By JANE HAGEN
University High School (UHS) Associated Student Body (ASB) hosted the 25th annual Election Convention. After 4 electoral rounds, the delegates, representing individual homerooms, elected the 2016-2017 ASB staff, on Friday, April 15.
The winners, and next year’s ASB leaders, are Andrew Nguyen (Jr.) for President, Dillon Sun (Jr.) for Vice President, Aidan Arasasingham (Jr.) for Student Representative, Vignesh Iyer (Jr.) for Clubs Commissioner, Kevin Yahampath (So.) for Boys Sports, Celine Nie (Jr.) for Girls Sports, Dylan Cecot (Jr.) for Students Activities Coordinator and Francisco Lazo (Jr.) for Spirit and Rally Commissioner.
The ASB selection process models the system of elections used in the United States. Primary elections were held, in which all students watched 30 second speeches from the candidates during homeroom and voted. This narrowed the original 26 candidates down to the 21 that competed in election convention.
At election convention, delegates who were elected by their homerooms represented one of the 50 states and voted for candidates based on rounds of questions and answers. After four rounds, the pool of 21 candidates was narrowed down to the eight elected ASB positions.
This form of democratic voting is unique to the UHS student government election process. At other IUSD high schools, the administration and ASB staff hosts primaries and interviews to elect candidates, and only a few schools out of district have implemented a convention into their schools.
Mr. Nick Misserville (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.) brought Election Convention to UHS 24 years ago. The purpose was to mimic the presidential election and implement it into electing students for ASB that would be more useful to our school. Prior to the first Election Convention in 1990, selecting students for ASB was all a popularity contest. As a result, ASB did not provide much service.
This year, Election Convention opened with the Pledge of Allegiance, national anthem, and short speeches from current ASB President Erik Mumm (Sr.), Vice President Mehar Nangia (Sr.) and UHS principal Dr. Kevin Astor. All of the candidates were then introduced to the audience by the positions they were running for. Afterwards, attendance was taken by roll-calling each of the states and asking them to report the number of delegates for their state and a fun fact about the state.
Brief clips made by current ASB members featuring a specific position were shown before questioning the respective candidates for that position. The short videos were used to help explain the roles and characteristics candidates running for the position should possess.
After each electoral round, votes were counted to confirm if a conclusion could be reached within a position. The positions of Boys Sports, Student Activities Coordinator and Spirit and Rally Commissioner reached conclusions after the first round. President and Girls Sports came to conclusions after the second round, and Vice President came to a conclusion after the third round. The positions of Student Representative and Clubs Commissioner took the longest to reach conclusions, both ending after the fourth round.
While conclusions were reached long before the end of the convention, the winners for each position were not announced until the end, when all of the positions had reached conclusions.