With the preliminary election for next year’s ASB officers coming up this Friday, MSJ’s ASB Officer Candidates are excited to present their ideas to the student body. To amplify each candidate’s campaign, experiences, and goals for the following school year, the Smoke Signal interviewed all nine candidates on their future plans for MSJ.
After serving as Class President for three consecutive years and being the only junior on the Leadership 2 (L2) Sports Committee, 2023-24 ASB President Candidate Junior Amanda Deng hopes to continue supporting the MSJ community. Drawing from her years in student council, Deng intends to apply her leadership experience to avoid past errors and continue success. Valuing transparency and engagement as the 2022-23 Softball Varsity Co-Captain, Deng will work hands-on with each L2 committee, while also providing more information about each committee’s role and opening platforms for student input on the individual committees.
“By planning and organizing efficiently, I will make sure school events go as smoothly as possible and create the most memorable experience for the students,” Deng said.
As the Class of 2024’s Vice President since her freshman year, 2023-24 ASB Vice President Candidate Junior Sanah Bhardwaj wants to foster a sense of unity by improving council organization and prioritizing personal student connections. As Vice President, Bhardwaj plans to build a centralized Google Sheets system for clubs and lockers to make information easily accessible to the MSJ community. She also wants to ensure everyone balances their academic life with leisure by working with the Activities Coordinator to organize school-wide bonding activities and socials.
“L2, especially its fundraising [committee], taught me a lot about interacting with all different kinds of people. Being in the BTQ every week, seeing all the different faces of MSJ … really puts you in the community in a different way,” Bhardwaj said.
As the current Sophomore Class Vice President, 2023-24 ASB Vice President Candidate Sophomore Ray Zhao is committed to bridging the gap between ASB and the student body. Zhao prioritizes openness and hopes to take perspectives from both the student body and the ASB into account. As Vice President, Zhao hopes to focus on communication by implementing a student feedback Google Form and personally encouraging new club creation. Zhao also hopes to centralize information about school operations such as Multicultural Airbands by updating the MSJ ASB website regularly and comprehensively.
“I believe the MSJ community provides all the input needed to sustain an effective ASB. And the ASB officers are built on the basis of that MSJ community. I feel like I should serve for it too,” Zhao said.
As the current Junior Class Secretary and only junior in L2’s Campus Committee, 2023-24 ASB Secretary Candidate Junior Brandon Bao hopes to use his leadership experience and teamwork skills to improve the experiences and engagement levels of students at MSJ. After working closely with the current ASB officers, Bao has understood how they operate and developed the caliber to continue MSJ’s legacy. For the upcoming school year, Bao plans to draw on his experiences as the Boys Varsity Basketball Co-Captain in order to include a sports schedule on the website, update the “Top 10” scores in the gym, and enhance online information on clubs.
“Whether it be clubs or sports, I hope to incorporate some of my passions within the school to help the entire student body,” Bao said.
As a member of the Principal Advisory Committee, 2023-24 ASB Treasurer Candidate Junior Roshan Balla aims to uplift the voices of the student body by streamlining communication at MSJ. Balla’s proposals include diversifying the items at the Student Store, implementing a schoolwide suggestions box, and broadcasting announcements on all platforms: Minga, Facebook, and Instagram. Outside of MSJ, Balla works with the Shooting Stars Foundation and Friends of Children with Special Needs (FCSN), and he hopes to bring the same spirit of community service to the position of ASB Treasurer.
“I’m trying to work so that every single person, regardless if they’re on social media or not, has access to streamlined [information] so that each and every single person knows what’s happening here,” Balla said.
Having served as Class of 2024’s Treasurer for the past three years, 2023-24 ASB Treasurer Candidate Junior Katie Tang hopes to foster an enjoyable environment at MSJ while bringing new fundraising ideas to the table. Aside from serving as class officer, Tang has worked under current ASB Treasurer Senior Caleb Lu for the past year, and she hopes to use her insight in service to the MSJ community. For the 2023-24 school year, Tang aims to clarify the club expenditure and requisition process, increase profit margins at school fundraisers, and launch more de-stress events. She also hopes to add new merchandise such as pajama pants and crewnecks to the Student Store.
“I think the [MSJ] community is a really great support system for everybody … Being able to give the student body a way to relax and de-stress means a lot, and it’s nice to keep a good environment despite the academic rigor,” Tang said.
As the current Advertising Manager of the Smoke Signal, 2023-24 ASB Treasurer Candidate Junior Aaron Zhou aims to represent the diversity of the student body by garnering support for underrepresented departments at MSJ. Zhou has ample experience working with the student body: in addition to the Smoke Signal, he served as a Frosh-Soph Cross Country Co-Captain and this year’s Junior class Homecoming skit writer. If elected, Zhou’s main focus would be to organize the funding of the athletic department, as he personally experienced the inefficiency of the current system while managing this year’s Cross Country merchandise. Additionally, Zhou hopes to improve student engagement at athletic games and Homecoming by implementing more opinions from the student body.
“To me, the MSJ community is very diverse …I wish to use my privileges as treasurer to expand on funding and help the expansive interests of our campus,” Zhou said.
As the only junior in L2’s Activities Committee, 2023-24 ASB Activities Coordinator Candidate Junior Trisha Hsu has seen firsthand aspects of weekly activities she hopes to change and brainstormed new events to implement in the upcoming academic school year. By carrying out new ideas such as a Night Market, a Halloween Haunted House, Club Rush Week, and a Hallway Decoration Contest during Homecoming Week, Hsu aims to bring together students and brighten up campus life throughout the year. Furthermore, her experience in MSJ DECA and Girl Scouts has helped her garner the leadership skills needed for the position.
“I hope to create a stronger sense of unity among the MSJ community [as ASB Activities Coordinator] by listening to students and implementing some of the greatest activities ever seen at the MSJ campus,” Hsu said.
With much school pride and creativity under his belt, 2023-24 ASB Activities Coordinator Candidate Junior Hagen Qian hopes to come up with innovative activities to help MSJ students destress and enjoy themselves. Through executing new ideas in the upcoming academic year, such as an MSJ Talent Show, an Overnight Lock-in, and regular gaming tournaments, he hopes to create a friendly competitive environment where MSJ students have fun and are able to enjoy themselves while bonding with other community members. He believes through organizing such events, MSJ will have more school pride, and he can help remove the negative stigma around MSJ’s serious environment.
“I think I have had a lot of creative experiences that I will use my campaign to demonstrate. Using [those skills], I would liven up the school [as the ASB Activities Coordinator],” Qian said.