In order to enhance student involvement in the life of Emma Willard School and to strengthen student responsibility for extracurricular life, the School Council came into existence in the spring of 1998. Communication and responsibility are essential components in every student’s successful, happy, and healthy life at Emma Willard. School Council has in its design a commitment to strengthening communication and to developing personal responsibility in each student.
School Council carries two primary responsibilities:
- to listen to and, when possible, to address student concerns;
- to provide two-way communication between the student body and the school’s administration.
School Council has eight seats:
- two at-large members, elected by the entire student body
- four class representatives (one from each class)
- one peer educator representative
- one proctor representative
While there has always been at least one day student and at least one boarding student serving on School Council, there is no guarantee that this will always be the case. If, by chance, one of those groups isn’t represented, then it will be the responsibility of School Council to ensure that the unrepresented group has a voice.
School Council chooses a president among its members each fall. Other officers (e.g., vice-president, secretary) may be chosen at the same time. School Council is advised by one or two faculty members appointed by the head of school.
In the spring, the freshmen (rising sophomores), sophomores (rising juniors), and juniors (rising seniors) elect their class representatives at the same time that they elect class officers for the following year. In addition, also in the spring, those running for an at-large School Council position deliver a speech, or participate in a panel discussion, before the student body. Elections take place just after. Votes for at-large candidates are tabulated by present members of the council who are not candidates themselves and by the faculty advisor or the dean of students. Only students may vote for student positions. Seniors do not vote. If, once votes are tallied, no clear winners emerge, School Council may schedule a run-off election. Class and at-large elections should be completed by the end of the third week in May.
Early in the fall, the proctors and the peer educators choose their school council representative. A short time later, once the freshmen have had a chance to get to know one another, they elect their representative, at the same time as they are electing their class officers.
Meetings and Expectations
School Council meets during lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The meetings are open to the entire school community. School Council tries to meet with administrators and the head of school at least once a semester.
During the year, School Council members are expected to be in touch with their constituents, to listen to their concerns and to keep them informed. They are also expected to attend all regular meetings, except when excused from school.