Students should utilize opportunities presented by ASB

The Associated Student Body (ASB) elections for 2015-2016 executive and class officer positions marks one of the most competitive set of races in recent years. With only two candidates running unopposed, for the positions of student body secretary and junior class president, the pursuit of student government positions is becoming noticeably more intense among Palo Alto High School students.

The Campanile applauds ASB for further legitimizing the name and role of the leadership body and increasing awareness of elections. In an effort to further improve the democratic voting process and range of options for students, our publication urges the students at Paly to take more initiative in both running for office and voting for the candidates they support, as well as upping their general participation in ASB events and services.

ASB has a significant presence on campus. The mixed group of elected and appointed officers from each grade level plans Spirit Week, Not in Our Schools Week, school dances, prom, Valgrams, forum events and more. On a more serious note, the student government team speaks with Principal Kim Diorio frequently to discuss climate and school policy and oversees a hefty budget. With the level of influence ASB possesses, it may come as a surprise that only a little over 30 percent of our entire student body voted in ASB elections last year.

Especially when our student government has made candidate information and voting extremely accessible. Students are provided with a website link for casting their ballots and can also vote during school hours. This year, ASB implemented an additional time slot for on-campus voting, with officers manning voting booths not only during lunch but also after school. Flyers posted around campus are plentiful and display a convenient Quick Response (QR) code for students who want to submit their votes through a quick smartphone scan.

Participating elections is just one of many ways the student body can improve its relationship and influence with the already eager-to-collaborate ASB. This year, the class reintroduced the “Advice for ASB,” a set of suggestions boxes located in the library, in front of the Student Activities Office and online through a Google form. For those who do not want to relay their ideas or opinions verbally, “Advice for ASB” provides an easy, anonymous and quick method for communication. For those who do enjoy sharing aloud, ASB held an open forum event and encourages students to speak at School Board meetings.

If students hope to grow their impact on the school, voting or running for ASB office is an easy and powerful first step.

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