The Red & Black

Student Council Vs. Student Government - What Are The Differences?


WHS Student Council is a large, school-wide organization with at least six elected representatives from each of the classes, combining all four grades.

According to its website (, Student Council “serves the student body in all aspects of school life by linking students, administration, and the greater community.”

It organizes many of the school events, fundraisers, and awareness campaigns throughout the year.

It discusses issues and ideas with multiple levels of school administration, ranging from within WHS to the superintendent and the district school board.

It also connects with local organizations and charities, such as Winchester Hospital, the Lahey Breast Care Center, and the Greater Boston Food Bank.

With a focus on addressing community-wide issues, lots of important work gets done in this group, as confirmed by student reps such as sophomore Alex Lee himself: “I think we do cool stuff, anyway.”

The four class officers -- President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer -- make up each class’s Student Government. Your officers’ mission is to bring your class closer together.

They organize dances, dinners, and fundraisers to support class events and expensive senior events like prom. Money also goes into gifts, including a class gift to the school and future reunions in years to come.

Class officer duties include preparing for the next class event, coordinating with different vendors, and selling spirit wear.  

Sophomore class president John Bellaire knows just how much commitment an officer puts in throughout the year: “It's probably on average two hours of work per week, but there are often times where you're after school until 8:30 organizing something.”

As two different organizations, the council and government have many differences. Student Council’s officer hierarchy is organized like that of a typical school club, while the Student Government is just made up of class officers.

Unique to student council are internally elected positions as representatives to regional and state Student Advisory Councils.

While class officers schedule meetings more freely to get work done, Student Council holds regular weekly meetings, although smaller Student Council groups called committees coordinate independently.

Yet, there are many similarities between the Student Council and Student Government.

Both are made up of student leaders, both serve as a voice for the student body to the administration or to the town, and both hold important roles in improving student life in a variety of ways.

The Student Government and Student Council are the prime student leadership groups at WHS.

Whether you’re a Student Council rep or a class officer, focusing on improving student life or on creating a legacy for your class, you’d be making a huge difference.

Even if you haven’t run for a spot in either organization or successfully won an election, you still have the opportunity to contribute as a regular student. Reach out to your reps, officers, and administration, and be your own kind of student leader.