The student council plans, listens | News, Sports, Jobs


ABOVE: Some Fairmont student council members at Fairmont High School on Friday. Back row from left: Senior Vice President Selvin Forsythe, Year 11, Senior Treasurer Grace Simpson, Year 10, Main Committee Chair Carys Gudahl, Year 10, Junior Committee Chair Makenzie Gerhardt, Year 7, and Corps Reporter junior student Ellie Perkins, grade 7 Front row from left: senior president Lilly Laven, grade 12, junior president Landon Traetow, grade 8.

FAIRMONT — The reunion will take place next week at Fairmont High School and its planning was the first big project of the year for its current student council.

Council members have been meeting weekly since July and have played a major role in organizing the week’s events. Overall, board members said they started the year off on the right foot.

“(The year has gone so far) very well, I think everyone is very well suited to their role, so we have been able to do a lot of things,” said Senior Chair Lilly Laven.

“I think we’ve had a few hiccups along the way behind the scenes and that comes with the work, but we’re doing our best to keep going, deal with it and work through the issues as we go along.” said Senior Vice President Selvin Forsythe.

Outside of events, student council members attempt to expand their role in high school.

“We’re more than just a group planning things,” said Forsythe.

Student council members can play a crucial role in representing the interests of the student body within their schools and the community at large. Their work on the council also helps students develop leadership, advocacy, and organizational skills.

“If there is something that (students) have questions about or that they would like to see happen within the school, they can report it to the council,” said Melinda Chambers, council staff adviser.

“I have a different focus on how the school does things. By being part of what happens at school, you know more and with that you understand better why things happen,” said Forsythe.

“(A lot of things) happen behind the scenes, and then once you have a voice, you’re part of it,” says Lavender.

This year’s increased participation also led to the formation of a separate council for junior high students; the first time such a body has been formed in several years. Members of this group may specialize in representing younger students and be mentored by their older counterparts.

When asked exactly what students thought was important, representatives said their interests were broad and difficult to summarize.

“A lot of students just have their own opinion about everything this school does,” says Lavender.

“A lot of my peers come to me with ideas of things we could do or (ways) to grow in our school and community. They will come to us and we will bring those ideas to the table and decide what is best,” said main committee chair Carys Gudahl.

“(Students want staff) to listen to the student body and what they want before they start doing things,” said junior president Landon Traetow.

In the coming year, the Fairmont Student Council plans to expand its reach, plan more events, and promote greater student involvement in the community.

Next on the student council agenda are multiple fundraisers for Tackle Cancer during the month of October. Proceeds will go to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund.

At the end of the month, the student council is also planning a fun night for junior high students, the first of its kind since the 2016-2017 school year.

In December, the school will hold its annual Hunger Games food drive. During the month, students compete to collect donations for local food banks.

In January, the board will also plan for the high school winter ceremony early next year. Later in the year, the board will plan the school’s first Spring Fling since before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The board is also considering a community service outreach program that could begin later this year.



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