Fountain Valley High School

Three years without ASB elections

By Kristie Hoang and Katrya Ly, News Editors

For the third year in a row, the Associative Student Body (ASB) executive board at Fountain Valley High has been selected by previous ASB executive members without gathering input from the student body through elections.

The 2015-2016 executive ASB board consists of President Elena Mosham (‘16), Vice President Sarah Djafri (‘16), Secretary Kyle Bui (‘17), Parliamentarian Lindsay Brown (‘16) and Treasurer Carly Perri (‘17). This board was selected in a process that began three years ago where current executive members chose the new board after an application and interview process.

Student frustration with the lack of elections surfaced at a House of Representatives meeting last month. Junior Ariana Isbell asked why elections would not be held this year. Assistant Principal of Activities Josh Lamar stated that the ASB constitution does not explicitly require the student body to vote for ASB.

“There’s been a lot of people who have been discontented about not being able to vote for their student [representatives],” said Isbell, who says she believes in the principle of voting as part of a democracy and for students who are misrepresented on campus.

Baron Banner requested a copy of the ASB Constitution from Lamar and several ASB members, but they were unable to provide a copy of it. Lamar later explained to journalism advisor Sean Ziebarth that the ASB Constitution is in the ratification process since it has not been ratified since 2006. Lamar said the Constitution will be available to the student body after the Baron Games.

For many FVHS students, the lack of elections came as a shock. Freshmen who were used to voting for their student representatives in middle school were surprised that there were no elections at FVHS.

“Oh man, I’m so surprised. How does ASB work then?” said Jimmy Ly (’18).

 Even upperclassmen who have not voted for the executive ASB for the past two years think that the current system is unfair.

“I think it’s an abuse of power because if you think about it. There’s 4,000 people and to have such a small group of people decide our representatives isn’t really fair,” said Celine Ton (‘16). “I didn’t even know they already chose the board.”

Some are concerned with preparation for future elections as an adult.

“At this rate, our age group will not be inspired to vote, thus our opinions and voices will not be heard in the real world,” Diane Lac (‘17).

Chemistry teacher Mark Orme understands students’ concerns.

“They want to stop [the executive board from] voting for friends,” Orme said.

ASB, though, feels that the application and interview process provides better grounds for selecting future executive board members.

“In most cases, the outgoing [executive] has had the chance to work with if not all, but most of the members of incoming exec throughout ASB or Senate, previously and we really get an accurate perception of how they work with others, of how they lead, their passion [and] their spirit,” said ASB President, Janelle Dinsmore (’15).

Dinsmore also explained the selection process was meant to eliminate a popularity vote among the student body.

Some teachers agree.

“The election process had become nothing more than a popularity contest over the last few years,” said teacher Brenda Silvertooth. “The interview process allows the current executive associated student body as well as the student as a whole too have a better sense of who these individuals are and their qualifications for being a portion of the system.”

Students like Chris Tra (‘16) approve of the current selection process.

“Don’t get me wrong about this, but I actually like the way ASB selects their members now with their one-on-one interviews because it gives them a better look of the individuals they want,” said Tra. “Students tend to also pick their friends or popularity over responsibility which can lead to an unstable organization.”

In many attempts to create a well-rounded, fairly elected ASB, students are still left frustrated and disenfranchised.

“I don’t like the fact that we don’t get to vote for our board, but I know that other members on ASB know who is the right person for a certain position,” said Vivienne Nguyen (‘15). “They have proved it throughout the years, and [the] ASB members know they are the best because they are the people who work with them.”