Candidate Aditi Gupta
“My campaign’s a lot about reaching out to people who actually don’t have social media and trying to expand our base. ASG has done a great job of communicating with people on Instagram and Facebook, but there’s a blind spot with people who don’t have the platform.”
For those in a hurry:
- Aditi Gupta is a candidate running for Sophomore Class Officer on the campaign theme of COMMUNITY. She has experience working with student governance groups and has leadership experience from her previous schools.
- Aditi’s main focus would be to get more people involved in student events by utilizing multiple communication platforms including School Loop and having teachers publicize events.
- In recruiting members for the class council, Aditi would look for a diverse set of personalities and people with strong hobbies.
- Aditi would get more clubs involved in student activities, a partnership which would benefit both the ASG and clubs.
Will: You previously went to middle schools that are not within the FUSD. What kind of experience from those schools can you carry over to this position?
Aditi: I was in a leadership class similar to ASG in middle school, and my group and I had to come up with multiple spirit ideas. Each week, the leader would switch. I do have some experience leading groups and coming up with spare ideas. One of our teachers passed away, so I was actually the VP of a memorial committee. I have a lot of experience with trying to plan meetings, managing everything, and making sure that everyone’s on task and doing what they need to be doing.
W: What would you say is like the most valuable lesson that you got from organizing that ceremony?
A: The most valuable lesson I got is trying to work with people who didn’t know the teacher and trying to carry her essence into the memorial. We wanted to make it very fitted to her and her personality, not just have it be a random memorial, because what’s the value in that? I actually met the teacher, but a lot of people didn’t know her, so it was a little hard. Transferring her personality and essence into the memorial was a bit tough. But that taught me communicating.
W: What is one way you would get input from the class? How would you reach outside of outside of like the ASG bubble your friend groups?
A: Definitely social media and sending out surveys. But again, my campaign’s a lot about reaching out to people who actually don’t have social media and trying to expand our base. So a lot of people don’t have social media at our school, and of course, ASG has done a great job of communicating with his people on Instagram and Facebook. But of course, there’s a blind spot with people who don’t actually have a website. So I’m planning to try and utilize the School Loop interface, and also try to work with the teachers to try and get some announcements out, hopefully.
W: What are the top goals that you want to achieve as class officer?
A: First, like I said, I want to try and reach out to more people. One of my goals is to work with clubs to incorporate them into our events, because that’s definitely very important and key to getting recognition to smaller clubs and drawing in new memories to our ASG events and spirit weeks. And then also reaching out to people who don’t have social media, including everyone, and getting their opinions. After talking to a lot of people this year, I’ve realized that many people have some really cool ideas. They just don’t know where to talk about them. So try to have an open forum for them to express themselves.
W: How are you going to recruit students for the class council and how will you organize it and delegate tasks?
A: I’m definitely going to the other classrooms; I’m going to work with them and not just have my ideas, but also use their ideas as well. And some of my ideas that I’ve had for a diverse class council is to ask them about their interests, not just their experiences of the leader, just their interest as well. And why did you want to join class council? Many people just want to join class council because it’s good for their applications. But is there any other reason? Is there anything deeper within that? And then definitely find out more about their personalities.
W: What are some examples of skills that you would look for?
A: First of all, I’m going to ask about personality and hobbies as well, right? I’ll definitely look for artistic people and people who are interested in trying to do something for the community, not just do something for themselves and get into a good college by having that on their application; also people with strong hobbies that can actually help class council at or are creative in some way.
W: How will you push to increase school spirit with the class council?
A: In the class council, I’ll definitely try not to be too formal, because that makes everyone feel like you’re in a job or some kind of formal workplace. Definitely try to be more carefree and make sure that they still realize that they have to do some work. Really make them excited for things and try to create interactive templates for them to use, so that they reach out to their friends about it as well.
W: You also mentioned that you wanted to include more clubs in these activities, especially the smaller clubs. Can you elaborate more on that?
A: My friend and I were actually thinking about making club this year. And I got into the SIA Facebook group, and I saw a spreadsheet with all the clubs that we’ve never even heard of; I’ve heard of some major clubs, like CORE club, Key Club, DECA (I’m part of that club). But I haven’t heard of some clubs, like AST/RO club. I would like to work with SIA to identify these clubs, reach out to them, and see if they’d like to be more of a part of ASG, because it could benefit both ASG and their clubs. You can also get a bigger turnout by getting that community to be a part of their events.
W: What would you do differently than what is being done this year?
A: Definitely keep reaching out to people on social media, but also reach out on other platforms and to people who don’t have social media so that they get a bigger turnout. A lot of people, even teachers, didn’t know about multicultural day; also, on the first day of school, there was a spirit week and they didn’t know about that. So working with a teacher, I think you can get a lot more spirit because they’re sure to mention it to their students.
Felicia: You have a lot of good spirit ideas, especially the ones that you pulled from the other schools that you’ve attended before. Do you have any criticisms of the current spirit days that we have?
A: I do think some of them could be a little more creative. It’s not easy to be creative but honestly, these spirit days are very engaging, and I find them very fun. For example, the pajamas and crazy hats during Winter Week. I really liked that week because you get to show off your accessories. Having more interactive templates, that would really help. But then there’s also the factor that those interactive templates can only be used on Instagram. People who don’t have social media can’t really participate, which might put them off and make them not as interested. So have another option that people can do to show this stuff off. Maybe work with Yearbook to have opportunities for people to submit photos or anything like that.
W: Do you believe that your class has unity? And if not, how would you improve it?
A: I definitely believe our class has a lot of unity. The best example where I saw how much of a good community we have is Winter Week, and it wasn’t just people who were in class council doing it; I actually saw a lot of people from the regular student body also participating, like my friends. It made me really happy to see how united our class was trying to win Winter Week. And of course, things didn’t go as planned this year. But I think that just by continuing this sense of unity and getting more people interested, we can totally win that next year.
F: We ended up getting last place, so clearly Winter Week didn’t work. How would you get more people to do Winter Week?
A: I had some ideas around this. The people that did participate in this who are outside of ASG and were my friends, there are actually very few of those, like three or four. Like I said, by getting off social media, getting teachers to advertise it to their classes, having it on School Loop, I think we can get a lot more people because a lot of my classmates would have been interested if I told them about it.
W: Assuming that we go back to school in person, what ideas do you have for homecoming?
A: I’ve actually never been to homecoming, so it’s a little bit hard for me, but I think I would try to post lots of physical fliers. This relates to my whole social media thing, but it’s like a real life version. Alot of things are pumped over social media, but I’ll try to have more of a physical interface because you’re walking around school, you can’t just ignore a huge poster. I would also have themes and collaborative things that people can participate in, things that interest people and grab their attention.
W: If quarantine is still in place, do you have any ideas that could replace homecoming?
A: I had not thought about this that much. At the end of each spirit week, there’s rallies, so I was thinking about maybe having the homecoming rally on YouTube and trying to incorporate lots of different people from different classes. I’m not really completely sure yet about what the actual content is going to be, but hopefully, by working with the other class officer, we can come up with some ideas.
W: You mentioned that you would implement these games or events and try to get more people to participate in them. So can you elaborate a little bit more on that?
A: I haven’t exactly thought of what games but I have seen that in real life. I’ve heard of homecoming, having lots of events and food. I’m hoping to just kind of transfer these ideas onto an online platform. I think after some more research and talking to upperclassmen and the upperclassman class officers, by trying to get an idea of what homecoming is like in real life, and what actually happens there, I think I can do better. Because right now, I honestly don’t know at all about homecoming. So yeah, I think I’m going to try to get a better idea of that if I become class officer and try to implement some more solid ideas.
W: Do you have specific plans for events for your class throughout the year?
A: Next year, it’s not solid at all. It could be real life, it could be online. I’ve tried to think about both scenarios. So I think it feels like real life, I’ll try to have some more contests and challenges, people competing. So I’ve seen at my old school, when I was in the leadership elective, our group actually came up with this idea where two people, one person has to hold it, and the other person has to quickly eat the doughnut. So yeah, just fun little ideas like that. If it’s online, I’m just gonna try to do more things that are service related, like Make A Wish Foundation, and just fundraise.
W: Is there anything else that you’d like to add about your campaign that you want to let people know about that we haven’t really covered?
A: I really do want to include more people; I just moved here in eighth grade and I felt like I wasn’t being really included in ASB events, because I missed the cutoff date to apply for that in seventh grade. Take the class Council in Irvington, if someone wants to join in the middle of the year, they can’t. So really trying to come up with opportunities for people to help in whatever way they can, and advertising benchbuilding, because a lot of people can join that, but all my friends actually don’t know about that very well. So just try to keep that option open and so newcomers can always participate in it.