Photos by Raffles Photographic Society
Late nights, long days or no breaks are common to this committed and united 34th Students’ Council. With much work and time required, it is clear that being a councillor is not easy. It is a commitment not to be taken lightly since it is one which demands time, dedication and effort. It is a calling that entails long hours in school, sleepless nights and tired days. It is a journey that will push you to your limit and challenge you in every aspect. Yet, despite all these challenges in one’s Council term, being in the Students’ Council will be a fulfilling and meaningful experience that will shape you as a student, as a leader and as a person.
In its mission to serve the school community, the Students’ Council is involved in planning and executing initiatives, events and functions for the student population. Each councillor strives to harness his/ her passion for the school to make a positive impact by addressing student needs and fostering a sense of pride for the school. The fulfilment of this collective mission rests on the contributions of each and every single councillor, and tenacity to overcome and grow in spite of the multiple challenges.
You may have experienced the vibrant and colourful atmosphere of Open House, and you would have enjoyed Lumière, the first light of Year 5 during Orientation. Bringing these to fruition was an elaborate process of planning and concerted execution. Months of hard work were put into these functions to conceptualise ideas, gain approval, plan down to the details and communicate with various stakeholders and student groups. More than just planning and execution, the process called for strong leadership in guiding committees and motivating people towards a common direction of service.
Leadership in the Students’ Council is a commitment to motivating people towards a common goal of service. Difficulties arise with conflicts of commitment against various CCAs, enrichment programmes and external interests. Yet, every councillor is called upon and obligated to the student population to prioritise Council over other commitments. More than this, the experience of leadership in Council is inevitably a process of learning through serving by leading. When everyone is thrown to the same deep end of the pool together, it is a developmental journey for all. It is through these challenges that councillors emerge more hardened, experienced and mature as leaders together for the school.
Despite the difficulties endured by councillors, the journey of service and leadership is a meaningful one to be undertaken by those who wish to make a positive impact to the school and to those who wish to grow as servant leaders. In fact, it could be said that this journey is made all the more fulfilling because of these difficulties. When all is said and done, it does not matter if we have endured sleepless nights and it does not matter if the stress was overbearing; what matters is that the journey was made together as one Council, that the school is made a better place, and that we served by leading and led in serving. Our minds may be exhausted and our bodies tired, but our hearts, beating as one together, will swell with pride for what we have done for the school. The bonds forged between friends will last, the pride of the Houses at IHC will permeate the air and the victory cries of Team Raffles at competitions will ring evermore in our ears. This is the true fulfilment of being in the Students’ Council.
Beyond the core purpose of Council, each councillor also embarks on a process of personal development. With a year of diligent planning and systematic execution of various initiatives, councillors will pick up crucial skills and knowledge that will prove to be useful. From design skills to software management, to even bargaining with suppliers and tackling financial systems and quotations, councillors inevitably get exposed to various areas of work. The process also involves many people of diverse interests, perspectives and opinions; and learning to work together requires keen people skills guided by leadership from the heart and mind. Each councillor will also have opportunities to learn and grow as a leader, and this core development includes leadership training and continued mentorship from teachers.
With the understanding that Council is a tough but fulfilling journey, we challenge you to ask yourself what you expect out of your time in Raffles. Ultimately, we will probably not remember intensive mugging nor what exactly happened in the classrooms. What will matter is the people – the network of Rafflesians you were part of, the memories shared together and the blood, sweat and tears shed as one. The challenges of managing stress, prioritising commitment and having the mental tenacity are shared as one Council. It is important to also recognise the fact that your fellow councillors are always there for you through it all. Even as one may stumble in the darkest tunnel, we are collectively the light that shines to make sure there are no unguarded backs. The journey as a Council is arduous, but it is a journey undertaken by students with a heart to serve, together as a family.
For more information about the Students’ Council, you may refer to previous articles:
If you are interested in Council, find out more from us during Council Insight on 10 and 11 Feb at the Hodge Lodge. There will be sharing sessions from 2.30pm-4.30pm each day, and a talk by the Presidents and Secretaries from 2.30pm-3pm.