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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.

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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.


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.


The final push for votes comes through campaign speeches.

Prepare and practice your speech in advance so that you can be sure that you make the points that are most important. Remember that students have probably heard a lot of speeches, so there needs to be something that makes yours interesting. Using jokes, changing positions, and using inflections in your voice remind your audience to pay close attention to what you are saying.Choose your words carefully and review them with someone who will provide you with critical feedback in advance to make sure that you are portraying your ideas within the fine lines of humility and confidence. Finally, be sure to thank your audience for their vote and be prepared to answer questions.

Lesson Summary

Student council is an organization of student government that is standardized by the National Association of Student Councils (NASC).

Student council representatives are chosen by their peers to work with school administrators, school boards, and parent organizations on behalf of the student body.When running for student council, a student should prepare a campaign based on the needs of all students. The best way to find out what other students want is to ask. The person running for office should be trustworthy and focused when presenting their campaign promises. Catchy slogans that help other students remember you should be displayed on well-made posters in various locations.

When creating posters, be sure to make your name stand out. Campaign speeches should be memorable, so use jokes, movement, and inflection to draw audience attention.

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