Inside Westminster’s student government

Got to see your math teacher in the dunk tank? You have your student council to thank for that! The student council is made up of 26 students elected by their peers to represent their grades, voice the concerns of their peers, and plan every student event. They are responsible for the events we love, such as homecoming and field day, and are the voice of the student body. Despite that, most people don’t know much about them. 

At the end of every year, students are invited to run for student council in hopes of getting a chance to represent their grades. Two presidents and four vice presidents are chosen for each grade by their peers. The only exception is senior year, where the additional office of co-chair, the heads of the student council chosen by the entire high school, opens up. The election for next year’s representatives was last month; Arjun and Anjini Naidu were elected presidents for the rising sophomore class, Ava Ramsey and Phillip Moore for the rising junior class, and Virginia Hernandez and Kanav Kakar as the future senior class presidents. The future co-chairs of the student council are Lauren James and Tyler Harris; their role differs from the senior class president as they oversee the council and the entire Upper School student body while the class presidents oversee their grades. 

“My role is to run and facilitate meetings, talk to teachers who are going to be able to get things done for us, and answer any questions anyone may have.” said future co-chair Lauren James. “I really want to be an ear for the Upper School, if anyone has any concerns at all I want them to feel comfortable talking to me about them.”

The council meets weekly, during which they plan future events and discuss ideas for new traditions and events. 

“Our biggest event is homecoming—almost all of our first-semester meetings leading up to homecoming are centered around that,” said James. “During the rest of our meetings, we work to create games or schedule things or order any bouncy houses we need.”

The representatives also discuss separately the events they want to plan for their grade, and with these plans, they either go to the co-chairs or the grade chairs to get them approved. If approved, there is a lot of work necessary to bring these ideas to life. 

“When planning an event, we have to go through many teachers to see what times work and if we can book a building,” said current senior co-chair Hunter Wanamaker. 

Over the past two years, many popular traditions such as homecoming and field day had to be canceled due to Covid, but with many of the safety restrictions lifted this year, the council has worked to bring back many loved traditions.

“I knew this was going to be a special year for us, especially after Covid. Homecoming was definitely our biggest event to plan since we didn’t have it last year and we had a very high turnout,” said current senior co-chair Stephen Shin. 

Along with the return of the classic student events, the council has instituted many other activities that have quickly become student favorites. Have you done karaoke on Spatio? Or participated in a winter workshop? Or got to miss math for April Fools? Those are just a few of the new events that the council has instituted. 

“I thought the April Fools day off was so fun; I definitely wasn’t expecting it!” said freshman Hayden Githuku.

Despite their activities and efforts, the student council seems like a very closed-door operation for many students. Some don’t even know what they do and think it’s hard to get involved if they aren’t on the council. However, the student council wants to dispel this notion: anyone can run for and hold a position on the council even if they have no prior experience. Even if you don’t want to be on the council, there are many ways to be involved and get help with ideas important to you. 

“Students should be more open to coming up with ideas and bringing them to people on the council,” said Wanamaker. “It’s more realistic than people think, if someone really wants to get something done we can help them get that through.” 

If there is an idea that’s important to you, talking to your grade’s representative is a great way to get help with it, and if they can’t help you then they can direct you to a teacher who can. 

So the next time you want to dunk a teacher you know who to call!