By Ian Michael Yam (20A01A) and Wong Chia Ying (20S03C), Secretaries of the Students’ Council
“Council comprises 3 departments – Welfare, Communications Department (Commz’D) and CCA Department (CCAD) and 5 House Directorates, led by the Presidents and Secretaries. Council also plans 6 functions (National Day, Teachers’ Day, Graduation Night, Open House, Orientation and Council Camp). Councillors can also initiate timely initiatives known as Project Xs to meet the current needs of the school. Councillors are expected to lead by example and uphold the highest standards of conduct…”
Yet, beyond this standard response on Councils’ formal structures, what’s more important is that Council is a team of 63 people. And this is important because people form the core of what we do.
As a Councillor, you serve not just your friends and batchmates, but our entire school community. And trust us, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Should you decide to step forward, you must be prepared to work with many different kinds of people, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and ideas, and respond to a seemingly endless stream of demands coming at you from different directions.
That’s not all. You’ll have to contend with being perennially sleep-deprived and meeting a slew of pressing deadlines. You’ll have to take Ls for the team along the way, and accept that all the slogging you do behind the scenes has no guarantee of bearing fruit. All this while juggling other commitments you may have.
So then, why Council?
Because even if what you do as a Councillor may not succeed at first try, it is never a wasted effort. It is unlikely that you’ll ever be able to taste personal glory, but really, the greatest reward you can ever get is knowing that you didn’t just think of ideas; you made them happen. All this to make Raffles a better place.
This is what rallies us Councillors to strive on. The ability to “make things happen” and “enact real change” is so much more than just a motivational force. It’s an opportunity, a responsibility and most of all, a calling.
Council is also so much more than just troubleshooting and making one-off changes here and there. On the one hand, traditions have been passed down from one Council batch to the next (39 so far, by the way). And on the other hand, each batch is tasked to chart out a direction of its own. In the bigger scheme of things, Council can and has taken steps to influence not just events but our school culture itself.
Don’t worry, it’s the same for us too. But seriously though, if you wanted to know what “rising to the challenge of leadership” is all about, this is it.
However, beyond the hard graft, Council is also about the little things. It could be you covering for your mates, lending an additional helping hand to make something work or going the extra mile to do something that may not necessarily lie within your so-called “job scope”. It’s also about the friendships that will last beyond your term as a Councillor.
To sum things up, being a Councillor will never be a bed of roses. More often than not, you’ll have to bear hard knocks. Nevertheless, you’ll see the litany of deadlines through, and just like the 39 batches of Councillors that have preceded you, you will survive (and emerge a much stronger person).
We hope that this short preview has given you a snapshot of what it means to be a Councillor. Hopefully what we said meant something to you, and now, it’s about what you will make of it.
All the best!
Do join us for our annual Council Sharing which will take place shortly after Orientation 2020! Details will be released soon :D
For more detailed information on what we do & FAQs, visit our Open House display and look out for our publicity releases!