Why Prairie Ridge Should Adopt Student Government

IN HIGH SCHOOLS ACROSS THE NATION, students make their voices heard by electing a student to be their class president and numerous other students as their student legislature.  The job of class presidents and legislatures is to represent the students of the school and, in order to benefit the student body, propose changes to certain systems the district uses.  I argue in this article, why doesn’t Prairie Ridge High School adopt a student government system?

I have, in fact, been wondering about this question for quite a time.  For those of you who don’t know me, I came to Prairie Ridge from Barrington High School at the end of first quarter freshman year (when we still used that system).  A notable difference I noticed was that at Barrington, there were yearly elections for student legislature and class presidents.  I found this very interesting, and if I had not moved to PR, I would have definitely participated in this system.  Not only did the system promote student involvement in civic life, it promoted leadership.  Students could finally have their voices heard.

Now to be fair, Prairie Ridge essentially splits the responsibilities of a student government into two clubs: Lyceum and Student Council.  Lyceum is an event that takes place once or twice throughout the school year in which students debate current issues in a partly-town hall, partly-debate environment.  Lyceum promotes debate among students on issues that are very important to the nation, for example, confederate statues being taken down.  Student Council, on the other hand, is a student-run group that advocates for better student life at Prairie Ridge.  Members also help arrange school-wide activities such as Homecoming and collecting donations for local organizations.  

These programs are great; however, they are not without their limitations.  Lyceum only occurs during certain periods of the day, causing many people (including myself) to miss out on a discussion that they are truly interested in.  Meanwhile, Student Council can only advocate for the student voices they can hear.  If these clubs could come together, a variety of student voices could be heard to better advocate for students at Board meetings.  Therefore, these two clubs should merge together in order to effectively produce a student governing body which can hold debates for and against different propositions for altering school systems.

With a student government system in place, it can mean better citizens for the future and ensure a brighter future for the United States as a whole.  However, I know that many of you may be thinking, what is the point of having student government when you have other extracurricular activities, both academic and athletic, that can help gain interest in civil life as an adult?  Without a reliable student government system, many students will not be able to participate in civil life as students, which may translate into refusing to participate in civil life as an adult.  With a student government, the benefits can extend way beyond high school.