AHS students vote for the ASB and Class Council Leaders
With the start of the month, it’s the start of election season. Here at American, students are working hard on their campaigns with ASB elections occurring earlier in the month followed by class council elections.
For many of the candidates, including those new to the school, being part of class council is an important way to create positive changes in the American High School community.
“I just wanted to impact the other kids at my school in some way. Then, I learned about student government and thought it would be a great opportunity to not only impact others but also have fun in the process,” explained candidate Aditya Gupta (9).
As students hope to get more involved in class council and ASB at school, there is much to prepare for. While students are able to see the finished products of campaign season on social media and throughout campus, candidates have worked hard behind the scenes.
“There’s a lot of planning before elections. First, you need to get the signatures and then get the letters of recommendation. Then you need to get your campaign photos, then edit [and] print them out at UPS. I got butcher paper from Amazon and a lot of paint from Michaels. It took really long, and I came early on Monday to set up,” said ASB VP candidate Azaan Sharif (11).
While the campaigning process can be exhausting, candidates were able to use it as a way to express their creativity.
“I knew that I wanted to have more unique posters this year and have more fun with my elections because this is my last campaigning season. I asked Mr. Iglesias if I could have him on my poster and he said ‘sure,’ so that was cool. I also did research on Pinterest and different websites to see different campaign ideas and talked to my friends and bounced ideas off of them,” explained ASB President candidate Bella Jiang (11).
Though the election process itself has flowed smoothly for most candidates, some of the candidates agree that there are ways the school can get more students to participate in the elections. What do candidates feel is the most effective way to get more involvement? It is more communication, according to Sharif.
“Teachers can tell during FLEX about future meetings… [and] tell [students] about [election] packets just so they know more about what [elections] are about,” suggested Sharif.
Some also feel that inclusivity during elections is something that students must work together for over the entire school year.
“To get students more involved, you need to build that community throughout the year and make them want to be involved at this school and be more aware. It’s a gradual process…It involves the entire school atmosphere and environment,” said Jiang.
Other candidates feel that there can be improvements to the voting procedures so that more students can get involved with elections.
“I think the election process is pretty good, except for the fact that voting only occurs during FLEX as it gives people [a smaller] time frame to cast their vote,” explained Gupta.
While many students agree that it would be more convenient to have voting time outside of FLEX, ASB advisor Mr. Fulton explains that this had led to complications in the past.
“We have examples of when voting was open for two days at a time [where] candidates walk[ed] around and ask[ed] people to vote with their phone or with their laptops. It should be a private ballot, so we thought if we just did it during the FLEX period, each student would have two hours total where they could have some time to cast a vote and be more individual and private,” explained Mr. Fulton.
With the elections coming to a close, Jiang emphasizes the importance of voting in elections.
“[It is important to be] voting for the right reasons and be aware of [candidates’] experience and what they want to do and how they behave, like their work ethic and what they have done for the school. I think a lot of people will just want to vote for their friends, but it’s a lot more than that. It’s about choosing a candidate that would fit the role well and actually work hard to improve this school,” said Jiang.
With the election season coming to a close, there is much to look forward to in the next school year with ASB elects: President Bella Jiang, Vice-President Anusha Nayak, and Chief Justice Jeffrey Wei. In addition, each class can count on being led by their class councils.
Class of 2021:
- President: Nicole Lai
- Vice President: Shreya Patil
- Senators: Benjamin Tarver, Veda Periwal
Class of 2022:
- President: Run-off between Samantha Leung and Samar Varma (results not yet announced at time of publication)
- Vice President: Run-off between Jimmy Ying and Rishi Matkar (results not yet announced at time of publication)
- Senators: Joshua Bascos, Harshini Karthikeyan
Class of 2023:
- President: Aditya Gupta
- Vice President: Keren Skariah
- Senators: Arjun Arora, Deeta Ganapathy