New rules say upperclassmen presidents must have had one year of Leadership

March 9, 2020 — by Andy Chen and Harshini Velchamy

This year, ASB has implemented a new policy requiring sophomores and juniors interested in running for class president to have been in the Leadership class for at least one year, as part of either a commission or as a class officer. 

The reason for this change, according to assistant principal Matt Torrens, is to ensure that the class president is able to facilitate events and discussions properly using their prior knowledge; he described this role as “super critical,” because the class president is in charge of holding eight fundraisers, three different apparel sales, hosting prom for their respective grade and managing social media, among several other responsibilities.

“With all of those things combined, I need to have somebody who, especially their junior or senior year, has experience in the Leadership class,” Torrens said. “They have to know how to work the processes we have in the activities office.”

According to Torrens, leadership positions are governed by complicated state and federal regulations, and so having a president who has already learned these regulations is necessary for an effective leadership team. 

For example, two students are needed to manage cash boxes at all times during a fundraiser — policies like these are essential for a class president to learn. While these skills in theory could be easy to learn, it makes the class a smoother transition when the president is teaching his or her peers the regulations, as opposed to the other way around, Torrens said.

Despite the possible benefits of the new system, the sudden shift of policy has caused some students to be disappointed about not being able to run for class president.

For sophomore Justin Hao, who planned to run for junior class president but hadn’t been a part of the Leadership class, he felt that the policy was ultimately fair but should have been announced sooner. In fact, he had already started to campaign when the policy was announced.

“I kind of feel like my time went to waste,” he said.

Torrens believes that the new policy will benefit the school.

“It’s most helpful to the classes if they have somebody in place who has been in Leadership and seen these processes,” Torrens said. “If someone wants to run for office but they don’t have the experience, they’re free to run for any other roles — we want to make sure that elections are open for everybody.”

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On March 27, members of the Air National Guard converted the Santa Clara County Convention Center to a temporary federal facility for about 250 coronavirus patients. The center is to house those who have tested positive for the virus, but don't require intensive in-hospital care. More information can be found through the local news. Photo courtesy of Randy Vazquez of the Bay Area News Group.

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