Student Council: Speeches, Campaign Ideas & Slogans

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will discuss campaign ideas, slogans and speeches for student council candidates that will help you stand out to your classmates and gain votes.

Definitions and Background

Student council is a group of students who are selected by the student body to represent the students to the administrators, parent groups, and school board. The National Association of Student Councils (NASC) is the official organization that sets standards and provides training for student government leaders. While student councils are most often seen at the high school level, they exist at both elementary and secondary schools. Let's examine some ways to stand apart from the competition when creating speeches, campaign ideas, and slogans for a student council election.

Campaign Ideas

We'll being with campaign ideas as this is the meat of who you are and why your peers should throw votes in your direction. First of all, your campaign should begin with asking a lot of questions. When you ask your peers what they are looking for in a candidate, you are sending them the message that you are interested in serving them. You won't get far on a campaign to serve pizza on Fridays if what the other students really want is a pep rally before the first basketball game.

Once you find out what the people want, you will form a focused, consistent campaign around it. Make sure that you agree with the campaign promises and think they are feasible. Your fellow students need to be able to trust what you say.

Since it is not likely that you would be able to shorten the school day or change teacher grading practices, don't promise that you will. Focus on places where you can really make a difference in your school and community.

Some possible campaigns include:

  • Fundraising for a specific charity.
  • Improving reporting processes for bullying.
  • Fundraising for school improvements.
  • Starting a peer mediation program.
  • Adding a fall dance.

Slogans

While some students will wait to make a decision until after a speech, a catchy slogan and some great posters will help you grab some of the early deciders. Your posters need to be memorable, so find a way to make them funny, send your campaign message, and/or help people remember your name. Some examples include:

  • Like a good neighbor, Jaimie is there.
  • Never fear, Toby is here!
  • Look who's voting for Craig! (Put a mirror in the center of the poster.)

Posters need to be colorful, legible, and various so they can be displayed in multiple places and will draw the attention of your public. In lieu of attempting to hand-decorate your posters, try using publishing software and sending it to a copy store to be printed. Your name and possibly a photo of you should be prominent. Be careful that your posters appeal to a wide variety of students. For example, you may catch the attention of athletes with a poster that says 'Just do it,' but you may alienate some students with an interest in music or chess club. Remember that the student council should represent all students.

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