Student governance is all about students partaking in the operation of their school with students involved in decision making at various levels and in many fields. The SRC also acts as a forum for the students to voice their needs and opinions, as well as being an organizational body which runs various activities such as dances and mufti days.
The Student Representative Council (SRC) was established in 1960, making James Ruse one of the first schools in NSW with such a student council. The first meeting was conducted on 12 October 1960 and since then, the council has enabled the students of James Ruse Agricultural High School to have their ideas and opinions represented and to have an input into the running of the school. From its inception, the council has consisted of representatives from each class in the school (class captains and class vice captains) and more recently, representatives from each of the main extra-curricular groups.
In its early years, the council focussed more on discussion but by the late 1960s, the SRC's ability to influence the functioning of the school was increased when debates were introduced. In 1966, changes to the summer uniform of the then boys school were initiated by debate in the student council. It was argued the climate was too hot to be wearing long pants and the fabric used was far too heavy. The Student Council has also had a vast influence on sport around the school, playing an important role in the introduction of tennis courts, basketball courts, swimming and athletic carnivals, golf, squash and many other sporting activities in James Ruse Agricultural High School.
In recent years, the SRC has emerged as one of the key elements of James Ruse politics. The first student executive was elected in 1990 and each subsequent council has elected and been led by their own student executive, consisting of a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Minutes Secretary. Through the SRC, students have had a one-third representation on all the school's steering committees and have played a major role in decision-making related to the curriculum, building plans and allocation of resources. In 2000, the SRC was heavily involved in collecting and collating input from every student in the school for the 2005 Vision Statement and Management Plan and was able to ensure that the students' interests were accommodated.
The Student Representative Council of James Ruse Agricultural High School has a strong foundation from which it has developed as a democratic and influential student body. It provides students with an opportunity to participate in student politics and contribute to the functioning of the school, and it is hoped that this will continue under the guidance of future student leaders. If the past 45 years are any indication, students at James Ruse are more than capable of taking responsibility and making a difference and student politics at Ruse has a bright future.
JRAHS Student Representative Council has a constitution detailing procedure to be taken on any event where the SRC has jurisdiction.
Formerly, the SRC relied on a document written in 1993 but in 1999 and 2000, the old constitution was overhauled and a new, more rounded and comprehensive document produced. The final copy of the new constitution was completed in early February 2001 and was voted into being on the 8th of that month in the 2000 SRC's final session. However early in 2005 the SRC passed the motion to introduce new sub-committees which will deal with various aspects of the school and which will be supervised the Executive in power. The creation of such sub-committees meant the consitution had to be amended and so the final 2005 copy is now in place.