By Marianne Wang (President)
Always wondered who were the Rafflesians enthusiastically leading supporters at every NSG, donning themselves in seas of House colours, and filling students’ IG feeds with vibrant and meaningful publicity content?
If that sounds like something you would shudder with excitement at the thought of, read on. We have no prerequisites: the interest and passion you have to scroll down is the only thing you’ll need.
So… what does the Students’ Council do?
Every Councillor is involved in a fun myriad of initiatives. But to cut a long story short, Council’s work is all about enhancing student life.
The Students’ Council is made up of 3 Departments and 5 House Directorates, all of which are overseen by the PresSecs Department (Presidents and Secretaries). The CCA Department (CCAD) helms school spirit and CCA showcases, leading match support at various National School Games and creating avenues for Rafflesians to learn more about various CCAs.
Our Communications Department (Commz’D) focuses on connecting with students on multiple fronts. We manage our @teamraffles Instagram account for effective outreach and engaging content, as well as amplify student voices and collect feedback through surveys and discussions.
Our Welfare Department focuses on student well-being, seeking to foster a culture of homeliness and support in school. Our “Welfairies” manage the Hodge Lodge (next to the canteen!) and plan frequent initiatives where students can study and hang out. We also helm other major events, such as during students’ crunch times near exam periods, to make sure you are well-fed, appreciated and cared for amidst the rigours of JC!
What about House life in JC? With our House Directorates, whether you’re a BBian or MTitan, rest assured that JC life will be a blast. Filled with vibrant colours, furry mascots, and engaging events, Houses enhance school spirit in the form of the colours we wear. To rally House spirit, our House Directorate members launch frequent initiatives for students to get together in their Houses for a fun time.
Besides being involved in one Department or House, each Councillor will also have their own Function. Functions are large-scale school events that Council oversees, such as Teachers’ Day Celebrations, Graduation Night, and Orientation which many of you will soon experience!
Okay but… Why Council?
It’s no secret that Council involves high levels of commitment. Our weekly sessions are held on Wednesdays, with teacher-involved Department or House meetings from 3 – 4.30pm, and Function meetings from 4.30 – 6pm. These often happen in the Council Meeting Room, Lounge, or Hodge Lodge. Outside of these times, you can often find Councillors meeting each other as well, whether to plan an initiative or set up for an event.
So, why is Council worth it? To help you gain some perspective, we asked some of our Councillors why they’re happy they joined, even amidst stressful periods. Here are some core ideas distilled.
First, Council gives you exposure and experience. From internal processes to external liaising, Councillors are stretched in their ability to work within and across teams efficiently and sensibly, even with tough deadlines to meet. Negotiations, administrative considerations, and impact evaluation are areas that we are challenged to realistically think about and practise. Council is an eye-opening experience in terms of balancing creative events and systems with wider realistic constraints in a way that trains us to create a greater impact on large audiences, both now and in the future.
Next, naturally, many Councillors have the passion to serve. As many Councillors have shared, the most fulfilling moments along our journey are often when we get to interact with students during our initiatives and observe their genuine happiness and appreciation for what we do. “It’s always heartening to see how much impact even the smallest things we do can have on those around us!” shares Esther Ker (23S06J) from CCAD and Orientation (Function Secretary). At the end of the day, we’re happy to see our peers happy – if you relate to that, then Council sounds right for you!
Last but definitely not least, you get to create invaluable friendships within Council. Our Vice President of Departments, Teo Zheng Kang (23A01A), wholeheartedly agrees, “Council might be tough, but it’s precious how we work our hearts out together through it all. I think that’s why we still see batches of previous Councillors coming back together consistently to help out—it’s an irreplaceable ‘core memory’ that we all share as one Council.”
All in all, Council is definitely a fun place, and there are many precious takeaways you can gain. More importantly, if you are passionate about what we do and love working with equally passionate people, you’re going to absolutely love your time here. Again, no prior leadership experience is required! We’re always happy to see fresh ideas, so if you’re passionate and can commit, just give it a shot!
We hope to see everyone around!