Associated Student Body (ASB) is a leadership club that dedicates its time and resources to the betterment of Bellarmine and its students’ experiences in developing leadership skills, among others. Without ASB, our campus would not run as smoothly as it currently does. Recognized in Bellarmine’s community as a reputable club, ASB has a variety of responsibilities, though it primarily acts as a link between the students at Bell and the administration. This year, the Associated Student Body has made a key change that they believe will assist them in improving the experience that non-club members have on campus as well as the ones people might have within the club. To gain more information and insight into the vision of the program, we interviewed Mrs. Slater, an English teacher, and overseer to ASB. As is written below, in our interview we asked what changed, how it should help, and other related questions.
First, some preface is needed. Under normal circumstances, three presidents would be elected to provide capable leaders that would help each other lead ASB. The requirements are simple: In order to become a president, a candidate must have been in ASB in previous years. Then, candidates would go through both general elections and primary elections. After successfully fulfilling these requirements, candidates would be elected with their own vice presidents. Mrs. Slater, ever keen on the intricacies of ASB, describes this process as democratic and more representational. In a quarantine setting, ASB tried to make sure that the presidency ensured that there was “someone from each grade level (excluding Freshmen)” to supplement the diversity of the candidates. This was done to provide a greater scope of the issues facing ASB, regardless of solely grade-bound difficulties. In its nature, ASB’s electoral process, even in a COVID setting, is designed to be as true to the program as its students are.
You might note that this year, due to the coronavirus, no single president was elected. Rather, three “appointed” representatives now take their place, each from differing grade years (‘23, ‘22, ‘21). When asked about the benefits of this new three-part system within ASB, Mrs. Slater informed us this new balance of power “allows members in the group to feel more comfortable,” and “to try new things and to take on different responsibilities that [in] the past they wouldn’t – because that’s the ‘presidents’ job.” Using figurative associations, Mrs. Slater informed us that leadership could be seen as a round table. Everyone has equal power and responsibilities.
The coronavirus has brought many stressful and complicated happenings into our lives, but it has allowed ASB to grow. This pandemic has presented a learning opportunity to the ASB. This year, the Associated Student Body has reached a new level in membership, which, in turn, brings more talents and skills that this group can put to work. Obviously, we will not be having any in school events before the end of the year, and possibly sometime after then, but these new members will be able to provide a large library of ideas for the coming years. All in all, the future of the Associated Student Body is sure to be filled with new opportunities and experiences that are seen now in the quarantine.
Although this unprecedented quarantine reality has certainly been an interesting experience for all of us, ASB has gone through dramatic changes upfront yet still retains their community-focused identity amidst all the change. When we asked Mrs. Slater about the application of this change, she said, “[We are expecting] to have an election this year.” This return to normalcy will most certainly be met with optimism and new techniques from this unique system that the ASB team finds themselves in now.
Written by CJ Blastos and Tyler Craven