ASB to amend school constitution in anticipation of upcoming election

March 30, 2017 — by Frederick Kim and Spring Ma

ASB makes changes to its constitution.

The Leadership class is set to enact some major changes in the outdated student body constitution.

The ASB constitution outlines rules on all aspects of the student government from elections to the structure of the government. Many of the updates to the constitution are the result of the school’s new Leadership class period. The major changes include:

  • Old to new terminology: New amendments will remove the references to the now outdated bi-weekly ASB night meetings, as the new Leadership class has taken the place of the meetings.

  • * Class representatives: The number of class representatives will be reduced for all grades. The freshman and sophomore class offices will not have any appointed representatives. Upperclassmen will keep their appointed representatives, but they can have only two at most.

Previously, class presidents in all grades could appoint up to four class class representatives in addition to the two elected ones.

  • Changes to commissions: Through the amendments, the ASB decided to create an Outreach commission to the existing list of commissions. The amendments will also remove the Rally commission from the Leadership class.

  • “The preparation and the time it takes to put a rally together is mostly after school late at night, and it’s after all their activities are over,” Leadership adviser Matt Torrens said. “It really doesn’t match to have the rally kids a part of the leadership class.”

  • Power and requirements of the ASB president: New rules will allow the ASB president to gain a vote during discussions of issues. The former constitution allowed the president only to vote as a tiebreaker.

Of this change, senior class vice president Jessy Liu said, “What’s the point of voting for the head of student government and its various sub-branches if they can’t voice their own opinions? Then we're essentially just electing a figurehead or an adviser at most.”

The requirements for to run for ASB president have also broadened, allowing two ways for the candidate to be deemed qualified: either two years of Leadership class experience or one year on ASB. The intent of the change was to allow other experienced individuals, not only those with prior years on ASB, to try their hand at the position.

  • Freshmen in Leadership class: Another controversial topic was the necessity of including freshman class officers in the Leadership class. Since Leadership class is a separate period, freshmen face limited class mobility with the required fulfillment of P.E. credit.

“Having an hour and 30 minutes every other day to work on freshman class office is unnecessary,” said ASB clubs commissioner senior Ellicia Chiu, who served as a class representative her freshman year. “The amount of planning that the freshmen have is incomparable to the amount of work that the other commissions have to do.”

Others argued that the Leadership class should be representative of all grades. Principal Paul Robinson is among those who strongly support the decision to include the freshmen in the class and argued that “the more students you have involved, the more ideas you have.”

ASB has not arrived on an agreement on the issue regarding the freshman class office.

In the next few weeks, ASB will be pushing the amendments to the constitution through the formal procedure of a vote by the Leadership class. ASB president Mitali Shanbhag anticipates the new constitution to be finalized and released in early April before ASB elections are set to kick off during the week of April 10.

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