Speaks at Student Council Conference

While most Union students enjoyed a day off Monday, Union High School’s Student Council members were hard at work hosting more than 650 visiting students from around the state.

Student Councils from 24 high schools filled the halls of Union High School Monday, Oct. 30, for Missouri’s South Central District Student Council Convention.

The South Central District of Missouri Association of Student Councils is a collection of all public and private middle, junior and senior high schools in the south central region. Each year, the association holds a convention at an elected high school.

UHS Guidance Counselor and Student Council Adviser Christy Baker said the event is a great opportunity for Union students. She said a core group of students put their “heart and soul” into the convention.

“They were really determined to host this event,” Christy Baker said. “It’s taking on a ton of work but it’s such a great event and it’s really beneficial for them to meet with other schools.”

The preparation for the convention has spanned since around this time last year when the Student Council was elected to host the event. Union Student Council President Brittany Baker, Christy Baker’s daughter, and Vice President Tristan Rybak headed the preparation for the convention.

She said she was excited to see how far underclass members could take the feedback.

“We’ve been preparing for this since this time last year,” Brittany Baker said. “It’s really cool to see how influential it can be for people. I’m looking forward to seeing how far they can take it.”

Throughout the day, several area high school students from Union, St. Clair, Washington and St. Francis Borgia Regional High School attended classes, bouncing ideas off of each other, and, in some cases, leading sessions.

UHS last hosted the convention in 2008. Since then, Christy Baker said the Student Council had tried to bring the convention to Union, but hadn’t been selected until now. She said, after that, the students were determined to try again.

The hosts are selected at the conventions where councils vie for votes and lobby throughout the event.

The preparation for the convention involved decorating every hallway and several major rooms at the high school and organizing a schedule of student speakers and other activities. Brittany Baker estimated the Student Council had cut out nearly 1,500 paper fish for their aquatic “Get Hooked on Leadership” theme, which could be seen throughout the halls of the high school.

The convention is more than just decorations, though, it is also a chance for students and faculty advisors to meet with other schools to discuss and brainstorm ideas they can bring back to their high schools.

Rybak said he was excited by the amount of participation from students at UHS. He said some of the feedback Union students were getting from other Student Councils was exciting.

“We have a lot of members out there teaching others, but they’re also learning things,” Rybak said.

A carnival was also held at the conventional to raise funds for Missouri’s Special Olympics.