How to Win Student Council: 10 Tips for Running Your Campaign

If you love your school, and your peers, and want to make it a more enjoyable place to receive an education, then you should run for a student council or student government position! These student leaders are elected by their fellow students to help improve their school experience. So now that you’ve decided you want to run for a position, it’s time to learn how to win student council campaigns! Here are College Raptor’s 10 tips when running for student council.

Students meeting for student council.

1. Pick a Role

There are multiple roles you can choose from when running for student council or student government. There is usually a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Some schools may even have advisers, committees, and a historian. If this is your first time ever running for a student government role, we suggest starting out as a treasurer, secretary, or historian. You can get a better feel for the way that student government operates without having the biggest responsibility on the team as a president or vice president. 

The student council president is the highest position and usually has the most power, except for the faculty advisers at your school. The vice president will fulfill the roles of the president when they are not available and often directs other positions in the council. The student council secretary holds a lot of responsibility as they are the ones who communicate with the student body and voice their decisions. The treasurer handles the finances of the student council and is in charge of fundraising. 

2. Look at the School’s Requirements

Each school will have requirements for students to be able to run for student government. This can range from a certain GPA to a specific number of volunteer hours. Before you decide to run for a student council role, look at the requirements for each role and see if you meet them. This will prevent you from wasting time creating your campaign and then finding out you’re not actually eligible to run. 

3. Create a Campaign

Now that you’ve picked the position you want to run for, it’s time to brainstorm some campaign ideas! What is the issue that you want to focus on in your school or student body that will make you the winning candidate? This is also the perfect time to create a campaign slogan! Do something short and catchy so people can catch on easily. Creating posters, stickers, and buttons, and even setting up a table at school for other students to stop by will help you get your name out there. 

4. Get to Know Your School 

What are the issues your school faces that the student body needs help fixing? By getting to know your school better, you’ll be able to pinpoint the issues that actually matter. Instead of trying to start something better from scratch, you can help strengthen something that is weak in your school instead. 

5. Be Yourself

This may seem cheesy, but it’s important to be yourself when you’re running for a student government position. You don’t want to act like someone else or try to change yourself just because you want to win. It will be difficult to keep up with this new persona and people you know may speak out and say that this isn’t the real you. 

6. Network With Students

How will you help the student body if you don’t know a majority of them? Network with your peers and let them express their concerns to you so you can see what the people actually want. You have to remember that you are the voice for the student body so you need to know what is actually going on in the school’s student body. 

7. Practice Public Speaking

A good stage presence is important when running for student government, so practice your public speaking. You can practice in front of the mirror and work on your cadence, speed, and facial expressions. By practicing, you won’t be as nervous when you have to stand in front of a crowd and your peers will notice your confidence. 

8. Get to Know the Opponent

You’ll be running against someone else for the student government position that you choose. Get to know their campaign and what they are offering to the student body. Use this information as talking points when you’re speaking to the student body and tell them what you will offer instead. It’s important to play fair and not participate in smear campaigns! 

9. Use Social Media

The truth is, not a lot of students will know who is running for the student government roles. Use social media to get your name out there so everyone in your graduating class can become familiar with who you are. Create an Instagram page that has all your campaign information and ask your friends to follow it. They can repost your posts on their stories where their friends will also see your face. You’ll be able to reach a huge crowd without having to canvas the entire school grounds. 

10. Be Honest

Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to running for student council. Don’t make promises you can’t keep or tell your peers you can make something happen when you don’t have the authority to do so. This will decrease your chances of winning next year’s student government role and can easily backfire on you. 

We can tell you how to win student council but it’s YOU who actually does the work. Use our tips and tricks to help your student body succeed! When the student council election is held, be sure to congratulate the winners, even if you are not one of them. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t win the first time around. Whether you wanted to be Class Secretary or Class President, you can always run again next year!

Interested in Government or Social Service as a career? Use our college match tool to find out what schools are a great fit for you and your future goals.