2021-2022 ASB Representatives Elected at COVID-Impacted Election Convention


UHS elected Associated Student Body (ASB) positions were announced, following the 30th Annual Election Convention on Monday, March 15.
The elected ASB members for 2021-2022 are junior Jean Meyer for President, junior Mila Nenadic for Vice President, junior Wyatt Mackellar for Student Activities Coordinator (SAC), junior Kody Alarcon for Spirit and Rally Commissioner, junior Quinlan Tobin for Club’s Commissioner, sophomore Joshua Zhou for Boys’ Sports Liaison, and junior Yade Cinar for Girls’ Sports Liaison.
This year’s Election Convention was held on campus, but was conducted almost entirely virtually, a first in ASB history. While most candidates did not have any prior experience with an Election Convention, even those who did expressed how this year’s virtual format brought its own challenges.
“My experience from running in past elections, especially with the modified election last year, definitely helped guide me this year,” Meyer said. “Despite that, this election definitely had its challenges and was in a much different format than last year, when COVID was just beginning.”
The social distancing restrictions brought on by the pandemic encouraged candidates to discover new ways to connect with their supporters, especially when they could not meet potential voters in-person.
“Campaigning was definitely a bit more difficult because you couldn’t reach as many people as you could in a regular year because of the cohort system,” Mackellar said. “So it pretty much was really heavily influenced on social media.”
Due to social distancing and online learning, many candidates placed a strong emphasis on their virtual campaigns instead of solely focusing on the conventional in-person campaigns. This year was the first time that ASB enforced specific regulations on campaigns over social media.
“I would say that COVID has had some effect on my campaign,” Nenadic said. “In the past social media has been a huge aspect of campaigning and this year especially. It was the key to running a successful campaign.”
In an effort to provide additional platforms for candidates to promote themselves, ASB moved the previously in-person “Meet the Candidates” session to Zoom The “Meet the Candidates” session, which took place after the election primaries, was held on Monday, March 8. The event allowed candidates to introduce themselves to Election Convention delegates with a short, informal speech.
“This year’s elections for the elected seven went similar to how it would in a normal year, but there were changes to events and dates in order to respect cohort and safety measures,” Meyer said.
Since an in-person Election Convention was no longer possible due to school closures in the spring of 2020, the UHS ASB hosted an online, direct election with two rounds of final voting that was open to the entire student body.
This year, however, the Election Convention returned to being an indirect election. Depending on class size, each homeroom elected one to three delegates to attend the convention. ASB placed delegates into ten separate classrooms, with around ten delegates in each of the rooms. Delegates then watched the live broadcast of the Election Convention.
A number of candidates faced a close race at the Election Convention. Many students were enthusiastic about joining next year’s ASB as elected representatives, and a significant number of them moved past the primaries. Among all elected ASB positions, SAC was the most competitive.
“I think for SAC it was especially stressful because it was the position that the most people ran for, and five people went to the Election Convention,” Mackellar said. “We ended up going for five rounds at the Election Convention, which was really rare because most positions would have met a majority by then.”
Overall, candidates felt that the experience, although not exactly like a typical year, was fruitful.
“My experience has been really fun,” Nenadic said. “I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process, from hanging up posters to attending ‘Meet the Candidates’.”
ASB will continue to modify the election process in response to any changes in the upcoming school year, but the general rules of the election will likely remain the same.
“We don’t know what the schedule or calendar will look like for the coming school year, which will almost certainly affect the rules for next spring,” Meyer said. “For next year, I would love to be able to have a full convention with everyone in the theater together, watching delegates in-person and live.”