New Student Activities director Greer Stone is a former Paly Viking, graduating in 2007.
This is Stone’s first time serving as a Student Activities director, and he said the experience has been challenging but also rewarding and educational.
“Given the pandemic and distance learning, it’s a completely unprecedented time to be organizing student events and activities, so that has brought along a series of challenges,” Stone said. “But in a really short amount of time, ASB has been pretty active in getting a lot done. So, it’s challenging, but I think I feel like we’ve been very successful so far so it’s a good start to school here.”
ASB hosted Paly Welcome during the first week of school, starting off the morning with announcements and Paly Connect, which allowed students to try out activities like woodworking and baking.
Junior ASB Secretary Yubin Zhang said the events turned out well considering the limitations of YouTube Live and limited preparation time.
“We thought it was successful,” Zhang said. “But there definitely could be improvements such as better transparency with the students in terms of finding the Zoom links and preparing the time better so there’s not a huge block of time between events.”
ASB is discussing hosting social-distanced, in-person events to give students an opportunity to see each other, where they can bond and learn together.
Zhang said, “We’ve thought of a weekly event where there’s a Zoom hosted to do different activities every week like cooking or baking.”
Junior ASB Vice President Diana Narancic said visual events are in the works too.
“I really want to try to get in a drive-in movie theater going,” Narancic said. “It would be at Paly with a big screen and everyone can drive in and watch movies, but it would have to be social-distance friendly. Another idea we really want to try to figure out is doing e-game tournaments, for example, chess, Skribbl and Minecraft and to have prizes for those who win.”
Because of the ongoing pandemic, ASB will not be able to participate in the annual Stanford Parking fundraiser where student volunteers sell parking tickets for the Paly parking lot to Stanford Football fans. However, they plan on raising money in other ways.
“We usually get a lot of money from Stanford Parking, but I don’t think Stanford is having football games this year due to COVID,” Narancic said. “We are really interested in doing a mask-selling fundraiser to raise some ASB money because a lot of ASB money also goes to clubs.”
Club Day was held virtually during lunch on Sept. 16. With 96 club applications this year, ASB implemented an extended virtual lunch period for students to browse through clubs, which were on a master Google Slide deck.
Sophomore ASB Clubs Commissioner Johannah Seah said each slide represented one club, which included links to the club’s virtual poster board as well as a Zoom meeting for presidents and co-presidents to answer any questions. After the conclusion of the virtual club day, Seah said it was pretty successful but there was some room for improvement.
“A lot of people said it was easy to navigate (but) one thing that I did notice was that there was a lot of traffic because there was a very large amount of slides,” Seah said. “I think in the future if we do a club day online for second semester, we may want to find a way (to) publish Google Slides (in) a way which will be accessible to a really large audience without too much traffic or online congestion.”
To increase school spirit, ASB has planned themed dress-up days on social media.
“We definitely want to do virtual dress-up days where we would announce the theme for the week and post your outfit every day on your Instagram,” Narancic said. “We’re going to try to start doing this social media hashtag to post selfies in Paly gear on Fridays.”
Stone said ASB wants to keep students engaged by hosting these events.
“The overall theme and idea that we’re going with is trying to create a sense of normalcy in these very unprecedented times,” Stone said. “[This is] so that students can continue to feel a connection to their school peers and continue to be able to have that lightning spirit, even when we can’t be together on campus and in class together.”