What It Takes to Be a PRC


Amelia Garcia, Staff Writer

PRCs are the public face of Student Government. They do everything from filming broadcast videos, to making morning announcements, to performing rally skits. Yet despite the stresses of their work overload, PRCs always seem to pull through.

PRC, a position in student government, stands for public relations commissioner. They are the main source of communication between the student body and student government.

PRCs are public officers, so it takes the right kind of person to fill this position. “[A PRC has] to be totally outgoing and not be afraid of peer pressure or whatever because a lot of times they are doing funny things or non-popular things,” said Heidi Schultz, Vista’s student government teacher.

Since PRCs are always doing public announcements or funny skits, it’s important that officers are comfortable in their own skin. “We have to completely be ourselves,” said PRC officer Sarah Manhart. Officers oftentimes have a quirky personality which they use to entertain their audience. “You have to be weird, you have to grab the attention of your audience, so you have to be super weird,” said Manhart.

Any position in student government has some sort of authority in school activities, but PRCs play a bigger role in public promotions and projects. “It’s fun to be in charge,” said Manhart. “A lot of these school events are put on and it’s because of us and the work we do. It’s just a cool feeling.”

The amount of publicity PRCs have can also be a benefit. “It’s fun that people know me that I don’t know,” Manhart said.

Being a PRC isn’t easy. It has its benefits, but at times it can be a very stressful job. For starters, PRCs, like any student government officer, must meet strict deadlines in a short amount of time. Officers must be diligent, hard-working, and willing to sacrifice hours to their position. “Whenever we have an event, we have to write the scripts, we have to make the playlists,” said Manhart, “[We] take hours to go through clean music [so it’s] tasteful for everyone.” It is apparent that PRCs should have good time-management skills.

Due to a PRC’s very public profile, it can be tiring to always be put in the spotlight. With all eyes on them from administration to students, if something goes wrong, everyone knows about it. “[While attempting a stunt] Sarah [Manhart] fell down on her bike at the first rally,” said PRC Jocelyn Silver. “People were laughing at her but it was fine. It was funny and we weren’t going to stress about it.”

“There is obviously always going to be negative outlooks and comments on things that we do, but you have to look at the positive side and be optimistic about it,” Silver said. “Just think that there are so many things that went right, you can’t only focus on what went wrong.”

A PRC’s publicity can also affect their presence online. With a heavy eye from administration, PRCs are cautious about what they post online. “The social media aspect is very different for us versus most other seniors,” said Silver. A post that relates more toward a peer may not be seen the same way from someone in administration. “Ms. Emmington follows my twitter,” said Silver. “So I can’t just go tweet whatever I want. You have to always keep in mind who’s looking at what you are doing [online].”

Not only is a PRC’s online presence being watched, but their physical presence as well. “Our whole life at school is very public and that makes it different from everyone else,” said Silver. With such a public profile on campus, PRCs need to be aware of their behaviors and actions. “There is a heavy eye on us,” said Manhart. “We have to follow all the rules and we have to be public. We are seniors and we are rowdy but we have to be respectful.”

Despite the stressful factors of a PRC position, Vista would not be the same without them. “Vista benefits because students see other students doing really cool stuff that might be traditionally seen as something an adult would do,” said Schultz. “When peers see peers leading peers it causes them to get a little more involved than if an adult was there.”

Studies have shown that peer leadership can be very beneficial for the student body. “‘The presence of peers makes adolescents and youth, but not adults, more likely to take risks’,” said Laurence Steinberg and Margo Gardner in an article from Scientific American. A peer who is shy may be more willing to join an activity if they see a fellow peer leading the activity than if they were to receive instruction from an adult. “PRCs are important because we are the people that bring our school together,” said Manhart.

Before running for office, it’s best to know a few things.

First, PRC elections are extremely competitive. “When we had the first meeting of who was going to run for PRC, about 15 people showed up and there are only six PRCs,” said Manhart. “It was [a] pretty tight, fierce competition.”

With so many people competing, it can be difficult to stand out from the rest of the candidates. So when running, it is important to make and keep good relations with people. “Getting promotions not only from your grade, communicating with other grades, underclassmen, people who are freshmen, sophomores [is very important],” said Silver.

Another way you can stick out is by making your campaign fun and memorable. “Make your campaign have a theme,” said Manhart. “For my theme, I did The Office. I felt like that stuck out. I dressed up like Dwight Schrute and walked around campus.”

Despite the overwhelming amount of candidates in the beginning of elections, candidates still have a good chance of winning if their peers drop out later in the race. “I was so nervous for the whole month leading up to it just because I’ve heard there’s 16 people running,” said Silver. “In the end I think it was ten [people] so only four [people] didn’t get it.”

No other student government officer can do what PRCs can. These officers have an immense amount of publicity, with students and administration always watching them. Being a PRC can be stressful but can also be very rewarding.

A bit of advice to future PRCs: “Just have fun with it because that’s what makes it all worth it in the end,” said Silver.