Student Council to PERSIST in Developing Popular Events

In a recent poll, a back-to-school block party was Warren Hills students’ top choice for a new event that they would like to see the Student Council run. Other possible events receiving votes were an end-of-year “Color Wars” field day, a “Blue vs. White” spirit competition and a “Teachers and Tiaras” talent show.

(Chart by Bella Scott)

In a recent poll, a back-to-school block party was Warren Hills students’ top choice for a new event that they would like to see the Student Council run. Other possible events receiving votes were an end-of-year “Color Wars” field day, a “Blue vs. White” spirit competition and a “Teachers and Tiaras” talent show.

By Bella Scott , Staff Reporter

The Warren Hills Student Council attended in mid-January a virtual annual convention, run by the New Jersey Association of Student Councils, to exchange ideas for student council events that have been successful at other schools.

The convention gave Warren Hills Student Council members several ideas for future events, and four of the ideas were presented to students in a February Google Forms online poll, in which students determined that a back-to-school block party was their No. 1 choice.

The NJASC Winter Convention focused on the idea of persistence and to PERSIST, which stands for promoting excellence, reaching success, inspiring students together.

This year’s convention was a virtual gathering for student councils in the state of New Jersey to bounce around ideas for events and fundraisers. Schools held workshops throughout the day to show off their events.

“It was not the same experience virtually, but it still had the same positive and fun vibes,” said English Teacher Emily Kablis, who serves as faculty adviser to the Warren Hills Student Council. She called the NJASC Winter Convention a “step in the right direction” toward getting students excited about Student Council events.

The four events listed in the Warren Hills Student Council poll were the block party (favored by 32.7 percent of Warren Hills students); “Color Wars,” an end-of-year teams event based on previous elementary-school field days (27.2 percent); “Blue vs. White” spirit competition (22.9 percent) and a teachers’ talent competition, “Teachers and Tiaras” (17.3 percent).

The NJASC student council is a mix of students from different New Jersey counties. Out of the 21 counties in New Jersey, 14 counties had schools participating in this convention.

The first convention workshop was Social Media, presented by the NJASC state officers. The officers told the audience about new techniques to get the student body interested in student councils’ social media platforms. They gave ideas on how to make the platforms more creative as well.

Other events held during the first workshop time slot were learning how to connect with the Board of Education, adapting school functions to COVID-19 restrictions, and producing a staff talent competition.

Next attended was a “Back 2 School Block Party” during the second workshop. This concept was shown by the president of Mount Olive High School’s Student Council. Mount Olive uses this event for the student body to get excited for Homecoming Week. The presentation featured a slideshow on how Mount Olive students plan the event and work within a budget.

A Red and White School Wide Competition from Rancocas Valley Regional High School was another event described to convention participants. Also covered were sports tournament and pep rally ideas.

The last workshop attended was Fun-draising. This meeting was held by West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North. Student Council members from this school gave their fun ways to raise funds. At the end of the workshop, presenters demonstrated a Fun-draising simulation where representatives from other schools got to test fun-draising for themselves.

Warren Hills Student Council Senior Representative Katherine McLaughlin said she found inspiration at the Winter Convention.

“Hearing what other schools have been doing for their schools and communities inspired me to try and do more in our school,” she said.