The class system is a uniquely VMI manifestation of a student government system. The Class System, consisting of the General Committee, the Executive Committee, the Officer of the Guard Association, and the Rat Disciplinary Committee, has far greater responsibilities than student government systems at other colleges.
The General Committee
One of the three major agencies of student government is the General Committee, composed of officers of the three upper classes, elected by their classmates and a secretary chosen by the 1st class officers. This body enforces rules that govern the conduct of the Corps and grants increasing privileges to classes as they advance in seniority. The administration recognizes the General Committee and class officers as official representatives of the Corps and their separate classes, and it extends to them wide authority in self-government.
White Book - Cadet Government Procedures