College offers a huge number of opportunities that go past simply attending class and turning in papers. For example, there are sports teams, the newspaper, student clubs, and the student body government. If you are trying to decide which organizations to join, here are a few reasons that the student body government could make sense.
Whether it’s a program you disagree with or an idea you want to implement, joining the student body government could be your most effective means of achieving this goal of change. Even if you are unable to make an impact as quickly as you would like, “insider status,” as GW explains, gives you more credibility and authority to eventually make a difference.
The student body government provides fruitful grounds for you to work on skills such as communications, marketing, and research, to name a few. If you want to become a politician, running for office at the college level can also give you an idea of what skills are strong and which you may need more work on. If nothing else, crises, whether large or small, are fairly common, and you can get practice in putting them out. It’s invaluable training for any aspiring politician; read more about overcoming PR problems in this article.
Maybe you have always done sports, and you were a mainstay on your high school newspaper. You’re ready for a change. The student body government holds many potential opportunities. For instance, you could run for office, join a committee, or volunteer for positions in, say, marketing or communications. In fact, your involvement can often be as limited or as expansive as you would like.
Now, are there reasons why you should not join? Of course, and here they are.
A good-looking resume can be a nice side benefit of student government work, but joining solely for that reason is often self-defeating. For one thing, would you be giving up an activity you would rather pursue? Would you end up being less effective (and thus not as highly recommended) because you did not want the work? When prospective employers ask about this position, will they be able to tell that your heart was not in it?
If this is what you plan to do, you could start small, say, by signing up for a committee. You might end up genuinely wanting student government work after all. However, if you start big by running for office and actually do not like the job, you create a lot of unnecessary stress and could indirectly hurt a lot of people.
See number 1 above, basically; doing something because someone else wants you to is a bad idea. Explain to your parents what you would rather do, why, and how it benefits you (and makes you happy!).
The student body government can be a fun and learning experience for many people. To reap the most rewards, be sure of your intentions before you sign up.