As seen in the Nov. 26 issue
Jessica Lu, spotlight editor
Associated Student Body (ASB) adviser Mark Mead has changed the way in which commissioners run for office, an action following his trend of modifying certain ASB processes. He was inspired by a combination of analysis of the ASB Constitution as well as his own concerns about the class.
“I wanted to make sure that when I ran this election, it was as close as possible to what the Constitution says,” he said. “I also wanted to keep it as similar as it has been in the past, like similar process, similar forms to fill out [and] similar due dates.”
Mead’s process differs from previous years, in which most students who ran for commissioner could choose what specific title they wanted. According to Mead, students before determined what special skill set they could offer.
“They could say, ‘I want to be the commissioner of fill-in-the-blank,’” Mead explained.
The prior system, in which students did not run for a specific role, resulted in several commissioners joining the class, in numbers that were too high for Mead.
“For me right now, at my early stage in ASB, having fewer commissioners will make it easier to structure ASB,” he said. “I don’t want to have a lot of commissioners whose jobs I don’t understand.”
For the spring semester, Mead has decided upon five specific positions: Commissioner of Publicity, Audio Tech, Written Publications, Graphic Design and Video. Mead chose these to address his concerns about ASB’s current functions.
“This semester, we had to outsource a lot,” Mead said. “For example, when we had a pep rally on the front lawn, we’d have to go to KBEV. I think it is a bother for Mr. Carey and it is a bit hard for us to organize because we have to go through groups.”
Mead explained that he wants an Audio Tech Commissioner to keep track of equipment. For graphic design, video and other skills, ASB currently seeks the work of students in other classes and so Mead hopes to rid ASB of this inefficiency.
“I believe the installment of specific commissioner positions ensures that all of our fields are covered,” Headrow Treasurer Josh Schenk said. “For example, for Color Wars second semester, [we will need] specific commissioners for graphic design to make sure that our event is successful.”
As for Publicity Commissioner, Mead presented his objective for creating this role, by stating, “This is probably the most generic and hard to fill position. Ideally, [the commissioner] isn’t exactly the most verbal, outspoken person, but he or she would have ideas to fuel leadership.”
He hopes to use the position to make ASB in charge of its image.
“I think ASB should deal with its publicity on its own,” Mead said. “I’d like it to be somewhat humorous. Over time, I’d want the Publicity Commissioner to be in touch with the school and somehow appeal to the students. We could generate our own fun and informative style of commission.”
Because of these specific roles, the application process has changed. He considers it to be like applying for a job and so he is requiring a résumé. Qualifications like being in Debra Joseph’s graphic design class or Phil Chang’s Broadcast Journalism class should be included, he said.
The decision is made by Mead, an assistant principal and three incoming ASB members, and is made completely anonymously.
By using this process, Mead hopes to draw in students who genuinely care about the future of the school.
“[I want] anyone who cares about the school first,” he said. “I care about every kid I have now, but I can’t and don’t want to control the election process. I hope that all the kids understand that I expect them to care about others first and that it’s hard work.”
Mead hopes that, in general, students take the elections for ASB members in a serious manner.
“I hope the kids who vote actually care about the school,” he said. “I hope that everybody who votes, votes seriously and reads the candidate statements.”
Mead expressed that he hopes to see current and former ASB students run as well.
“The group that I’ve worked with [has] a lot of kids new to ASB,” he said. “We’ve learned a lot together and when you go through hard times you get closer. As for those [previously ineligible to run], I’m all about second chances. I have no problem; in fact, I hope to see them run.”
Senior Adam Steinberg plans to run for Senior President next semester now that he is permitted to do so.
“I feel I was unjustifiably restrained from running for a position on ASB this past semester,” he said. “I would love nothing more than to get our family back together and finish high school the way it should be.”
Sophomore Kate Ganon decided to run in her junior year instead of next semester.
“My whole schedule will change [if I join second semester],” Ganon said. “[But] I still want to be a part of ASB so I will [run] next year.”
During the spring, Mead hopes to use Google Drive to promote events. In general, with the help of the commissioners, he wants to prove to the student body that ASB does care about the school.
“I think that the changes Mr. Mead is carrying out are unexpected and new to many of our students,” Headrow President Leili Hashemi said. “But I believe we should go into the process with open minds. Mr. Mead came into ASB as an English teacher but he has worked so hard and adopted so many responsibilities that now I see him as ASB director. He’s done a great job so far and really puts a lot of passion into his work.”
Mead hopes the class can echo his belief in hard work.
“We don’t have a ton of fun in the room,” he said. “We like to create fun outside the room. We’re going to work hard and help the school because that’s what we do.”
As outlined in an email sent out last week, statements for both elections and commissioners are due Monday, Dec. 2.