Published: Sunday, 15 November 2015 13:20
Written by Gopal K. Vashishtha
ASB President, 2014-2015
One of the questions I field most frequently from my peers is: “What does ASB even do?” Though the answer to that question is quite complicated, given that ASB members’ job responsibilities diverge so widely (see our Job Descriptions and Goals under Information -> ASB), our duties do sometimes overlap. Especially for those of you who are considering joining ASB next year, I thought this quick overview of ASB’s weekly schedule might be illuminating. Enjoy!
- Usually we have a short formal meeting. A formal meeting, unlike a regular meeting, must be formally called to order and adjourned. The agendas you see under Accountability -> Agendas are from our longer formal meetings on Thursdays. On Mondays, we just approve finances and then adjourn the meeting.
- Often, we do a feedback activity called “Plus, Minus, Delta” on the previous week’s events. For this activity, we create a chart on the whiteboard: one column labeled “+,” one labeled “-,” and one labeled “delta.” ASB members have the opportunity to weigh in on events that we have organized; they say what they liked (+), what they did not like (-), and what changes we should make for the next year (delta). The Secretary ensures that these notes end up in the hands of the following year’s officeholders, so that future ASBs will be able to improve on our work.
- The final staple of Mondays in ASB is publicity! The Publicity Commissioners have divided ASB into Publicity Teams of four or five ASB members. Each team makes posters for a certain area of the school, so that students across campus are aware of that week’s events.
- We start Tuesdays by bursting, cheering, into the room of the Staff Member of the Week (SMOW). If you want to nominate a staff member for SMOW, just go to Information -> Staff.
- Next, we have a sign language lesson from our two Deaf and Hard of Hearing Representatives. Often, they will teach us signs relevant to an approaching holiday. Sometimes they teach us about deaf culture. Either way, it is a lot of fun.
- The rest of the period on Tuesdays is usually devoted to independent work time. If a big ASB event is coming up, we might be divided up into committees and use this time to plan. Otherwise, we can use this time to meet our position-specific objectives for the year.
- The ASB advisers, Mr. Gerakos and Ms. Jelnick, like to use Tuesdays to meet individually with ASB members who are planning upcoming events to ensure that we are on a logistically sound footing. We call these meetings “pull-outs.”
- On Thursdays, the President, Vice President and Advisers will often organize a round table-style discussion on a topic of relevance to ASB. In the past, we have discussed social media policy, our adherence to our mission statement, and our job descriptions.
- The rest of the time on long block is usually devoted to formal meeting. You will find the agendas for our formal meetings from this year under Accountability -> Agendas.
- Each ASB member is assigned as a liaison to two or three Homerooms. Most Fridays, we visit our Homerooms and tell them about upcoming events.
- If it is available, we watch Univision!
- Also on Fridays, someone reads aloud the notes from our “ASB Compliments” box. This tradition helps to bring the team together.
- Most weeks, a few ASB members will be assigned to “SAC duty.” Their responsibilities include helping out in the Student Activities Center (SAC) during snack and lunch throughout the week and bringing a snack to share with ASB for “Food Friday.”
I hope you understand a little bit better what we do as an ASB. On a real week, our schedule rarely looks exactly like this. Often, we adjourn early to set up for lunchfests. Sometimes, we spend most of the period pumping up balloons. Additionally, a significant part of our responsibilities is attendance at events outside of fourth period: lunchfests, Games of the Week, Fine Arts Events, Spirit Night, etc.
Finally, realize that this schedule reflects only those activities that we do together, regardless of position. Outside of this structured time, our different position-specific responsibilities might require us to do any number of tasks during fourth period: filming Univision ads, contacting philanthropies, meeting with administration, or collaborating with each other. One thing is for certain: the best way to find out what ASB is really like is to jump in and do it. You will have a great time.