in a way that best serves their student population. At my high school, each student got to vote for their class representative each year, as well as the upperclassmen running for a spot on ASB (all student body). While the class president was more involved in class issues (like planning the ten-year reunion), the ASB president attended to school-wide issues and acted as a liaison between the student body and the administrators. All of the student council members got to weigh in on dance themes and other budget-related items on the agenda.
There is a ton of room to get creative with this layout design. First, the yearbook staff must decide how many pages they want to devote to the student council. Do you want to give each class their own page or do you want to show all of the student council representatives within a one or two page spread?
Don’t Forget Social Media
Once you’ve decided on the spacing, you can get to work assigning staff members to the story. Have a student from each class set up an interview with their year’s president and vice president. They can brainstorm questions with the entire class, or you can post about the upcoming interview on Twitter and have students submit questions.
The student staff writer can then pull the most relevant and interesting quotes for the actual yearbook spread and post the remainder of the interview Q&A on the yearbook’s Facebook page and Tumblr account.
You can also discuss with your students whether or not it’s relevant to highlight your town’s local election results (or the results that affected the school system) as well as state or national election highlights.
What is the election process like on your campus? I would love to hear about it in the comment box below.