After determined and hardworking students spend much of March campaigning for themselves by delivering speeches, writing statements and forming personal connections by walking around campus pitching to whoever will listen, Associated Student Body (ASB) election results are either devastating or rewarding. For nine students, the results had the latter effect.
Junior Vivian Feng, member of The Campanile, was elected ASB president; current Junior Vice President Ben Rapperport will take on the role of ASB vice president; Riya Kumar will be the next ASB treasurer; David Foster is to be senior president and will work closely with Annie Tsui, who was elected senior vice president; Zoe Silver and Frida Rivera will lead the Class of 2020 as junior president and vice president, respectively; current Freshman President Adora Zheng will be the sophomore president.
With the election process behind them, the newly elected officers are now able to look ahead and start thinking about ways to follow through with their campaign promises. Zheng has begun to set goals for her presidency next year.
“My main goal is to make sure that anyone who has ideas or wants to contribute knows how to, or has a way to get their ideas through, or if anyone wants to participate in anything, that they know that there’s always a way for them to,” Zheng said.
Zheng also hopes to take her experience with leading the class this year and use it to make next year even better.
“This year we went into Spirit Week not really knowing what to expect, so I think having one year under our belt is going to help us a lot next year,” Zheng said. “I think it’ll help me and everyone else in our grade to kind of unify a little more, and it’ll make everything a lot more fun to have a little experience.”
Foster and Tsui are prepared to meet the sophomores with fierce competition during Spirit Week; they are both looking forward to leading the senior class to what they hope will be a victory.
“It’s our senior year, so we can really go all out for Spirit Week, which I’m really excited to do,” Tsui said. “Our class has done really well with Spirit Week these past few years and I’m really excited to take it home.”
Both Tsui and Foster are looking forward to collaborating with each other — according to Tsui, they have already been discussing their leadership plans for next year.
In addition to increasing class spirit, Tsui and Foster plan on creating more ways to showcase Paly talent through concerts on the quad like Quadglobe and Quadchella, two student music festivals held during lunch this year, and expanding on Paly’s Got Talent, according to Tsui. Foster said he also hopes to create more grade-wide bonding events for the class of 2019.
As treasurer, Kumar wants to aid with the process of creating fun events for the entire school, like the talent showcases Tsui and Foster wish to continue.
“Paly can be intense at some times, and I think that ASB does a great job of creating events that create a fun side to our high school. I would like to possibly team up with clubs and other groups on campus to create events that can further this goal in a way that’s cost effective. I believe that there are so many ways to do this, and I’m looking forward to coming up with some diverse ideas with ASB, and our student body in general.”
Silver also has goals beyond just her new role — she hopes to improve ASB as a whole and work toward supporting the entire student body.
“I would like to see us host events for a variety of different people and for Spirit Week to be inclusive to everyone. I can’t wait to see our grade flourish as upperclassmen. I think all of us have the potential to be great leaders and I look forward to seeing everyone welcome the incoming freshman, step up into leadership roles and, of course, improve spirit during Spirit Week.”
Rivera, who will be working with Silver, also aims to improve unity amongst her peers.
“This is a pretty basic goal, but just more class unity, especially during Spirit Week,” Rivera said. “Having more people be involved.”
In order to gain the votes needed to be in the position to make these plans, these students put in an enormous amount of work, as did all the other candidates, according to Foster. However, Kumar emphasizes what a positive experience campaigning was, despite the stress it induced.
“The election was definitely a lot of hard work, but it was also so much fun,” Kumar said in an email. “I felt really energized after campaigning in person and meeting people who were enthusiastic about my campaign.”
Despite having a positive experience campaigning, many newly elected officers are glad to have the renewed sense of normalcy.
“It is a relief to be done, because it’s a tiring two weeks, and now I have a lot more time to focus on schoolwork and my plans for next year,” Rapperport said.
According to Foster, a unique aspect of this year’s election race is that he was the only candidate running unopposed.
“It’s always better to have true elections with multiple candidates, so it’s good that this year we only had one person running unopposed — in past years, we’ve had more,” Foster said.
Though this election season was good in that there weren’t many candidates running unopposed, there were some positions that did not have any candidates at all: ASB Secretary and Sophomore Vice President.
After regular election results came out and it was announced that these positions were free, students stepped up to the plate. The candidates then ran against each other in a special election, the results of which were finalized last Friday: freshman Charlize Nguyen will be the new ASB Secretary and Avantika Singh will serve as sophomore vice president next year.
The rest of the positions of ASB are to be determined be appointed. Applications to be considered for the appointed positions are due Monday, April 23 at 3:30 p.m. and should be delivered to room P8.