By: Leland Bernstein
ASB elections are coming up! We here at the Smoke Signal have interviewed the candidates so you can find out more about the future leaders of your student body!
Smoke Signal: What experience have you had working with the student body and how will it show when you become president?
Connie Chen: I’ve had a lot of experience in both class office and in ASB. By being a part of Leadership 2 this year, I was given the opportunity to work with an amazing group of people who all brought their different personalities, views, and talents to the class. Working with them greatly helped me as both an officer and a leader; I’ve learned what it takes to run a successful team and will apply it to future endeavors.
SS: As ASB president what would you do to help Mission’s student body and the school?
CC: Before I was part of ASB, I was able to experience high school from a normal student’s perspective. I realize that though there are over two thousand students in this school, only some are willing to participate in the activities. I want to improve communications between ASB and the student body by involving students in our activities and giving them more opportunities to voice their opinions through Warrior Forums, council, online, suggestion boxes, etc. I want to make L2’s presence more visible in the school, and improve every single MSJ student’s high school experience. My main goal is to not only make next year memorable, but leave a lasting legacy that students can enjoy in years to come.
SS: As you’re running unopposed, tell us about yourself and why we should count on you to be Mission’s next ASB President.
CC: Well, as I mentioned before, I’ve had a lot of experience being a class officer and ASB officer. I am also efficient, reliable, and approachable, which I feel will make me an efficient leader. Serving the school is both my passion and my priority—I assure you that ASB is in good hands!
Vice President Candidates
Allison Tong and Nealay Vasavda
Smoke Signal: What previous experiences have you had working with the student body and how will it show if you’re elected VP?
Allison Tong: I’ve mainly worked with the junior class these past 3 years through Homecoming and organizing class fundraisers as the class treasurer. However, this year I became involved with Link Crew as one of the “Top Dog” or head leaders and being a member of the L2 class, which has let me interact with the entire student body through school-wide events that we host. My experience with communicating with the student body has shown me the different perspectives of people on our campus, making it easier to incorporate their opinions into the decisions made by the ASB officers.
Nealay Vasavda: Aside from being 1 of 11 juniors in Leadership II this year, I am also a board member in MSJ Interact for the Class of 2012 and a Link Crew Leader. I am also an active member on the school’s cross country and track & field teams. All four of these positions have allowed me to reach out to people from throughout the student body and get people to be more involved in their school — whether it be ASB events or Interact events. Due to the fact that I already have experience in the main duties of ASB VP (working with clubs and lockers), I would be able to quickly pick up everything else I need to learn if elected into office. I would be able to get directly to work and make changes as early as the beginning of the school year.
SS: This year’s ASB team has been very effective and productive with their time, what will you do in office for the student body?
AT: If elected VP, I would like to encourage more of the student body to participate and become involved in school activities by possibly offering service learning hours to those who volunteer to help at school events. I would also make sure that the student body continues to have a voice in the changes they want to see in the school by keeping the Warrior Forum and starting other ways of communication for students to voice their opinions. Also, since the position requires organizing and keeping track of all the clubs on campus, I would make sure to be fair to all the clubs regardless of their member size.
NV: I already have some plans for the 2011-2012 school year. One such idea is to implement a $2 locker fee during orientation in order to fix and/or replace old, unusable lockers. With over 2,000 students getting lockers each year, a small $2 fee can help eliminate some of the worst lockers on campus. I also plan on making changes to the hectic way clubs are passed and operate by editing the club-forming packet. We currently have an excess amount of clubs on campus, and I plan on making the process to getting to present at Council to be slightly more challenging so only the serious clubs can be passed.
SS: Tell us about yourself and why you feel best qualified for the position.
AT: I’m outgoing, dedicated, and most of all open-minded. I’m willing to listen to other people’s opinions and suggestions even if I don’t agree because I know that I can learn from them. I believe that leadership qualities can be gained through experience which I definitely have from being ASB President at Hopkins to being the current junior class treasurer and Student Brand Manager for Chipotle this year. I would just like to thank everyone who has supported me so far and I promise to remain dedicated to our school!
NV: I feel like I am the ideal candidate for ASB Vice President because I am genuinely proud to be a student at MSJHS. Many people often say that they “don’t like Mission” or “want to go to another school” and it is my goal to change those people’s minds. MSJ has quite frankly changed my life and I want to be able to give back to the school in every way I can. I proudly wear that green and white uniform when I run for the school’s cross country and track & field teams, and I want to be able to make the entire student body be proud to say, “Yes, I go to Mission San Jose High School.”
Grace Lee and Monica Liu
Smoke Signal: What experience have you had working with the student body and how will it show if you’re elected secretary?
Grace Lee: I was the student body president in Hopkins, and the freshman class president: experiences like these have edified me into a better leader. Being on the girls’ basketball team has also taught me countless things about being able to work with others to come together as a team, and this is a crucial skill that I will undoubtedly need in order to work with the other four ASB officers, Mr. Breazeale, and the leadership two class. I actually believe that being part of ASB is just like being on the basketball team. You’re only strong as your weakest link, and the four other ASB officers are basically the teammates that you have to work with in order to accomplish and succeed.
Monica Liu: I have gained a lot of experience through the years as the current Sophomore Class Secretary, Freshmen Class Secretary last year, and as an officer since the 5th grade. I have planned many events so I know how to deal with the small details that are important in creating a successful event. As class secretary for the past two years, I’ve been able to build upon my skills in organizing, planning events, and understanding what the student body wants. And as ASB Secretary, I’ll be able to apply that to the school-wide events.
SS: Tell us about yourself and why you feel best qualified for this position.
GL: I believe that you should vote for me because I’m open-minded, hard-working, and responsible: three of the most important traits in which I believe are essential to being an ASB officer. Not only do I have the willingness and dedication to do the job, but I also have a great deal of experience to qualify. I’m very open and friendly as well; I love to meet new people and to make new friends.
These are the qualities in which I uphold that I believe are crucial to being the ASB secretary.
ML: I am really dedicated to this school and all the responsibilities that I would have as an ASB Secretary. This is something that I have always wanted to be a part of ever since I was young. Over these past years, I feel that I have grown as a leader. I know what is expected of me as an officer and even though the specific duties are different from class officer duties, the way to approach a problem is the same. I feel that I can bring what I learned from my years as officer to ASB.
Smoke Signal: What previous experience have you had working with the student body and how will it show when you become treasurer?
Justin Chew: Well, in addition to working in the student store moderately this year, I’m also the Junior class secretary, a member of the Campus Beautification Sub-committee of L2, and the Technology Advisory Committee Student Representative. If elected ASB Treasurer, I will definitely be putting 110% effort into fulfilling my duties by running the student store and dealing with our school’s money.
SS: Handling the large sums of money that ASB collects is a tough job, how will you ensure that the money gets to where it needs to be?
JC: Mark Twain once said, ‘The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.’ As ASB Treasurer, I plan to make sure I consider the ideas of my fellow ASBOs, L2 students, and last but not least, the student body that makes up our school!
SS: As you’re running unopposed, tell us about yourself and why we’re trusting you with our money?
JC: Even if I was opposed, I still would try my best to become our next ASB Treasurer because I see myself as a workaholic in some ways. When people need me, I try my best to do my part and help out. That being said, you should trust me with our school’s money because I’m reliable and someone who would put others before himself.
Activities Coordinator Candidates
Ilene Tsao and Shannon Choi
Smoke Signal: What previous experiences have you had working with the student body and how will it show if you’re elected AC?
Ilene Tsao: I’m currently in the Leadership 2 class and I am also the captain of the varsity girls’ basketball team so I know what it takes to be a leader and how to execute the duties of a leader.
Shannon Choi: Well a lot of people don’t know this, but there’s actually an Activities team in L2 and we all work together to get that activity up and running! Being the only junior in A-Team, I’ve learned so much this semester about Friday Activities: they’re so much harder to plan then it seems! I know all the aspects we have to plan, everything that can go wrong, what we can improve, etc. I think my prior experience as sophomore class secretary has really given me insight on how to work and present oneself as an officer and really get things accomplished!
SS: This year’s Friday Activities and assemblies have been extremely popular with the student body. Do you have any plans for next year’s?
IT: I plan on doing some Friday activities in the gymnasium like the “bald for bucks” one during the winter to save the student body from the freezing winter weather, and I also want to ask the student body about what they want to see instead of L2 making all the decisions.
SC: I definitely want to get more teachers involved in our Friday Activities! Students get a lot of joy (in a loving way) out of embarrassing their favorite teachers and vice versa!
SS: Tell us about yourself and why you feel best qualified for the position.
IT: As AC I would be very open to everyone’s ideas and I am not afraid to embarrass myself, which is important in order to be an AC. On top of that, an ASB officer must dedicate a lot of time to the school and I am prepared to do that!
SC: Well anyone can say they have an outgoing personality, but I actually have the experience to back it up. Also I’m never afraid of embarrassing myself on stage. It happens way too often anyway.
By: Leland Bernstein