They are in charge of organising our school events, they provide umbrella shelter services when it rains, and they are our schools’ top leadership board. They are the Students Council (SC). The beginning of 2016 marks a brand new start for 33rd batch of councillors and as of the 21st of February; the campaigning season had kicked off, bringing in a flurry of posters and social media outreach platforms with hopeful individuals vying for a spot in the 33rd Students’ Council.
|Some of their jobs||The Relations Committee can be likened to be a social glue. The committee is in charge of house ideation and mediating inter-CCA relations. They are strong upholders of school spirit and are best known as the ones sending supporters to matches, races, competitions, or other events.||Welfare is directly involved with operations related to the logistics of the school. Ushering during events, the management of the Igloo, morning duties, Loans and Services and the distribution of locker spaces throughout the school are some of the few jobs that the Welfare Committee is in charge of.||This specific section of the Council is in charge of running the school blogshop that sells the Victorian Hoodies and Sweaters, the cute bears and other school based items. They are also in charge of publicising various school initiatives or projects, and the management of posters, among other things.|
(Brief description of some of the jobs carried out by the different committees)
(Wall in the canteen filled with posters from the 33rd Students’ Committee nominees)
Pun-featuring posters aside, it is clear that serving in the Students’ Council is no easy job. Aside from maintaining the welfare and functionality of the school, Councillors are expected to maintain high academic standards and thus begs the question: who would be willing to place themselves under so much undue stress and why are they willing to do so?
The exuberance exemplified by our Seniors during our Orientation period, not surprisingly, was very much a source of inspiration for a number of contestants. It was the energy and enthusiasm displayed that drew them towards joining the Students’ Council.
“It was mainly me seeing my seniors being so hyped up and motivating during the JCO that I realised that I wish to be able to do something like that as well, to be able to influence others positively.” (June Gao 16S41)
Some also indicated that their desire for personal growth is what spurred them to run. While others have their longstanding record of leadership that speaks for itself, some saw this as an opportunity to grow and change for the better.
“Unlike other people, I do not have much leadership experience in secondary school, but all of us have to start off somewhere and I hope it’s not too late now! So if I do get in, I’m looking forward to seeing myself hitting new milestones and seeing myself grow in confidence.” (Gillian Chua 16S52)
Passion for service
A number of the candidates running for SC already had a portfolio in leadership service from their respective schools. As mentioned above, some had found it their calling since primary school, like Haikal of 16S41 who had been in Council since primary school, and was determined to make it so in his 2 years in VJC. Others relish the challenge of being a part of a greater whole and serving their community.
“I’m really looking forward to meet many new people and also work with them. I’m also looking forward to be part of the initiation of various projects that can serve the school and fellow Victorians.” (Sachin Ajayan 16S54)
There are also those for whom the joy and pride of successfully wrapping up an event which they have been organising is enough to inspire and drive them to continue serving the community. This is what Foo Yong Li of 16S41, who has displayed a strong passion for service, had to say when asked about what he is looking forward to most in his journey as an SC member if he gets in:
“I am extremely eager to experience planning and executing school events, coming up with new initiatives, and possibly being able to lead in cheers and dances, which is what I’m MOST excited for!”
So how, exactly then, did the SC nominees wish to portray themselves in the eyes of the student population? From the interview responses we gathered, we identified 3 characteristics that some of the SC nominees themselves have pointed out in being the model SC candidate to seal your vote. These characteristics are none other than approachability, dependability and dedication. Of course, all three characteristics would be totally unfounded without the belief in building the fundamental trust between the student body and the school student leaders.
“I hope to be seen as a fellow Victorian who is willing to have a friendly chat or even lend an ear to listen to any problems. I want to be seen as a friend and not someone who is of an authoritative figure. I want to be seen as fun-going and exciting yet when it comes down to tasks, I can get the job done too. “(Sachin Ajayan 16S54)
The writers would like to empathise with the SC nominees and the many difficulties they faced across the campaigning period. The main concern was the hecticness of it all; proposals, drafts, speeches, making posters etc. while having to juggle these with schoolwork and other commitments. More often than not, the other apparent concern was also the fear of judgement – being under the scrutiny of others can be something pretty unnerving.
Nonetheless, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” -Jack Welch. We are sure that campaigning has been a challenging process for the nominees – hopefully it has been an enriching one as well!
All the best to all SC elects for their future tasks and a sincere thank you to the interviewees for lending us your time!
Wong Jean 15A12
Derek Terrance Lee 16A15
Ng Xue Ying 16A13