The importance of student council


Jessica Gunther

2021 student council

Jessica Gunther, Associate Editor

   Gresham High School’s student council has had to overcome many challenges throughout its operation, but this year brings new struggles and opportunities as GHS attempts to return to normalcy through in-person learning. 

   The student council and ASB both make up an important part of our school, planning events and working behind the scenes to improve the school. Activities Director Brian Davis is the advisor for these committees. 

   “I try to drive them to be student-led. And then my direct role is communicating and being like a middle manager to where I’m a conduit between student council and the things that they want to do or need to do, and then the school and administration,” Davis said. 

   This year, the students of GHS have elected new chairmen for the council, with differing perspectives and new ideas. Mckenzee Manlupig, a senior who’s been on the council and leadership since her freshman year, is the new President of ASB.

   “I wanted to be president because there’s so many things I want to change, and being president was the best route to get things done,” Manlupig said. 

   As president, Malupig has to collaborate with several other chairmen. The ASB secretary is responsible for organizing and disseminating information on a council, and this year, this role goes to junior Hanna Isrealsson.

   “I wasn’t even interested in student council freshman year. Davis invited me and was like, hey I think it’d be a cool fit, and I was like, oh my gosh this is such a great idea. I completely agree, I’m going to go for it. I like being involved with school,” Isrealsson said.

   Another important role on the council is the sergeant at arms, who keeps order during discussions and meetings. The sergeant at arms this year is Madalynn Bussard, who’s a junior as well. 

   “I was interested in being sergeant at arms because I’m more of a natural leader type, so I fit the position well,” Bussard said.

   Other elected officers include junior Grace Carter as vice president, sophomore Joey Rogers as treasurer, and junior Emily Ross as publicity manager. Every year, these chairmen are elected by the students who were able to witness their teamwork during the first major event of the year: homecoming week.

   “The dance got cancelled, which is totally fine, safety 100%, but we’re working on an elements theme: seniors are fire, juniors are water, sophomores are earth, and freshmen are air. And we’re really trying to make fun skits, and have a fun spirit week,” Manlupig said. “I feel like our spirits are a little repetitive, so we tried to be very creative this year.”

   Decorative posters and props were placed around the school during homecoming week that several students in leadership and ASB put time and effort into making.

   ASB and the council have several jobs within the community to support the students as well as the school itself. 

    “ASB has a governmental role, where we work in line with the administration, and [they] oversee the budgets, and the funding that comes in and goes out. Also, they remain interconnected with the directives that the administration might want us to have as far as improving our school,” Davis said. 

   Many students still aren’t aware of the importance of the council, as well as the roles each member has. 

   “I remember when I was outside the council, I would be like ‘these people do nothing. It’s like they sit around all day.’ But a lot goes on behind the scenes for very small things. I feel like our entire class are very hard workers,” Manlupig said. “I’ve really enjoyed the council, a lot actually. It’s really fun. I really love collaborating with so many other minds. We might butt heads a little bit, but I feel like we are working hard to make everything fun and unique and exciting and break traditions.”

  As well as being unaware of their council behind the scenes, the student body hasn’t had a real opportunity to recognize Davis as the new advisor. Last year, during the pandemic, was Davis’ first year overseeing the council, but running it in person will bring new challenges and perspectives.

   “I wish that the student body knew that these are amazing students that are here in this school, like they’re all very diverse. You know, across the board. And not just talking about the diversity of race or ethnicity, but just a diversity of people, and where they come from and who they are,” Davis said. “I think that our student leadership as a whole, both student council and Renaissance are a true reflection of what progressional high school really is in our community.”

   For the remainder of the year, the student council has an assortment of events and activities planned for GHS, and several members are set on keeping a positive attitude.

   “I’m excited for the year to come. And I hope that I can bring greatness to this position and greatness to our school. And I really hope I can cultivate for the better,” Manlupig said.