National Student Council Bylaws

Section 1.1: Pathways for Membership

  • Membership Generally:
    • NSC shall be comprised of ten (10) elected Officers and twenty-five to twenty-eight (25-28) State Representatives.
  • Officer Pathway:
    • Students attending a school with active NASC membership in good standing may submit applications to serve as one of the ten (10) elected officers of the NSC.
    • An NASSP panel will select four (4) finalist candidates for each office.
    • Only one candidate per office will be permitted from each NASC member council with a maximum of ten (10) candidates for ten (10) officer positions per NASC member council.
    • Each NASC member council will be eligible to cast one (1) vote per office.
  • State Representative Pathway:
    • Every other year as further described in this Section 1.1(3), each State and U.S. Territory Student Council Association shall nominate two (2) candidates to serve as NSC State Representatives.
    • In the case where a state does not have an active State Student Council Association or the State Student Council Association elects not to participate, nomination rights will be granted to the NASSP state affiliate association for principals.
    • States and U.S. Territories are grouped strategically, with Group 1 nominating representatives in even years and Group 2 in odd years.
    • Each state and U.S. Territory in the group nominates two (2) candidates on or before the nomination’s deadline, and an NASSP panel selects one (1) representative from each state for a total of twenty-five to twenty-eight (25—28) representatives each year.

Section 1.2: Eligibility Criteria

  • High School-level officer candidates and State Representative nominees must meet the following criteria:
    • Must be a rising Junior or Senior in high school.
    • Must attend a school with an active NASC membership.
    • Must have been an active member of their school’s student council for at least two years.
    • Must not hold or serve in any position on their state student council association’s executive board or committee or serve as a state or district/regional officer.
    • Must be able to travel alone to Washington, D.C. or other major U.S. cities.
    • Must commit to participating in nine (9) monthly virtual meetings and one (1) in-person gathering.
  • Middle-level officer candidates must meet the following criteria:
    • Must be a rising seventh or eighth grader in middle school.
    • Must attend a school with an active NASC membership.
    • Must have been an active member of their school’s student council for at least one year.
    • Must not hold or serve in any position on their state student council association’s executive board or committee or serve as a state or district/regional officer.
    • Must commit to participating in nine (9) monthly virtual meetings and one (1) in-person gathering.

Section 1.3: State Groupings

  • States are strategically sorted into two groups to ensure balanced representation across all areas of the country and territories:
    • Group 1 will nominate students for NSC State Representatives in even years: CT, MD, ME, MS, NC, GA, IL, NY, OH, KY, RI, VT, WI, AK, CA, ND, IA, ID, NM, KS, OK, LA, UT, WA, WY, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands
    • Group 2 will nominate students for NSC State Representatives in odd years: AL, MI, DE, FL, NH, NJ, IN, PA, MA, SC, TN, VA, WV, AR, AZ, CO, MN, MO, MT, NE, HI, NV, OR, SD, TX, DC, Guam, American Samoa

Section 2.1: High school-level NSC Officers 

  • The NSC shall have six (6) elected high school-level officer positions:
    • President:  Serves as the principal executive officer, overseeing the general conduct and operations, chairing meetings, and liaising with NASC/NASSP.
    • Vice President of Leadership Development: Focuses on cultivating leadership skills, developing student leadership workshops, conferences, programs, and other initiatives.
    • Vice President of Service: Responsible for planning and executing nationwide community service projects and initiatives. Builds partnerships with service or issue-based organizations for impactful service projects.
    • Vice President of Membership: Serves as an adviser to the NASC/NASSP membership department, coordinating campaigns to expand NASC’s reach and impact through recruitment and retention.
    • Vice President of Communications: Serves as an adviser to the NASC/NASSP communications and marketing departments, coordinating efforts for more impactful communication strategies.
    • Secretary: Manages the organization’s record-keeping, including meeting minutes, agendas, and correspondence.

Section 2.2: Middle-level NSC Officers

  • The NSC shall have four (4) elected middle level officer positions:
    • Junior Vice President of Leadership Development: Assists the Vice President of Leadership Development in cultivating leadership skills, developing student leadership workshops, conferences, programs, and other initiatives. Serve as a representative voice for middle-level students.
    • Junior Vice President of Service: Assists the Vice President of Service in planning and executing nationwide community service projects and initiatives. Builds partnerships with service or issue-based organizations for impactful service projects. Serve as a representative voice for middle-level students.
    • Junior Vice President of Membership: Serves as an adviser to the NASC/NASSP membership department. Assists the Vice President of Membership in coordinating campaigns to expand NASC’s reach and impact through recruitment and retention. Serve as a representative voice for middle-level students.
    • Junior Vice President of Communications: Serves as an adviser to the NASC/NASSP communications and marketing departments. Assists the Vice President of Membership in coordinating efforts for more impactful communication strategies. Serve as a representative voice for middle-level students.

Section 2.3: NSC State Representatives 

  • NSC State Representatives serve as the voice of their respective states or territories, bringing unique perspectives and concerns to the national level. State Representatives serve as a crucial link between NASC/NASSP and their respective State Student Council Associations. 

Section 2.4: NSC Advisers 

  • Two professional staff members from the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) will be appointed to serve as the official NSC advisers. Their role will be to facilitate the smooth functioning and operations of the NSC, ensuring that the objectives and actions of the council align with its mission, vision, and governing bylaws.
  • While the NSC operates with autonomy in its decision-making, the NSC advisers are vested with the right to veto any decision or action they deem not in alignment with the NSC’s mission, vision, or bylaws. Additionally, they can make recommendations and provide direction to the NSC, ensuring that its activities and initiatives remain productive and beneficial for the broader student community.
  • The NSC advisers will report directly to NASSP staff, providing regular updates on the activities, achievements, and challenges faced by the NSC. They will also present an annual report outlining the NSC’s performance, member engagement, and future plans.

Section 3.1: NSC Officer Election

  • Candidate Selection:
    • Students attending a school with active NASC membership in good standing may submit applications to serve as one of the ten (10) elected officers of the NSC.
    • An NASSP panel will select four (4) finalist candidates for each office who will be placed on the ballot and elected by a general vote of NASC member councils.
    • Only one candidate per office will be permitted from each NASC member council with a maximum of ten (10) candidates for ten (10) officer positions per NASC member council.
  • Campaign Guidelines:
    • Final candidates must adhere to a $25 campaign spending limit, and various ethical and material requirements, as specified in NASSP guidelines posted on NASC’s website at the start of each campaign season.
  • Voting Mechanism:
    • Each NASC-affiliated school in good standing is granted one (1) vote per officer position.
    • Candidates receiving the highest total number of votes for each office will be declared the winners.
    • Runoff elections will be held only in the case of a tied vote.

Section 3.2: NSC Officer Campaign Regulations 

  • Campaigning Ethics
    • Candidates and their supporters shall maintain high ethical standards, focusing on promoting their candidate rather than disparaging opponents.
    • Candidates shall not include in campaigning materials any content that publicly disparages or defames NSC, NASC, or NASSP or that undermines the mission or values of the organization.
    • Candidates shall not include in campaigning materials any content that could be said to amount to discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected classification.
    • Candidates shall not include in campaigning materials any content that encourages the illegal use of alcohol or drugs.
    • NASSP may disqualify candidates based on NASSP’s reasoned interpretation that any particular candidate fails to adhere to this ethical standard.

Section 3.2: Required Materials 

  • Candidates must submit a Candidate Application, a portrait-style image, a campaign flyer, and a 1–2-minute campaign video following guidelines provided by NASSP.

Section 3.3: Social Media 

  • If a candidate wishes to share campaign materials via social media, the candidate shall first submit campaign materials to NASSP for review and approval, based on the NSC Officer Campaign Regulations described in Section 3.2.
  • Approved campaign materials shall be housed on the NSC Officer Elections Website with a unique link to each candidate’s file.
  • Candidates may only disseminate approved campaign materials on social media via the NSC Officer Elections Website link. Candidates are prohibited from sharing campaign material via social media outside of the process described in this Section 3.2(3).

Section 3.5: Campaign Violations

  • Any violations of campaign rules should be reported immediately to [email protected] with supporting evidence.
  • NSC Advisers and NASSP staff will review and potentially instigate disciplinary actions, which may include disqualification.
  • Any determinations regarding disciplinary actions shall be rendered in NASSP’s sole discretion.

Section 3.3: NSC State Representatives

  • Nomination:
    • Each State and U.S. Territory Student Council Association, as recognized by the National Association of State Student Council Executive Directors, in the designated group will submit two (2) candidates for State Representative on or before the nomination’s deadline. 
  • Selection:
    • An NASSP panel will select one (1) State Representative from the candidates nominated by each state in the designated group.

Section 3.4: Filling Vacancies

  • Officer Vacancies
    • A vacancy in the office of president will be filled by the Vice President of Leadership Development.
    • Any officer vacancy, other than the office of the president, with three (3) months or more remaining in of the term remaining shall be filled by special election voted on by the NSC officers and State Representatives.
    • The special election will be held at the next regular NSC meeting following the vacancy, at which time any current member of the NSC may submit their name for consideration.
    • The candidate receiving the highest number of votes, whether or not those votes constitute a majority, will be the winner.
    • Any officer vacancy, other than the office of president, with less than three (3) months of the term remaining will not be filled.
  • State Representative Vacancy
    • A State Representative vacancy with three (3) months or more of the term remaining will be filled by special appointment by the Executive Director of the respective state student council association.
    • Any State Representative vacancy with less than three (3) months of the term remaining will not be filled.

Section 4.1: Removal from Position

  • Any NSC Officer or State Representative may be removed from their position for one (1) or more of the following reasons:
    • Exceeding two (2) unexcused absences from NSC meetings and events. Violations of NASC/NASSP ethical standards.
    • Violations of the student’s respective district, school, or student council handbook or policies.
    • Engaging in criminal conduct or being convicted of a crime.
    • Committing acts of sexual harassment or any form of discriminatory harassment, including but not limited to racial, religious, sexual orientation, or gender-based harassment.
    • Engaging in conduct that publicly disparages or defames NSC, NASC, or NASSP or that undermines the mission or values of the organizations.
    • Consuming alcohol or using illegal substances during any NSC event, irrespective of the legal age in the hosting location.
    • Unauthorized absence from accommodations, such as sneaking out of the hotel room during NSC events.
    • Displaying any form of misconduct or behavior unbecoming of an NSC representative that negatively impacts the reputation or functioning of the NSC, NASC, or NASSP.
    • Violating any other established guidelines or expectations set forth by the NSC leadership, NSC Advisers, or NASSP staff.

In cases where an infraction is ambiguous, the NSC advisers, in consultation with NASSP staff, shall have the discretion to determine the appropriate course of action.  

NASSP reserves the right to amend these bylaws at any time for any reason. 


This document is intended to provide a general overview of the rules and regulations governing the National Student Council. NASSP reserves the right to provide clarification and/ or revisions as needed.

*Student Council is used globally and is inclusive of all student council/government organizations in NASC member schools.

UPDATED DECEMBER 3, 2023.