Friday, March 11, ASB executive cabinet election features all-girl candidates with two running unopposed

Voting+for+Associated+Student+Body+executive+cabinet+candidates+will+take+place+on+Friday%2C+March+11%2C+through+the+5-Star+app.+Juniors+Rebecca+Tualla+and+Ariana+Choi+%28not+pictured%29+are+running+unopposed+for+the+positions+of+secretary+and+treasurer%2C+respectively%2C+while+two+candidates+each+are+running+for+president+and+vice+president.

Image compiled by Nevya Patel

Voting for Associated Student Body executive cabinet candidates will take place on Friday, March 11, through the 5-Star app. Juniors Rebecca Tualla and Ariana Choi (not pictured) are running unopposed for the positions of secretary and treasurer, respectively, while two candidates each are running for president and vice president.

Yeihn Lee

While students will have the chance Friday, March 11, to vote for 2022-2023 Associated Student Body [ASB] executive cabinet positions, they will not see these candidates in person at an election assembly as in past years before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“ASB decided that the International Food Fair assembly [March 17] is more important, so we decided to have that one,” elections commissioner senior Ellie Jeong said. “We are having the spring assembly virtually, just not before the ASB elections.”

The International Week assembly was originally scheduled for February, but that had to be postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions after the rise of positive Omicron cases upon students’ return to school after winter break.

Omicron cases not only affected school attendance in January, but also events that the ASB could have organized.

“It’d be better if we could have more dances and assemblies, but it’s better than it was last year when we had nothing,” ASB co-adviser Mike Paris said. 

Students who plan to vote can cast their ballots digitally through the 5-Star app on Friday, March 11, from 7 a.m.-5 p.m., and the results will be released through the Remind app after 5 p.m. on the same day, ASB officials said.

The ASB had not organized an election assembly in the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That also meant candidates could not campaign on campus by hanging individualized posters around the school campus and crafting cardboard signs for their peers to take pictures with to post on various social media platforms to encourage voter turnout.

Candidates digitized their campaigns for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 elections by promoting their platforms on social media through Instagram stories since the students could not attend school or chose not to during the previous school year because of the pandemic.

The optional on-campus campaigning for the 2022-2023 cabinet positions began March 7. All candidates seeking office are girls with two running for president and two for vice president.

Juniors Rebecca Tualla and Ariana Choi are running unopposed for secretary and treasurer, respectively.

ASB officials said originally two male candidates had submitted paperwork to run for secretary but dropped out, leaving an all female-candidates ballot for Friday, March 11 – something that ASB officials don’t see as an issue.

“I don’t think of it in that way,” ASB co-adviser David Fenstermaker said. “I think of it as it just happened that these are the kids that wanted to do it.”

In pre-pandemic years, ASB candidates participated in the spring assembly to appeal to the student body with speeches and to show their campaign videos to students. The videos usually featured the candidates and recommendations from their friends as to why the student body should vote for that particular candidate.

This year, however, the videos were posted on the ASB Instagram account and played on the jumbotron at the quad on March 8.

“I don’t mind too much [not being able to show campaign videos at an assembly] because I understand that it’s because of COVID and there’s been restrictions, so the fact that we get at least in-person campaigning is a win to me,” said junior Joya Blaho, who’s running for vice president. 

Blaho’s opponent, junior Lindsey Kang, said she has also adjusted to not having an in-person election assembly.

“I’m thankful that [the election] videos are still allowed to be shown in the quad and that I am able to run for a position that I’ve been wanting,” Kang said. 

Presidential candidate junior Crystal Louis said the fact that students won’t have an election assembly could be more of a blessing in disguise for the candidates.

“I don’t feel like I’m missing out on an in-person assembly election because it is all the more exciting to spread who I am to students and make it interesting for them to see since we get to make a video [still],” Louis said. “Some pros about the video is that we get to make it creative and entertaining for people to watch, and some cons would be that students won’t be able to really connect with me since they don’t get to really see who I am and my personality.”

The other ASB cabinet presidential candidate, junior Jacqueline Woo, agrees with Louis about the importance of being more personal with students in her campaigning efforts.

“I’ll have to interact with people in person instead of online campaigning,” Woo said. “I’d also have to make posters and cutouts, which is definitely more time consuming than a simple digital poster.”

Meanwhile, Woo said she plans on making digital posts for her social media channel to promote her campaign online. 

Once the voting is over, class cabinet applications will be released March 13, and class cabinet elections will be held on April 1, ASB officials said.