ASB officers face skepticism

By Sophie McGuinness

“I expect nothing from next year’s ASB officers because they have no power and never will,” said junior Jake Zwiebach of next year’s Associated Student Body (ASB) officers. “I want them to get me a girlfriend – can they do that?”

Zwiebach’s opinion reflected numerous students’ pessimism and even hostility toward the newly elected ASB officers, a challenge those officers plan to face during their terms. Junior McCall Hoyt was elected as President, junior Purna English as Vice President, sophomore Saam Maroofi as Secretary, and junior Nestor Teodoro as Treasurer.

Following the announcement of these election results, the ASB officers are expanding on their plans for next year and Tam students commented on the election with mixed feelings.

Some students questioned the depth and effectiveness of the ASB campaign, which primarily consisted of a series of one minute YouTube videos. In the videos, each candidate answered four questions like: “What activities are you involved in at Tam High?” and “What makes you want to be [whichever position] and why should people vote for you?”

This limited campaigning prompted some students to respond like junior Karsten Hansson, who said, “I don’t know why I should vote for one [candidate] or the other because I never heard anything about them. It doesn’t matter to anyone who gets elected, except to the people running.”

ASB Treasurer Teodoro said, “I think that, like every election, [the ASB election] is more based on popularity. To say the least, the day before the election, April 24th, I friended roughly 70 new ‘friends’ on Facebook. I added people who I had seen around Tam and said hello to but never really cared to get to know them better. I started campaigning a week before spring break. I think that I just got the word out there.”

For those who also felt uninformed by the campaign, here are some of the officers’ goals for next year and their basic job descriptions.

President Hoyt’s broad job description includes overseeing the Leadership class, running the weekly class and student senate meetings, and instilling positive change. She said in an electronic interview that she hopes to “bridge the gap between the Student Body and the Leadership class. I would love to see more school-wide spirit and participation. After all, each event that Leadership spearheads is to benefit the school and rally the student body!”

The other three officers agreed that connecting the student body with leadership is top on their list. Vice-President English hopes to accomplish this “by working to make Student Senate really help provide information for students. I think we all want to know what goes on behind the scenes at school, and Student Senate is the link between leadership and the rest of the school.” The Vice President’s job is to work with Student Senate, clubs, and day-to-day Leadership activities.

As Treasurer, Teodoro is in charge of “approving all the money flow that Leadership uses for events like rallies, staff vs. student games, supplies for the food drive, blood drive, shoe drive, etc.” When asked how he plans to distribute Leadership’s money next year he said, “I mean, I really don’t have an answer for that. Sorry.” Teodoro hopes to “improve Tam’s environment overall.”

Secretary Maroofi “takes meeting notes and has input on many school decisions, while working alongside other ASB officers.” He wants to boost Tam spirit: “My goal is to increase participation, thus increasing spirit.”

Hoyt is also very concerned about Tam Spirit. “The school ‘rah-rah’ is a huge aspect of people’s high school years, and I feel like Tam is lacking some. I just want people to get up on Fridays and truly know that there is a rally, be excited for the rally. Or when there is a sport event, finals or championship games, I want people to say, ‘No, I can’t do that because I have to go to the game! I can’t miss it!’”

Despite the officers’ aspirations, they are lacking the faith of many Tam students. Sophomore Dillon Schow said he expects “nothing” from the new ASB officers because “it’s the way it’s always been.”

Junior Chelsea Hayashi agreed. “I really don’t expect much from them because I don’t feel like they’ve done much in the past,” she said.

However, sophomore and current Staff Relations Commissioner for Leadership Jessica Whiteley said, “I think that [the new officers] are going to have a positive impact on the school because they all have individual personalities and their own ideas that can conform to a greater good.”

Junior Griffin Woods also had more positive feelings, saying, “I expect them to be the best they can be.”

The new officers have varying predictions for next year. Maroofi foresees difficulty in “being able to work alongside the administration’s guidelines when planning events.”

Nevertheless, Teodoro said that any challenge is, “Irrelevant. It’s Leadership. Any challenges I would face aren’t really challenges because I have Springer or Rice who can, and do, help.”

President Hoyt agreed. “The potential challenges don’t really resonate with me,” she said. “I know that if I cannot handle it as President, I can turn to my other ASB officers and always seek their advice!” She believes that the ongoing challenge is to “please the entire Student Body at Tam; pleasing everyone is difficult so I really hope that next year will be a turning point for Leadership so that the school really does see how much effort Leadership puts into making the school a better place.”

To understand the officers’ political standpoints, I asked them questions about current “hot-button” leadership issues like the Prom, school dances, and rallies; specifically the recent removal of the multi-cultural rally. Maroofi said that “the multi-cultural assembly was changed to the Spring Showcase because of its label of being multi-cultural. Having this label pressured students of other cultures to participate.”

“In this modern day society, I think it’s safe to say that most students don’t find interest in foreign cultures,” Teodoro claimed. “This year, we decided to spice it up a bit and change the name so that more people would come but still have performances that were cultural.”

Student government has hopefully taught students a bit about real-world politics, and according to the new officers, it will be improving the quality of life at Tam. “We have so many diverse opinions and ideas that help make Tam a school where everyone can find something they identify with. We are very lucky to have so many different people with good ideas of how to improve our school. And I want to make those ideas a reality so everyone can have a say,” said English.