Student Government works through struggles of a shortened year

ASB executes International Rally and prom for the final quarter of the school year

When students recall their high school years, it is not the daily homework and grueling tests they remember, but the spirited rallies and romantic dances. Because of the hard work of dedicated ASB students, this year’s juniors and seniors were able to experience them, but the pressure to launch these events proved stressful as the group had to prepare for two major events in one month.

At the beginning of this year, the prospect of offering a major rally or dance was unlikely.  Normally held during the first couple of weeks, this year’s Club Rush wasn’t held until the middle of first quarter and even then, the event was virtual.  Following this abbreviated event, nothing but silence and inactivity followed for the next two quarters.  

“So many things changed throughout the entire school year,” ASB Vice President Elliot Fry said.  “Things kept getting pushed back.”

After the return to in-person learning in April, ASB decided to hold a smaller-scale version of both Internationally Rally and prom in the fourth quarter.  Since these events usually take months of preparation, the class knew they were taking on a lot of pressure. 

“Honestly we’re overwhelmed, just because we’ve never planned events like this before in this capacity,” Fry said.  “Because it’s our first time doing this stuff, it’s definitely really nerve racking.”

In addition to the under-the-wire workload, the district’s strict COVID-19 guidelines also posed a challenge for ASB. 

“We’re not gonna deny that it is stressful,” ASB Commissioners of Activities Pheobe Phomsavan said.  “Especially with COVID, there are a lot of cautionary things that get in the way of getting things done.”

The International rally, normally the highlight of the year for school events, was held just outside the cafeteria and was cut to only half an hour, entirely different from the normal three hour yearly event. Not only that, but the international rally was combined with the International carnival, the event that is usually meant for clubs to sell products of their club’s topic. 

¨We usually have three quarters to prepare a performance compared to two weeks,” senior Natalie Tran said.  “I  had my own doubts about our ability to pull everything off.”

To receive approval for prom this year, ASB spent days creating proposals to send to its advisor, then the principal, then finally, the district, to be evaluated.   Proposals take time to write because they detail what the event will have, how it will be secured, how it will be COVID-safe, and the disagreements that come with them also put stress on ASB. 

“All that pressure and everything we go through is worth it,” Phomsavan said.  “We want to ensure that our student body gets that high school experience that is always memorable and something that they can enjoy.”

Photo by Troung-Anh Nguyen-Tan

For this year’s prom’s theme, A Night Under the Stars, students decorated with flowers, white table cloths, a square archway and balloons.  With help from local businesses like Taco Loco, Quickly Boba, Sweet and Snow and RoShamBo Entertainment, students danced to a variety of music and had a number of catering services. 

“To be honest, my expectations were really low because prom was on campus and I wasn’t sure how ASB would pull this off,” senior Nate Lime said.  “But the venue was nice, everything was well-spaced out, our quad looked bigger than it usually does, the food was amazing, even the [police] officers were dancing.”

While organizing school events in the middle of a pandemic has its share of stressful moments and pressure, students in the class say it has also provided them with new learning opportunities for the years ahead.

“We had to approach [managing events] in a completely different manner,” ASB Adviser Jessica Anderson said.  “We got to see ASB adapt how we work together and how we plan events to meet the moment.”

Although much of the work ASB does for the school goes unnoticed by the majority of the student body, both teachers and students expressed appreciation and gratitude for what they have accomplished this year. 

¨I think student gov and everyone who organized it did a great job with just how last minute it was,¨ junior Jordan Santos said.  “I  was just really glad I could be part of that experience.”