Friday, October 24, 2014

Student Feature Friday: Student Council President Autumn Morrice

I am continually thankful for the role Nipmuc's student leaders play in guiding the activities, culture, and achievements of our school. Few student leadership positions at Nipmuc come with more responsibility than that of Student Council President. StuCo plays a critical role in running and organizing some of the most memorable student events of each year. In order to determine a vision, plan the details, and carry out events for hundreds of students, you need a leader who can organize her peers, communicate clearly, adapt to challenges, and inspire her classmates. Nipmuc is fortunate that our Student Council President - Autumn Morrice - demonstrates all of these traits. As we celebrate the success of homecoming and look ahead to FAST (arguably the most memorable student event of the year), I took a few minutes to speak with Autumn about her work as a student leader and what she has learned in this role.

Q: How did you become involved in student council? What does the role of Student Council President mean to you?
Nipmuc's Student Council President
(and Homecoming Queen)
Autumn Morrice
A: I joined student council at the beginning of eighth grade. Back at Miscoe, teachers had to recommend students for the council, and I was picked by my seventh grade math teacher. At first, I did not want to run at all. It took some convincing, but once I started thinking about the idea of being a student council member, I decided to run. To me, StuCo President means being a role model. When I was a freshman, I had always looked up to the student council president. She was my role model. Now that I am the StuCo President, I want to be a role model for the younger kids.

Q: What are some of your main responsibilities as student council president? 
A: Student council puts on a lot of events at Nipmuc. As the president, I'm in charge of planning and running these events, as well as running our monthly meetings. The executive board (eboard) and I started off at the end of last year with the school elections for class office, student council, and student advisory council. Then, during the summer, I planned Freshman/New Student Orientation, which took place a week before school started. Soon after that, I was onto planning Bonfire and Homecoming.  These events require planning months in advance, and they each have specific requirements. For example, Freshman/New Student Orientation only required a schedule to show how the day was run, whereas homecoming and bonfire had ticket sales, spirit week, and a pep rally that needed to be planned and organized. Our next main event that will be coming up soon is FAST which stands for Faculty and Students Together. After FAST, we are planning on having our Induction & Lock-in, and we are going to try to bring new ideas into the school like "Dessert Extravaganza"...The council also volunteers a lot in the community through events like Community Leaf Raking and Clough's Field Day. Myself, the eboard, and the rest of the council still have a busy, fun-filled year ahead of us!

Q: What type of leadership skills have you developed through your work in student council? 
A: The one main leadership skill that I have developed and worked on through student council is public speaking. I remember how nervous I was reading my speech in eighth grade, and now I am able to speak in front of the whole school at a pep rally. I have run for student council throughout high school, and I gain public speaking experience each time I run. Not only can I do it without getting nervous, I have also developed a love for it, and I'll jump at any opportunity to be able to speak in front of a large group of people. 

Q: What are some of the greatest challenges/rewards of your role? 
A: Definitely one of my greatest challenges has been the level of stress that comes with this job. Being president of student council is one of the main leadership roles up at Nipmuc and I'm in charge of a lot of events that take planning months ahead of time. The stress has been unreal, from planning bonfire and homecoming to keeping up with school to applying to college. Juggling all these things and my other extracurricular activities has definitely been a challenge for me, but with the help of my eboard, my role as president is so much easier. At the end of the day, satisfaction of running and completing an event is my greatest reward. Bonfire and homecoming was just this past weekend, and although they weren't perfect, I was able to sit back and say to myself, 'You gave it your best shot. Not many Nipmuc students get an opportunity like this, and you did an awesome job.' The satisfaction of your accomplishment is one of the greatest things of all. 

Q: How will this experience help you as you get ready for college and life beyond Nipmuc? 
A: I'm planning on studying business in college and going to a school in the city. My president's role has taught me that responsibility is huge, organization is key, and patience is a virtue. Public speaking is a huge part of the business world, and because of student council, it's now one of my talents. My president's role has also taught me time management, as well as the ability to work under a lot of stress, both of which will help me in life after Nipmuc. The leadership skills I have gained throughout high school will set me apart from my peers and the city itself. StuCo President is one of the greatest opportunities I have gotten in my life.

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