Student Council plans, listens | News, Sports, Jobs

ABOVE: Some members of the Fairmont Student Council at Fairmont High School on Friday. Back row from left: Senior Vice President Selvin Forsythe, Class 11, Senior Treasurer Grace Simpson, Class 10, Senior Committee Chairperson Carys Gudahl, Class 10, Junior Committee Chairperson Makenzie Gerhardt, Class 7, and Junior Student Body Reporter Ellie Perkins, Class 7 Front row from left: Senior President Lilly Laven, Class 12, Junior President Landon Traetow, Class 8.

FAIRMONT – Homecoming is next week at Fairmont High School and planning it was the first major project of the year for the current student council.

Council members have been meeting weekly since July and have played an important role in organizing the weekly events. Overall, Council members said they started the year on the right foot.

“(The year has gone) really well, I think everyone is very well suited to their roles, so we’ve been able to get a lot done.” said Senior President Lilly Laven.

“I think we’ve had a few hiccups behind the scenes and that comes with work, but we’re doing our best to move on, face it and work out the issues as we go.” said Senior Vice President Selvin Forsythe.

Outside of events, student councils seek to expand their role in the high school.

“We’re more than just a group planning things.” said Forsythe.

Student council members can play a crucial role in representing the interests of the student body within their schools and the wider community. Their work on the council also helps students develop leadership, advocacy, and organizational skills.

“If there is anything that (students) have questions about or would like to see happen at school, they can bring it up to the council.” said Melinda Chambers, the council’s human resources adviser.

“I have a different perspective on the way the school does things. As part of what’s going on at school, you know more and understand better why things happen.” said Forsythe.

“[A lot of things]happen behind the scenes, and once you have a voice, you can be a part of it.” said Lavan.

This year’s increased participation has also led to the formation of a separate council for middle school students; the first time in several years that such a body has been formed. Members of this group may specialize in representing younger students and be mentored by their older peers.

When asked what exactly students thought was important, representatives said their interests were broad and difficult to summarize.

“Many students just have their own opinions about everything this school does,” said Lavan.

“Many of my colleagues come to me with ideas about things we could do or (opportunities) to do to grow in our school and community. They come to us and we bring those ideas to the table and decide what’s best.” said Carys Gudahl, Chair of the Senior Committee.

“(Students want the staff) to listen to the student body and know what they want before we start doing things.” said Junior President Landon Traetow.

Over the coming year, the Fairmont Student Council plans to expand its responsibilities, plan additional events and encourage greater student participation in the community.

Next on the student council agenda are several fundraisers for Tackle Cancer in October. Proceeds will be donated to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund.

At the end of the month, the student council is also planning a Rec Night for middle school students, the first such event since the 2016-2017 school year.

In December, the school will host its annual Hunger Games Food Drive. During the month, students compete to raise funds for local food banks.

In January, the council will also plan for high school winter form early next year. Later in the year, the council is planning the school’s first Spring Fling since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council is also considering an outreach program that could begin later this year.

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