The College Student Council is made up of a representative body of students voted by their peers. They oversee all issues regarding student welfare. The college council is a dynamic and worthy body that adds a vital dimension to student life at the Colchester Sixth Form College.
The current student council team is made up of representatives from the following six committees which are headed by a student chairperson, vice chairperson, treasurer and secretary. All of these positions are filled by democratically voted student candidates.
So far the Arts Committee has organised trips to many galleries such as the Royal Academy of Arts and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Some successful and popular trips have included Thorpe Park and the clothes show – both were appreciated by students as well as achieving a flow of some money back into the college. The biggest trip was to Barcelona in the summer of 2013. It was a great opportunity to visit art galleries and experience this beautiful and cultural city, something many people never usually get the chance to do. A photography competition was also organised that involved the whole college and provided students with an opportunity to get creative and even explore outside their comfort zone. A henna workshop in which students were able to come and experiment with designs and techniques also proved successful.
The Arts Committee runs events revolving around photography and creative studies and an effort is always made to make events fun and involving. Everyone is invited rather than just those who are doing creative subjects in order to incorporate a wide range of people and interests. The Arts Committee also works closely with other committees in order to hold larger events, such as the Social and Arts event held in college, which included means of entertainment, food stalls and raffles.
Environment and Science Committee
The aim of the Environment and Science Committee is to increase the sustainability of the Sixth Form College by promoting ways in which students can do helpful activities both in and out of the college. The committee organised The Bird Quiz which was a very popular event throughout all tutor groups. This was followed by a guest speaker and wildlife author visiting the college who presented an award to the quiz’s winner and also gave a very informative presentation on birds. As well as this, the committee joined up with the M&S ‘shwopping’ scheme. Students were able to bring in unwanted items of clothing and swap them for an M&S voucher.
The committee also organised an event to promote the recycling of electrical goods and the stand contained large dinosaur models made out of “E-waste”. In the future it is planned to host another quiz, as well as organise more events promoting sustainability.
The Charities Committee has been very successful in raising money for charities such as Children in Need, Macmillan Cancer Support, Smile Train and Comic Relief. In addition to this a great number of boxes full of various gifts were donated to those less fortunate, including families and teens living on their own at Christmas time. All of the donations came directly from tutor groups and it was brilliant to see everyone putting such an effort into the Christmas gifts. The Committee was recently shortlisted for a young people's award, something which the committee members are very proud of. The target at the moment is to get the numbers up; anyone is welcome to come and join in. The Committee would also love to hear suggestions from students that have a particular charity in mind that they would like to be considered for fundraising.
The Culture Committee is an area in which students can get involved in either promoting cultural events or take part in events around the college. There have been many successful events over the past years including multiple Zumba sessions, a poster campaign and podcast for Black History Month, International food tasting day, a celebration of Chinese New Year and a Henna workshop. Its is planned to continue with such popular events in the future, whilst also teaming up with other committees such as the Arts Committee for the Arts and Culture festival.
The Social Committee has held various events this past year, some being successful and others not so. Knollfest is always a highly successful event and there are plans to host it again in future years. The Valentine’s Day deliveries were a huge accomplishment, raising a lot more than had been previously anticipated! Plans are in place to host this event again for next year's Valentine’s Day.
At the moment the Social Committee are working with the other committees to organise the Culture and Arts festival which will take place before the end of the summer term. It is hoped that the event will be very successful as it already has a lot of interest and activities planned. The festival will be a great opportunity for people to get involved and have fun!
The Sports Committee discusses future events and what we hope to accomplish by doing them. Many events have been organised recently, all of which have had a great turnout! The next event is a six a side football tournament which hopefully will get more people interested in the sport. We also hope to be part of “Knollfest” in September, by doing a large penalty shoot out at the event, and possibly other sports related activities.
The Sports Committee are always particularly keen to involve students who may not have had much past experience with a specific sport, perhaps due to a previous lack of facilities, motivation or high cost.
It is the responsibility of the Chairperson to help coordinate, manage and motivate the College Council members. The Chairperson conducts the Executive and College Council meetings, making sure everyone has an equal opportunity to have their voice heard. The meetings always require a lot of preparation beforehand, allowing them to run very efficiently and effectively. After every meeting the Chairperson will analyse what has been discussed and immediately contact the most appropriate members of staff. This helps the College Council to begin getting their plans underway and see the significant changes they would like see happen. For example, a past Chairperson was very involved in helping to redesign and re-launch this public website page, as well as creating an internal College Council page.
The Chairperson's role includes being directly involved in helping the Committees to publicise themselves, as well as plan and host large events. He or she can maintain the strong communicative link between members, and remind them of tasks which need to be completed and always offering as much help as possible whilst doing so. The position involves organising the Council members and making sure they fulfil their roles and responsibilities.
The Chairperson is also a member of the Governing Body of the Sixth Form College. This involves frequently writing reports on behalf of the student body, helping to give the Governors a better insight into what life at the Sixth Form is like, including both the highly successful areas, as well as ones which could possibly benefit from improvements.
The Vice Chairperson governs the discussion of student matters during College Council meetings and also works very closely with all the other executive members during regular meetings. This enables the efficient running of the college as the progress of each committee is reviewed. When appointed, the Vice Chairperson is also given the responsibility of being a Student Governor along with the Chairperson. During these meetings the views of the students in matters concerning the college as a whole are represented.
The role of Secretary is to write the minutes and agenda in preparation for College Council meetings. The Secretary also has to attend executive meetings and take notes of those and help to keep everyone up to date and in regular contact so that College Council members can function efficiently together.