When 16-year-old Rodney Moore, who had been an official on the Student Advisory Council every year since sixth grade, lost the election for president this year, he was heartbroken, he said.

For five years Moore had participated in planning student activities and addressing student concerns. But this year, because he lost the election, he will serve as an adviser to the council. "I'll use my experience and insight to help the newcomers," he said.

Last month, the 1987 Student Advisory Council was sworn into office and took an oath to "represent the informed opinions and viewpoints of the student body . . . and act as advocates for students' rights and responsibilities."

The six elected officers from D.C. schools will organize student conferences and symposiums, and meet with school officials to discuss issues of student concern during the school year.

Among the issues they plan to address are extending school library hours, imposing a dress code, anti-academic peer pressure and drug abuse. "The student body can look forward to leaders who will stay aware of their concerns and be very responsive {to them}," said Nona Johnson, Student Activities Coordinator for the school system.

Since the Student Advisory Council was formed 10 years ago to provide a vehicle for students in D.C. public schools to "take their concerns all the way to the Board {of Education}," student leaders have not had much impact on policy changes, according to Johnson.

In order to effectively represent the student body, council officials said they must first find ways to increase student involvement. "We circulate polls, sponsor conventions, and mingle as much as possible," said Erica Banks, SAC president. She said that because most students are not interested in school policies, the SAC has to exert extra effort to reach them.

Students who want to voice a concern can meet with the student government organization at their schools, and the government officials will take it from there. "It involves a tedious process," said John Word, faculty adviser for the Advisory Council, "but it gives them {SAC members} an opportunity to live their leadership roles, and get involved in the decision-making process."

Officers of the Student Advisory Council are elected by their peers. In March, six voting delegates selected by student government advisers from each elementary, junior high, and high school in the district voted for regional representatives to the Student Advisory Council. The newly elected regional representatives then campaigned for city-wide office. During the last week in April, the voting delegates assembled to hear candidates' speeches and select this year's Student Advisory Council.

Each candidate had only one day to campaign among the delegates and give a speech. Moore, 1986-87 vice president, was absent on that day. He said that because he was not informed that the election date had been moved up, he had made arrangements to attend a student journalism conference and was at the conference on the day of the campaign. But Moore's portfolio, showing his experience in school government, was disseminated by his campaigning staff, and his name was officially placed on the ballot. Even in his absence, he ran a close race, losing by only two votes.

Moore said he took an interest in school politics five years age because he thought it would be a challenge. Other SAC members agreed.

"It was challenging to see if I could convince all these strangers to vote for me," said Mia Snyder, corresponding secretary. "It was particularly difficult reaching elementary school kids, because you have to speak on a level that they can understand."

The officers are: president, Erica Banks, Ballou; vice president, Michael Watts, Dunbar; recording secretary, Shannon Foster, Banneker; corresponding secretary, Mia Snyder, McKinley; treasurer, Angela Alsobrooks, Banneker; and parliamentarian, Robert Contee, Spingarn. The officers attended a national leadership conference this summer. Counselor Moore, School Without Walls and the student member of the Board of Education Kwanza Jones, Coolidge, also attended.

The officers attended the 51st Annual National Association of Student Councils National Conference in Buffalo where they met with about 2,000 other student leaders from across the United States, Europe and Africa. During the four-day conference, they attended workshops, seminars and lectures, exchanging ideas on how to improve their school governments.

Foster, who is also senior class president at Banneker, said that it wasn't until she compared the educational policies of school systems from around the country, that she gained a better appreciation of the Public School System in the District.

"People in other parts of the country . . . and other parts of the world look up to us," she said. "As a student leader I have to be a role model, and be careful of the way I carry myself."