Beginning in late March, the ASB began their seemingly lengthy and secretive process of selecting new members for the upcoming school year.
The ASB begins their process of selecting members for the next school year by requiring a completed application packet. Applicants are required to fill out personal information and questions about the ASB positions they are applying for, involvement in school activities, personal qualities, and their top two commission choices. Unlike other clubs on campus such as Link Crew and California Scholarship Federation (CSF), ASB does not require teacher recommendations in their applications.
“The packet has general questions. There are creativity questions, and requirements you have to fulfill such as community service, involvement, and GPA,” current Athletics Commissioner and 2015-2016 ASB Secretary Lacey Cappos said.
Together, Cappos, 2015-2016 officers President Alex Huerta, Vice President Janelle Lindstrom, and Attorney General Dominique “Nikki” Miranda met with advisor and Assistant Principal of Student Activities Christopher Alvarez to do the first round of cuts. The first eliminations are made if the applicant does not have the sufficient GPA of a 2.0 or if the packet was not thoroughly filled out with the proper attachments of a photo of the applicant and a drawing of the Baron. These applicants do not get interviewed. After the officers and Alvarez decide which applicants will move onto the first round of interviews, the list of these names is posted outside the ASB with coordinating interview times. In each interview, applicants are asked questions to get a better sense of the person’s character.
“[Interviews] are basically [conducted] to understand someone’s personality and to see if they’re true to helping the school and not just for the benefits of ASB,” Miranda said.
Prospective ASB candidate junior Elizabeth Alberti was among the many Barons to undergo the first round of interviews. According to Alberti, there were many areas where the ASB could improve their questions; for example, few questions were asked that allowed applicants to better indicate their qualities and capabilities.
“People should be asked ‘why should we put you in this position’ versus the trivial questions. They should also focus on who’s going to get the job done. Not everyone gets the opportunity to say why they want [to be in ASB],” Alberti said.
In the past, some Barons critiqued the interview aspect of the process due to the rumors that the ASB judges people unfairly.
“If the officer has never talked to the person, after an interview and an application, they don’t have a good sense of the person unless they knew them previously,” junior Mia Hallmark, who did not make second interviews this year, said.
The panel then gives an overall score for the candidate at the end of each five minute interview. After all the interviews are finished, the panel meets once again to make further eliminations from the applicant pool and to discuss the candidates’ responses. When asked if an observer from The Crusader could sit in on this meeting for journalistic purposes, the ASB declined. At this point in the process, prospective members are separated by commission departments.
Second interviews are divided so that participants can demonstrate specific talent in their commission. In past years, second interviews were conducted individually, while this year, candidates of the same commission were interviewed again in groups, allowing people of the same commission to view each other’s work at once. After second interviews, the panel comes together once again to choose who will be a member of the next school year’s ASB. While officers actively contribute throughout the entire application process, they do not make the final decision.
“Mr. Alvarez has the ultimate decision. If he doesn’t think you’re a good fit, he can cut you,” Lindstrom said.
Once the decisions are made, ASB will wait a week before releasing the list of confirmed members.
“I need to pick students that I feel can work together, that can lead the school, that have shown and proven to me that they were the best ones for the title,” Alvarez said.