ASB leaders need to lead from the front

Officers not honoring all of their campaign promises

Sierra Williams, Staff Reporter

Associated Student Body (ASB) is the high school equivalent of our U.S. government. We expect them to spend our ASB funds on things that we as students want. Just as we expect Donald Trump make decisions in the best interest of our country, ideally we want our ASB leaders to be better than Trump, and that shouldn’t take much.

But we are only three months into the school year and some ASB leaders have already checked out of their jobs. The Journal has opinions, both good and bad, about how Cleveland’s ASB is performing. We’ve seen improvement in some areas, but our school leaders can still do more.

The first thing we need to answer is who is at fault when there is no fun in a school function. Is it ASB’s for poor planning or the students for not making the most of the opportunity?

Along with spending our money in the right places, ASB leaders are responsible for planning, organizing and participating in activities such as dances, spirit weeks and fundraisers, along with a host of other school-related events. In the hope of holding members more accountable, mandatory meetings were put in place.

“Members are required to attend mandatory meetings after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said junior cabinet member Andrew Manzano. “This is for us to actually do the work we’re planning during lunch and advisory.”

But are the meetings actually working? Some ASB members shared that there are some student leaders who rarely attend these meetings, but there are no repercussions despite them being mandatory. If no one is holding these elected officials accountable, then how can we, as their constituents, expect them to work for us?

It is very frustrating that members like our ASB president or some of the class officers don’t attend the after school meetings. The ASB president is the face of Cleveland. They are in charge of overseeing the class officers as well as leading the executive board. If our leaders aren’t showing up then why should we?

For not holding themselves to a higher standard, the Journal gives ASB a C-.

Supporting events
It is not uncommon to hear ASB members bashing their own events. During the Homecoming dance, Journal staff members spotted two ASB leaders at a restaurant in the International District – before the dance had ended. Is it realistic to expect students to want to attend events when their elected leaders have no faith in what they planned?

Our editorial board believes that you get out what you put in. If students actually put in the effort to show school spirit and have a good time, they could easily have more fun at dances and assemblies. A few students think ASB is doing much better than in previous years.

“I can see lots more involvement, especially in the senior class,” said Abel Franada, who is a senior. “I wish they would find a way to hype things up more. The advertising isn’t very good.”

Indeed, ASB could do a lot more in terms of promoting their own events, and this has to move beyond just posters and word-of-mouth from officers … especially when those words are, “I’m not going.”

But there are some students, like freshman Lana Saephanh, who are enjoying the activities ASB has planned.

“I really liked the days for Spirit Week,” she said. “[ASB] made it more fun to participate. I would grade it an A-.”

Saephanh, who was crowned Homecoming Lady, said not many people came to the dance, but it was still fun for her, and her friends had a good time.

While the dances are always hit or miss, assemblies should not be. The year started out with a bang, with a solid Back-to-School assembly, but the Homecoming rally was a fail.

We would like to see ASB members in charge of the assemblies running through the stands and encouraging students to stop acting like they’re too cool or too shy to participate. If students see our ASB leaders going all out with their school spirit, they will follow suit.

“I would grade [ASB] a B-,” said Eva Sukphon-DeVita, a senior. “They seem more dedicated, but it’s so repetitive. We do the same things every year, and they don’t really ask the student body what else they would want to see.”

Bryan Gordon, who is on his fourth year leading ASB, said he can see an increase in spirit, especially in the senior class.

“We’ve never measured the amount of spirit in the past, but I can definitely feel a difference in the spirit,” Gordon said. “There is more spirit among all grade levels.”

Sukphon-DeVita said the uptick in spirit for the senior class could be because it’s their last year of high school.

“It might just be because … we’re excited to get out of here,” she said. “It’s still nice to see it increase over the past four years.”

Final grade
It’s safe to say our ASB is going better than the current U.S. government, but based on the assemblies, the Homecoming dance and Spirit Week, The Journal gives our ASB a C+.

We feel ASB is doing what they need to do, but not anything special. We love seeing our elected officials in the crowd at sporting events, leading cheers and hyping up the crowd, and things like candy grams and back-to-school packages were a good way to unite the student body. Homecoming Spirit Week was definitely the best we’ve seen in a while, but advertising the dress-up days an entire week before the days actually started was not the most insightful plan. Maybe if all the leaders had been at the mandatory planning meetings, someone would have caught that.