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The Student Council
by Brendan O'Regan, St. Kevin's CBS, Arklow, Co. Wicklow.

This didn't start out as an action project at all. One of our teachers had taken on the setting up of a Students' Council as one of his post duties. Last year he had done some background research and this year set about getting the wheels of an election in motion. At the same myself and the other CSPE teacher in 3rd year were considering what action project to do this year for assessment purposes. So in conjunction with the organising teacher we got our 3rd years involved as much as possible in the election process, so that they would have plenty of material for their action project reports.

List of activities for all 3rd year students:
* listening to talk from organising teacher
* class discussion on usefulness and function of students' council
* advertising for and encouraging nominations from 3rd year and whole school
* checking and validating nomination papers after close of nominations
* involvement in poster campaign to encourage students to vote
* hearing and assessing campaign speeches from 3rd year candidates
* acting as polling clerks for whole school on voting day
* counting votes, tabulating and announcing results
* writing account of the process for the school newsletter and local paper.

List of activities for 3rd year election candidates:
* seeking required number of students to support their nomination
* organising their election campaign
* making posters in support of their own campaign
* making a campaign speech to their classmates and taking subsequent questions.

For all 3rd years and for candidates in particular there were plenty of activities. By spreading out most of the work on a team basis it was possible to involve all 3rd years at some level, some as counters, others as polling clerks etc. Poster making and campaigning were more inclined to be individual activities. With an eye to the Action Project Report we insisted that all 3rd years kept a diary of all the events they were involved in. At a later stage this will be the raw material from which they will fashion their final report. At the time of writing we haven't yet decided whether the Action Project will end with the establishment of the council (concluded by mid-term break), or whether the project will involve monitoring the council through its first school year, e.g. via the 3rd year Reps.