When students walk around the Palo Alto High School campus, they may notice the yellow posters that read “Become an ‘ASBbae'” and think, “What is ASB? Why should I care? Why should I run?”
This year is my first on ASB as junior class president, and as election season approaches, I’ve begun reflecting on my year on ASB and have realized that more students should try to experience ASB.
The Associated Student Body is a group of around 20 elected and appointed student officers who are responsible for representing the student body and putting on events like Spirit Week, dances and movie nights.
From an outside perspective, ASB may seem suitable to only certain types of students: Those who love dances, who are exceptionally social and who are the most spirited.
However, I am none of the above.
While those students will certainly be comfortable, they’re not the only ones who will be able to thrive in ASB.
I’m personally not extremely sociable nor spirited, nor have I ever been to a school dance until this year when I was on ASB and helped organize one. Yet I still feel welcome and have since found my place within ASB because of the wide range of topics and events that ASB covers.
I especially enjoyed the events and projects, which varied from meeting with Principal Kim Diorio to discuss stress, to voting on parking costs, to discussing the morality of a Sadie’s dance and to planning lunch-time activities.
“If they [students] want to contribute to this school in a tangible way, there’s no other organization on campus that’s as involved [as ASB],” Student Activities Director, and Adviser for ASB, Matthew Hall told me.
In addition, there’s freedom to pursue your own passions. People will oftentimes bring their ideas to class, and the rest of the group will help execute them. This year, I wanted to increase communication between ASB and the student body with suggestions boxes, so I brought the idea to the class. Thus, “Advice for ASB” was born.
Every perspective, that of an athlete, that of someone with a part-time job or that of someone who likes math, and every skill, whether it be a special talent or an ability to make flyers and videos, is valued. For example, even though I wasn’t able to contribute much in the yelling portion of Spirit Week, I worked behind the scenes, organizing practices and creating publicity videos. Since ASB is involved in such a diverse activities, there’s going to be at least one activity you’re uncomfortable with; however, uneasiness often brings new opportunities for growth. For me, that was Spirit Week since I hadn’t really been involved prior to this year. Going through the processes, I discovered that I had learned how to work with others better, plan more efficiently, become more confident in myself and meet both students and adults that I otherwise would never have met.
The worst thing that can happen from running for a position is a loss and a couple days of being upset.
“The only regret I have regarding ASB is waiting until senior year to be a part of it,” Senior Class Vice President Olivia Scola said. “I love being apart of ASB and strongly advise people to run. If I could re-do high school, I would have run every year.”
The potentials to make a difference and to grow as a person certainly outweigh the negatives of running for a position.
“Before I ran, I was unsure and hesitant of running,” Senior Class President Maya Ben Efraim said. “Consider this your push to run, its been the best experience.”