The ASB Community Post COVID-19 

Jack Horton, Staff Writer

Throughout the existence of IHS, ASB has fulfilled many well known roles such as running the school social media, students holding doors in the morning, and managing the spirit shack for all school spirit needs, as well as events such as Homecoming, Tolo, and assemblies. Additionally, ASB has run some lesser known roles like cleaning the stadium, keeping the trails clear, running blood drives, running teacher recognition, managing club inventories and requests, as well as approving the purchase of various products for both ASB and clubs. However, recently ASB has had to adapt to post COVID-19 environment as well as the increasing size of the student body. 

Traditionally, there has been a basic intro to leadership class which is designed to provide leadership skills, as well as an ASB Officers class which manages school activities. However, according to current ASB Advisor Kurtis Evans, “This is the first year to [my] knowledge we have had two ASB classes at Issaquah High School.” The reason for this increase in ASB students is due to last year’s advertising campaign to increase ASB’s numbers. According to senior Jack Purvis, “ASB was advertised to me as a great thing to put on college apps as well as just a place to hang out with friends.” The cause for this campaign may have been an attempt to get ASB back on its feet after COVID-19. This attempt succeeded in getting huge crowds of students interested which led to ASB being split. Evans says that “so far we have three departments that are split across periods; the other departments are isolated within their class period.” This effectively means that some of ASB has had to communicate between different classes. Part of the issue was various members within ASB wanted to only be in certain departments but communication across those departments would then be made more difficult. Therefore, Evans walks a balancing act between keeping ASB functional and providing members with departments they want. In an interview with Student Vice President, junior Haley Lu-Nguyen, she says, “We communicate through a couple platforms: Groupme, Discord, and imessage.” She made it clear that the social media method for communication was being determined by each department while all were united under using Groupme. Lu-Nguyen also says that the Executive Board “leads both periods but first period has all of [the Executive members] and second period has [just] Secretary Justin Lee.” This makes it more difficult for the Executive Board to assert their authority within both class periods of ASB. Lu-Nguyen, however, states that despite COVID-19 and ASB’s classes being split in two, “ASB does a lot for the school and [I] think people recognize that but there are also people who do not see that, and they just see the faults.” Some people, however, do more than recognize ASB. After all, if ASB is gaining such a large number of students then there must be various reasons. 

The first reason many join ASB is because they want to participate and help the school. Senior Aria Shaffer, who is in the social media department, says that she joined ASB because originally “I was introverted but [I] saw [ASB] as a way for [me] to get involved in [my] school community and interact with people who are interested in the same things.” This shows that ASB is a network for many who are interested in helping the school to unite and work together. Of course, ASB uses specialized departments as both a way of preparing students for future careers and as a way of allowing those with unique talents to shine through. The second reason many joined ASB is to express their talents. Evans says, “There are a bunch of different areas where students can have skills and come into ASB and be effective.” For example, students could go into the recognition department if they like managing social media, advertising, and some poster work. Sophomore William Vaughn, a member of the recognitions department, says he originally joined ASB because he “got approached last year by the ASB teacher.” Vaughn, says he “was taking a chance ASB would be fun this year and with the help of the community in ASB ended up being really fun so far.” Others like Lu-Nguyen went into ASB because they had passions within areas and wanted to represent their school. Lu-Nguyen described this as being a calling of her habits as her “hobbies include making videos, media, i-Vision, and journalism.” Freshman Grace Hill says, “I really like the group of people [in ASB] because they are really welcoming. I like the freedom of choosing what [everyone in ASB] can do within specialized groups.” This shows a merit within how ASB is structured. ASB members are allowed a degree of freedom while specializing in a structured system. The third reason some joined ASB was to either learn to be more confident or to allow their extroverted personality to shine through. Junior Cyrus Nikkad says, “That being confident is my personality and I can handle being in front of a lot of people.” Additionally, Nikkad got to play spiderman during the Homecoming assembly and highlights that “it was also cool because I had a mask so I could just act goofy in front of everyone and have a good time.” Sophmore Sophia Roy sums up the reasons people join ASB, stating, “People should go into ASB because it is an environment where you learn a lot, have a lot of fun, and you get a lot of experience.” Overall, members within ASB learn through practice and being exposed to experiences they are not used to. This may seem daunting to some; however, the community of ASB members will allow those with hard work ethic to master the skills necessary later in life. 

Of course, with a group as large and diverse as ASB, with large tasks, it is crucial to both organize its structure as well as tasks and for members within ASB to adopt certain methods for understanding the innerworkings of the ASB community and by extension the school. Freshman John Waldbaum says, “Compartmentalization is the best method for understanding ASB, so you are focused on one thing rather than being overwhelmed. It is kind of like being a cog in a machine where you must make sure you are doing your role and help others with theirs.” Walbaum points out the “real world applications to this mindset because sometimes you cannot do everything, so you have to focus on one thing and make sure you do that and do it well.” Overall, ASB performs extremely well with its role as the guide for the school and as a guardian of school spirit.