As the third quarter comes to a close, Associated Student Body (ASB) and Class Council elections are quickly approaching. ASB elections will take place March 26 and Class Council elections after that.
Each year, the school runs on a special assembly schedule to accommodate the speeches. Yet, many students don’t take the process seriously or carefully consider who to vote for. While ASB and Class Council elections may seem unimportant, in truth those elected have great influence over the school and students should take their votes more seriously.
One of Class Council’s major responsibilities is to fundraise for prom. This includes fundraisers, like the senior class selling concessions at recent basketball games. Choosing responsible Class Council members is crucial to having a successful prom, an integral part of many student’s high school experience.
“Class presidents are in charge of basically the events that surround their class so like the major one would be prom, but there’s a series of fundraisers that we do in order to get to prom,” Senior Class President John Lee said.
However, the responsibilities of the student leadership go far beyond just raising money for prom. ASB also helps to organize events like Sprint for Sports, which helped the athletic department to have an adequate budget this year. This means that all students involved in the sports program rely on ASB to continue to have financing for their athletics.
In addition to organizing these kinds of school-wide events, ASB members also more generally work to encourage school spirit. While this can seem like an ambiguous idea, in truth it is a big part of what creates an enjoyable high school experience.
“We offer services such as promoting school spirit, rallies, dances. All of those things are integral and part of the school spirit process,” John said.
These events help students to feel like they are a part of their high school and give them opportunities to take part in school wide events. However, past that, they also organize events to help integrate freshman into the school, the most important being freshman orientation. This event helps freshman understand the layout of the campus and how the school day works, in addition to introducing them to other students.
Because of the wide variety of roles students leaders play in the school, almost all students are affected by what they do. Neglecting to take the elections seriously can have serious repercussions on the way the school functions.
“We’re like a service provider and that’s really what holds the school together. So I would say we’re like the framework of the school,” Lee said.
However, in addition to the need for greater student interest, it also has to be understood that students only have so much information with which to decide who to vote for. Simply as an inescapable part of the system, there is only time for students to hear a short speech from each candidate. While this speech certainly helps to convey information, it can certainly seem to the broader student body as though they have little information with which to make an informed decision.
Because of this, beginning last year, the popular vote only counted for 44 percent in ASB elections. ASB members also vote, which counts for another 44 percent and a panel of teachers make up the final 13 percent.
This new system is effective at helping to mitigate the problem of the general student body’s lack of knowledge about each candidate.
“I favor it,” John said. “I personally believe that those who interact with ASB members and have a lot of experience deserve to choose who is elected as a Student Government Officer.”
Under the revised rules, 57 percent of the vote comes from sources with more direct knowledge of the candidates. This is essential in ensuring that the best people get the job.
The most important thing is that students take their role in voting seriously, but it is good that ASB changed their voting system to accommodate lack of knowledge students have about each candidate.