Smoke Signal: What are some things you’d like to accomplish as ASB Treasurer in the upcoming years?
Michelle Gore: I want to be able to enhance the experience of the student body and everyone here at MSJ so that everyone can enjoy their new school year. And for the student store, I want to lower the prices, yet maximize the profits by finding more popular food items, and by finding healthier options for people to buy.
SS: How do you propose to maximize the profit while decreasing the price?
MG: Like I said before [at the ASB candidate debates], I want to talk to local businesses and local restaurants to find more food options for the student store. I want to increase the variety of the products and include more healthy options, while also decreasing the prices so that more students are attracted to coming to buy from the Student Store.
SS: What do you think makes you stand out from the other candidate?
MG: I would say definitely my extended experience. I’ve been class treasurer for two years now, so I think that speaks for itself. I’ve learned a lot of things from being class treasurer. I’m familiar with the duties of ASB Treasurer, such as processing requisition forms and expenditure requests. I’m also publicity officer for LEO club and Phoenix magazine, and that has allowed me to connect with the student body and reach out to them, so I’ve learned a lot from that.
SS: What is the most difficult obstacle that you’ve encountered, and how did you handle it?
MG: I used to be a really shy person, and I’m not really good at talking with people and speaking in front of crowds. So in eighth grade, I decided to throw myself out there for all these leadership positions to hopefully improve my personality and be able to open up to people. So I ran for class treasurer in eighth grade, which has allowed me to connect with more people and be a better person.
SS: What made you want to run for ASB Treasurer?
MG: Like I said earlier, I want to enhance everyone’s experience here. The past two years I’ve been here, I’ve really enjoyed the experience. I think it’s due to the ASB officers – they made everything run smoothly. Everything was really enjoyable, so I want to enhance the experience here for the other students.
SS: Why the treasurer position specifically though? Why not run for ASB Secretary or ASB Vice President? Why this particular position?
MG: Because I’ve been treasurer for two years, I feel like I’m most qualified and comfortable with this position. I think I can serve the school the best in this position.
SS: If you could choose anything at all to represent who you are while going into this position, what would it be and why?
MG: I would say something like a paternal figure? Something that’s very caring – what’s a very caring animal? I guess a kangaroo. You know how they take care of their children by putting them into their pouches or something? They’re also very eccentric, because they hop around a lot. And I guess that kind of describes me now.
SS: What is your personal mission statement?
MG: My mission statement would be to always be committed to what you’re doing.
Smoke Signal: What do you hope to accomplish as ASB Treasurer in the upcoming school year?
Shiv Salwan: The biggest problem I think we have at Mission is transparency. A lot of students here at Mission don’t know what’s happening at the ASB level: the events, and what they’re in charge of. So what I hope to do as treasurer is to publish income reports consistently, which has never really been done before. And so hopefully, every week, I want to post how much money we’re receiving, our expenses, and the net profit, so that students know our purchases and our ASB account information.
SS: As I’m not entirely clear on the ASB Treasurer’s capabilities myself, is there any reason that they’re not publishing the reports currently? Is it because they’re not allowed to?
Salwan: It might just be because they don’t have the information. I want to work with the administration; we have to work hand-in-hand with them to make sure that we get the job done. So I want to work with them to see if it’s okay. As of right now, I’m not really sure why it’s not being published consistently.
SS: How do you propose to increase profit and sales at the student store?
Salwan: Okay so there are three, basic components that I’m trying to work with. The first is accountability – making sure that the student store staff is being consistent and working well with us. More specifically is to increase variety. I suggest having polls or maybe in-class surveys, where you go to different classes and see what they would like at the student store. I think that and online surveys are a couple of ways we could do it. Obviously, we’ll make sure the food falls under the nutritional guidelines. If we increase variety, more students will come to the student store.
Second, I want to reflect prices according to trends. Sometimes there are items that are too expensive at the student store or are too cheap, where we could manage to raise our profit margins while still having a lot of people buying a certain product. I would have to take tests to see how many of this product is selling.
Third, I want to make sure that we do good inventory management. A lot of times students go to the student store, ask for a product, and they don’t have it. I want to have regular inventory management. Because obviously if we don’t have the inventory, we’ll lose money. And if we don’t have good inventory management, all this increased variety won’t work.
SS: How will you go about regulating the inventory?
Salwan: Inventory is a pretty basic thing, right? What I plan to do is to go on a daily basis and see how much we have left and how much we need to order more of. What I would do is to have the Student Store staff write down on a projected list of what they think they need. And I’ll take a look at it and make sure it’s legit, no embezzlement. Then I’ll make sure it’s ordered and put orders in as soon as possible. It’s a little difficult to explain, but I make sure that they tell me what they need, I’ll check to make sure that they need it, and I’ll order it.
SS: What do you think makes you stand out from other candidates?
Salwan: I would say my fresh perspective. My opposing candidate, Michelle Gore, has been class treasurer for the past two years. And that’s great, but the thing is, as I was freshmen class president, I do understand the logistics, such as completing requisition forms or expenditure forms. Now, here’s what makes me completely different. The fact that I didn’t run for Sophomore class president allowed me to look from the outside of the ASB operations as a student. I understand the responsibilities of an ASB officer, and what the students expect from an ASB officer. And also how the students understand what’s going on, which led me to the issue of transparency, because they don’t. Because of my different perspective, my leadership role, and my student standpoint, I understand the basic problems that students have. This fresher perspective enables me to be more representative of students, hear their voice, and have accountability – all the things necessary to become an ASB officer.
SS: What was the most difficult obstacle you’ve encountered and how have you handled it?
Salwan: I would say homecoming as Freshman class president was definitely the most difficult thing I’ve had to do. First of all, I understood how to be a leader and how to make things run smoothly. I want to bring that experience into ASB. Another thing was communication, which is crucial in homecoming. If you’re not communicating well with the airband heads and the officers, you’re not going to get things done. The third I would say is being organized. What I do hope to do is to use those skills that I’ve learned and the skills that I’ve gained from working with the family business – such as pricing profits appropriately, selling retail profits, doing inventory management – to make an ideal ASB officer.
SS: What is your personal mission statement?
Salwan: There are three things. First, as an ASB officer, you need make sure you’re hardworking. There’s no time to slack off. Second is being trustworthy. When you’re handling all that money, people have to know that they can trust you to be accountable with that money. You have to be accountable of your actions and decisions. As ASB Treasurer, you’re kind of held at a higher standard than everyone else, because you’re a leader of the school, so people need to know that you can make good decisions. Lastly, I would say communication. Always communicating with students, being their voice, making sure they’re being represented. Because of my face-to-face interactions with students, I think I understand their needs. That’s probably going to be one of my biggest roles: transparency, accountability, and communication. I want to make sure that students are being represented, they know what’s happening at the ASB level, and overall their ideas will be incorporated into the ASB policies to make it more representative of the students.