ASB responds to November editorial

The Leadership class at Beverly Hills High School,  referred to many as ASB, does not include only the thirty-six members that plan school events and strive to foster a sense of unity at Beverly; it encompasses the entire school population. Our mission is to hear, understand and implement everyone’s ideas. We work to enrich each student’s high school experience by creating a welcoming, safe and fun campus environment. Our ultimate goal is to have everyone feel certain that every day at Beverly is well lived.
We acknowledge that as an organization we have fallen behind. Both our elected officials and the student body face many barriers: we lack an auditorium, main building and stable administration. Despite these challenges, we do our best to better the school. Getting input from more students, focusing on underrepresented groups, and working to strengthen the connection between students and administration are all things that we will improve.
In the face of the strain that mismanaged construction and finances have placed on us, we have not backed down; we push for every event, organization and student. Recently, the student government class has implemented a committee called “Unsolicited Acts of Kindness.” The goal of this committee is to remind each group on campus of their intrinsic value to the greater student body. We have also created other committees with a variety of purposes, ranging from planning events to improving pertinent school issues. The list of committees we currently have and each committee’s goal can now be found on the Beverly Hills High School website.
We highly encourage students, teachers and groups on campus to approach us and discuss changes we can execute for the betterment of the school. Starting second semester, we plan to do this by hosting open meetings at lunch every  Tuesday in V-18 in which every student and teacher can express any questions or concerns. We would also like to remind the student body that the student government class hosts an open forum. During every fifth period, anyone can sit in, ask questions and express concerns for any reason.
We detail the actions of every meeting by taking minutes. In an effort to be more transparent, our minutes can now be publicly accessed. Our intent in documenting our meetings is to ensure that all students are given the ability to educate themselves on how our student leadership class is spending time. In return for our efforts, we ask that when addressing a grievance, inquire as much possible information before doing so. A critical aspect of a valuable critique is credible information.
We ask this, for too often do we notice that false facts are presented and those falsehoods come to define the reputations of groups on campus. These falsehoods can lead to a broad loss of trust from many different sources on campus and as a result negatively impact the successes of these groups.
Just recently the school newspaper at the high school wrote an editorial titled,”We must expect more from ASB.” As a class, we commend the writers of this article because it was well-written and listed a variety of things that the Leadership class could improve on. Some of the suggestions included reaching out to students to get input on events, having meetings outside of our fifth period class, and making our minutes and agendas more accessible to the public. Immediately after the article was published, we got in contact with a KBEV producer and discussed how we could hold students running for class positions accountable for promises they make. He explained that KBEV would be able to host a moderated, live streamed debates for student governement candidates to discuss their positions and goals. Ideas from the student body like these are how we feel we can best address the complaints raised by Highlights.
However, it concerns us that Highlights, a well respected student publication, included facts in its editorial that obscure the truth.  The editorial mentioned that, “On a school level, ASB should be a link between administration and the students, addressing prevalent issues such as the overbearing parking lot rules.” The editorial board had no basis to make this accusation. The fact is that the leadership class had multiple discussions on how to make these rules more fair only to be constantly denied by administration. Truthfully, we felt betrayed that the organization in charge of keeping groups on campus in check had not approached any student government member to unearth factual details about our attempts to counter the parking lot dilemma. Even more alarming is that when corrected by our elected members, the editors-in-chief made no change to the article, deliberately excluding the facts.
Another example is when the editorial stated that, ”There is a common theme within ASB: those who have been elected to represent the student body have picked up the baton from previous years, staying in an ASB bubble and perpetuating the systematic status quo of mediocrity.” When 18 of the 36 members in student government are new to the class, we ask ourselves, how exactly does the student government class stay in our own bubble? We think that this claim is a stereotype of the Leadership class, not a true representation of our current demographics.
In the end, everything we do has the goal of bettering the experience of every student who goes to Beverly. We want each student to understand the limits of our power, and just as any government is checked and balanced, so is the student government at Beverly. We do our best to meet your needs and represent your wants. We challenge you to help us in our goal of changing the atmosphere at Beverly. What can you do to assist us in making a difference at our school?