by Ashley Moh
For the past 4 years of my high school career, I’ve been working with club and class officers; communicating with sponsors in and out of school; managing class budgets, attending weekly meetings; and planning/advertising fundraisers and events because my high school experience wouldn’t have been the same without it.
Many people assume that being in student government is super easy and that it’s only a popularity contest where you win discounts to dances, games, and other events. Most of the assumptions are true, except there’s a lot more to it. The “popular winners” are actually expected to work in ASB, communicate with sponsors and students, plan and participate in multiple events and a lot of others things people don’t normally see us doing. Student government kept me really busy. I’m always planning and volunteering for fundraisers, or I was making posters and advertisements for events.
I never really considered being an officer as something that would separate me from other students. As stated a paragraph ago, I did get a few benefits like a fancy title, a few discounts and getting to hang out/work in the ASB office, but those benefits always came with costs.
As an officer, the costs I was faced with were many questions. How would we raise around $60,000 by senior year? Which events should we sign up for? How will we get volunteers? How will we get people to actually care or be excited about raising money for our prom, graduation, senior breakfast AND possibly a senior trip? Though I’m now the ASB Social Vice President for the entire student body at Galileo, I still don’t really know the answers to all these questions.
It’s definitely hard to get people excited about something they have to work hard for. Waking up early in the morning, carpooling to random locations in San Francisco, standing for 5 hours straight holding cups of water, and receiving only $10-15 dollars per volunteer that would be put into a special bank account for your class didn’t seem worth it at the moment. But as an officer, I see it as small steps to making prom tickets cheaper, being able to order free photo booths for dances, or even giving the class a free overnight trip to Disneyland.
It sounds weird and cheesy to say, but I guess the reason I spent years in ASB is because I have a passion for communities and especially the people in it. I care about how the school is perceived and whether or not certain events happen, even when most people don’t. I like knowing that I have the ability to improve on things and try to make it better for the newer generations so that they can have the same or even better experiences I had. If you’re like me and want to make sure everyone feels safe and happy at school when home sometimes isn’t, join student government.
The four years that I’ve been in student government have taught me to think two steps ahead, find different ways to include people from all kinds of backgrounds, understand situations and people on a deeper level, and also appreciate the small things members of our school community do to make school a better place, even if others don’t see it the way I do.