When were you president of the Student Council (SC) and for how long?
I shared the presidency with Hang Yuk last year for the whole school year.
What accomplishments as SC president did you have?
We had many accomplishments. We organised the Halloween party for the school in the different locations during lunch time. During the party we had a murder mystery game and we arranged snacks baked by SC members. We also organised Anti-bullying Week, sold roses for Valentine's Day as a fundraiser. People could buy a rose and send it as a secret admirer. We also organised quite a few bake sales, Kids Teaching Kids day where we matched up grades to each other for example Grade 4 would be matched with Grade 6 and we sent a schedule to the teachers and gave them guidelines to organise their lessons. We organised a Spa and Relaxation Room at the Garden so people got their nails done and shoulder massages at school. We had music, facials, mud masks and a movie playing in one of the classrooms to fund raise charity. We worked with VOICE, the children’s rights organisation that we formed at Harbour School to support other children. We donated all funds from Spa day to refugees and asylum seekers in Yuen Long and we donated diapers and milk for their children.
That’s a lot. When did SC have the time to organise all of this? How did it work?
We met every week on Monday at lunch time. We sat and then we discussed what needed to be done. If there was an upcoming event, we discussed organising it, who would do what and planned out the next events on a timeline. Sometimes we met with the PTA. If there was a bake sale for example, they would help us contact parents to tell students to bring money. They also offered to help us with logistics. For example, during the Halloween party they offered to help with decorations.
What happened when SC members disagreed?
We didn’t disagree too much but when we did, we would talk about the reasons we disagreed. We would weigh the pros and cons and see which ones made the most sense. If we were indecisive, then we would consult our faculty advisor.
What did you find most valuable about the experience?
I learned that it’s important to plan out events well ahead of time. We had just got back from a holiday and we forgot about an important event but we didn’t want to disappoint people so we had less than a week to organise it. It was a bit chaotic and to balance it with classes too. In the end we got it all done but it was a crazy week. We learned that we have to plan things ahead of time and work on projects consistently so it doesn’t stack up in the end.
It’s also important to have the timeline out in the open so everyone can access it and they can see what is happening. Last year we didn’t have that so no one was really sure, people kept asking what the next event was and the calendar was hard to find. So this year they should make sure everyone knows where it is. I also valued having to work with other members. I liked having a co-President. There was a lot of collaboration. Teamwork was really important. I became better at delegating work to other people so the work didn’t stack up and get too stressful. I learned to delegate.
Will you be running this year, why or why not?
I still haven’t decided. I will probably be really busy this year because of my college applications and I’m also taking three Advanced Placement (college credit) courses and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to manage my course load with this in the beginning, but I’m keeping it open. I’ll see.
Any advice to people who want to run for presidency of the student council?
Be ready to get to work for anything that comes.
Learn how to write emails. Communication is important because you need to work with lots of other people, like admin, parents and faculty and email was the best way to do this. We didn’t have the time to meet with people and tell everyone in person.
Be able to work with other people and delegate. Know your role. If you are president, you have to get used to telling people what to do. Sometimes it’s harder to tell people what to do (than to do it yourself) but you have to learn to delegate. I had a hard time in the beginning telling people what to do but I got used to it.
It’s also really important, especially as President, to accept other people’s feedback for you. Your teammate might have really good ideas and you have to embrace them if that’s the consensus, even if you didn’t agree.
Thank you, Iggy. Good luck to all this year’s candidates!