Recap: Elections Week at Irvington


Isha Sanghvi

Sophomore Erin Choi shows off her support for Vice Presidential-elect, Jasmine Tong Seely.

Isha Sanghvi, Staff Writer

Irvington’s first round ASB elections took place the week of Feb. 20 to Feb. 24, where several impassioned students ran for the executive positions of president, vice president, and rally commissioner. Among those running were the presidential candidates were Ajla Alicic (11), Rohith Dara (11), Jessica Liu (11) , and Shanay Randeria (11). Yeemon Kyaw (11), Jasmine Tong-Seely (10), and Lauren Sage (11) ran for the position of vice president. Finally, for rally commissioner, candidates included juniors Syed Ali Mujtaba , Mia Walrod, Rohith Kasar, Ray Mangrobang and Andrew Yamasaki . Ultimately, Rohith Dara, Jasmine Tong-Seely, and Andrew Yamasaki won the positions of president, vice president, and rally commissioner respectively.

In response to the criticism it had received the previous year,  ASB sought to revise elections week, with an increased focus on shifting away from the concept of elections serving as a popularity contest or on the idea of name recognition.

“This year, we made the main presidential candidates have three main goals,” Elections Co-Commissioner Jessica Liu said. “This way, when they are running, each student is aware of what each candidate thinks is the most important and will be the focus in the upcoming school year. ”

On Tuesday, fliers for candidates flooded Facebook feeds, posters were plastered around the school campus, and the student body dressed in different colors to show support for their candidate. Candidates also created several platforms in the likes of websites and Facebook pages to articulate their plans for the new school year.

“Making a website for me was very important because I wanted a platform for me to share my ideas and make myself more approachable to others through that,”  Vice President Jasmine Tong-Seely said. “After all, the end result of the election is a culmination of all of our efforts in the school year and the crucial connections we’ve made with people throughout the year.”

The candidates also had the chance to increase awareness of their campaign through Q&A sessions which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday at lunch in the cafeteria.

While these sessions aimed to answer concerns voiced by the students through a publicized Google form, it lacked unfortunate substantial student attendance, with most students barely paying attention to the candidates. In order to compensate for this display of student apathy, the presidential and vice presidential candidates organized a Facebook and Instagram livestream, where they answered questions submitted in the comments. The livestream received around 3.6 thousand views along with important questions on why each candidate deserved the position more than the other and methods of overcoming student apathy.

The events all ended in the final elections rally where the presidential and vice presidential candidates delivered 2 minute speeches about their three campaign goals. On the other hand, rally commissioner candidates performed mini rallies to offer a glimpse at what a usual rally under their control would look like. Afterwards, students voted for the candidates during advisory and the winners were announced after school.

“Realism and approachability is what really defined my campaign,” Presidential-elect Rohith Dara said. “Throughout the week, I never asked people to vote for me. Instead, I talked to people and asked when what changes they would like to see. And I think, that’s what really got to people.”