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Richmond high school student councils unite to tackle challenges

Burnett secondary hosted a Table 38 event on the theme of belonging last month.
Richmond student council members meet every two months for Table 38 to share student-life problems and solutions.

Every two months, student council representatives come together to exchange solutions to school-related problems surrounding a specific theme.

In February, Burnett hosted the most recent Table38 event whose theme was "belonging."

Table 38 is an event that invites 10 to 15 student council delegates from all 10 high schools in the Richmond School District (SD38).

Spring Ma, co-president of student council at Burnett secondary, described the event as a safe gathering space for student leaders to find ways to help every student feel included.

“It’s almost like a bridge of schools coming together,” said Ma.

“You would think that there are events or opportunities for schools to cross-socialize and to work together, but there really isn’t except for Table 38.”

The school district has held the event for the past 20 years to make sure students get a chance to be heard.

Different high schools take on the role of the host and run the meetings with the help of school district staff.

Students take part in leadership skill development and community-building activities as well as further discussions on a particular topic or theme.

Ma told the Richmond News the event allowed her to meet other student leaders she wouldn’t have otherwise met to discuss topics and themes that are “personal and relatable to student life."

“These discussions and activities we take part in at Table 38 really build out leadership skills and help us grow as a person.”

Ma has been on student council since Grade 8 with an interest in planning and organizing events with the student committee.

She explained it was a great way to be more involved and create a positive impact on other students in the school.

“I felt like I was making a difference in the school by bringing these ideas that are like these student voices in the school and making their vision come to life. There is a lot of satisfaction in that.”

The greatest takeaway from Table38 events is the solutions and “multiple perspectives from other student leaders,” according to Ma.

She described the event as “refreshing,” where they can listen to another perspective on a solution that could help in a similar issue at her own school.

“I do think it is something that helps student council help each student to a better path and school experience,” said Ma.

Sarah Loat, district administrator for inclusive learning with SD38, said Table38 is a way for students to voice concerns and share solutions to build community in their schools.

“Having all student council members from across the district come together for the Table 38 event is important as it fosters student leadership, collaboration and the exchange of ideas, contributing to a more engaged and connected student community,” said Loat.

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