The Newspaper of Irvington High School

Candidate Anushka Parikh

“I’ve always been passionate about serving. Assisting others always brought a smile to my face. I think that what’s happening with class council right now is really amazing. And I want to keep that spirit up, even during these hard times.”

For those in a hurry:

  • Anushka Parikh is running for Sophomore Class Officer on the platform of bringing DEDICATION to class council
  • Parikh also feels that during the current pandemic situation, setting specific deadlines for events like benchbuilding,  and increasing efficiency is very important.
  • She wants to ensure that class council members next year know the workload that is required of them before they sign up, so that they will be able to handle it during the school year.
  • Parikh wants to include new members in events specifically designed to help them talk to more people in their class and school. 

Aditya Bashyam: Why are you the best candidate for class officer?

Anushka Parikh: I think I would be the best candidate for class officer because I have strengths such as dedication, because I’m dedicated to what I do. I have creativity, because I’ve been in art and for seven years, and I’m currently in AP Art. This has really given me a chance to have hands-on skills. I’m currently in class council, and I’m part of the publicity team. So how I use that is I make posters with my creativity from AP Art. I can’t really use it for class council in terms of art skills, but I can use it in terms of creativity and how I look at things through my perspective. And I’m also really good at time management. And I prioritize organizing my things using the list method. I also efficiently organize. Also, because I’ve always been passionate about serving. Assisting others always brought a smile to my face. And I think that what’s happening with class council, right now is really amazing. And I want to keep that spirit up, even during these hard times. And I hope to be a part of that. Also, because of my strengths that I said earlier, with dedication and creativity, I think that my strengths outweigh what I saw presented in class council this year, and I think that I might have an advantage to help the students have class council on the entire class.

AB: What is one way you would gain input from your class? (How will you reach out of your own bubble?)

AP: I would totally ask for advice from all the kids in school in my class and ask them, “How could we help you? How could we publicize the events that are going on better” and stuff like that. Also actually asking friends to maybe make it a test for everyone in class council to go ahead and ask at least two people on how they would like to improve us. 

AB: What do you want to get done as class officer?

AP: I realized that because of COVID-19, it’s been really hard to communicate online. So I really want to keep that spirit and what we had at school going, and I want to build up on that. And I also want to make sure that people just don’t drop out of class counsel because they’re bored, or they realize that the work is too much. So I want to make sure that doesn’t happen.

AB: What are the main problems you saw this year, especially since we’re in a COVID era? How will that transition to next year with potential distance learning or potential in-person learning?

AP: Communication is super hard. Keeping people interactive and keeping everyone connected and understanding. So things that we could do to change that is class bondings, where we could have an entire class council come together and act and bond within that. And I also want the entire class to 2024 to come together and have a class bonding so that they can also communicate with all the other students in the class.

AB: What would you do differently than what is being done this year?

AP:I think that what we’re doing this year  is really great. Not a lot of things are things I would like to change. I just want to keep it more consistent on what’s going on, and keep everything organized, because I think that they weren’t prepared for this to happen. And I want to prepare for it ahead and keep everything on schedule.

AB: Do you believe your class has unity? If not, how would you improve it? Since your class has not gone onto Irvington’s campus at all this year, what would you do to maintain in-person unity?

AP: I think my class would have more unity if they were in person, but I think I would like to improve it by class bondings, keeping everyone together. Since everybody came from Horner, everyone knows each other. So I can tell that the unity is already pretty strong. Just getting to know more people who haven’t come to Horner are new to the school is really important. I would include them more and we can have a special class bonding, with people who are new to Irvington or want to know more kids at Irvington. They need to have a chance to know other people to reach out to which they didn’t have in class because online school, so they can do it here during lunch, or after school. I’m not really sure that it’s possible to do actual in person activities. I think we really need to come together as a group and stay on the same page, because it’s been so hectic for the last year. For example, I just realized that some people don’t even know that rallies are going on. So maybe making posters or putting it up on our top class of 2024 Facebook page, or Instagram page, that, “Hey, there’s a rally today, this is what’s happening, and we would like you to attend.” That’s  super important.So I really need to stay on schedule, be explicit about what’s going on, all the events that we’re going to have planned out. And really keeping everybody on the same page is a problem that I think we’re having a lot and making sure that everyone has equal work. All the regular things that we need to maintain need to happen if we’re going to have in school so that we can build up on that. And we can execute our tasks. 

AB: As Class Officer, you will be planning homecoming events for your class. What ideas do you have for homecoming(if we are in person?)

AP: I haven’t really thought about it yet. But I’m looking forward to them. I’m not really sure about what ‘s going to happen for homecoming events, I haven’t really thought about it in detail.

AB: Assuming that we remain in distance learning next year, what are some things that you’ve learned this year that will help you improve your HOCO process next year?

AP: I think keeping everybody aware of what’s going on, and scheduling that so if COVID-19 is not getting better, keeping everybody on Facebook and Instagram and letting them know that it’s going to be online. And this is how we’re going to do it, sharing steps we need to take to get everybody on the same page and telling them what’s going on.

AB: How will you organize class dances? How will you get your class to participate in them?

AP: First, we need to publicize everywhere or the publicity committee needs to let everybody know by publicizing that and all of class council has to publicize that. And also letting people like telling them to tell their friends is super important. I’m going to set up a team that really knows what they’re doing, and that I trust in class council, along with the other officers that I’m going to be working with, to help me with really planning everything and organize all of those things. And yeah, as I said, publicising is super important for getting everyone informed on what’s happened.

AB: How will you push to increase school spirit with class council?

AP: I think I would want everybody to participate. And actually like school spirit weeks and events like Winter Week just happened, and everybody was really helping by putting the hashtags over the posts. And that was one way that we really bonded, I think people made other accounts so that they could just put hashtags and random posts. So I think, really making sure that people participate, and that maybe even prizes are something that they could do that this person if they do these many posts with these many hashtags, then they get two extra points in class counsel to observe, right? Something like that.

AB: A major keystone of homecoming week is benchbuilding, which is done through each class’s class council. How will you recruit students for class council?

AP: So for class council, there’s basically like a separate group just for benchbuilding that I want to make. And I really want to make sure that they know what they’re doing, that they’re organized and the determination is strong. So I know that they’re just not going to drop out that year, because when I was in class council, I did see someone say that they just wanted to drop out and I don’t want to let that happen. So I want to really observe people during their interviews, and make sure that they know what they’re doing and what homecoming and bench building is, and I also want to do the same thing that we did this year Because I think it really helped by assigning people these tasks so they can make props for bench building.

AB: How are you going to organize and manage this large group of students in your class council? How will you delegate tasks?

AP: For tasks, I want to put sub-leaders per section. For example, there’s going to be a class bench building section, there’s going to be a publicity section, and then there’s going to be a fundraising section. And each of those sections will have two leaders. I want those two leaders to be in charge of class bondings within their group. And I also want to make sure that they’re at the same schedule so that not one section has more class bondings than another, I want to keep that really consistent. And then we might do two or three huge class bondings of an entire class council together.

AB: How will you push to increase school spirit with class council?

AP: We would get a mandatory assignment that people should participate in. I would also ask them to really emphasize that this is spirit week, and you really need to keep the spirit going. And then everybody’s excited and you want to consistently keep that during the year, because of COVID-19. It’s super, super hard. So I would really like for everyone to do this. And when I’m getting and recruiting people onto the class council, I want to make sure that they also know what’s going on. And they also are very dedicated, and keeping that spirit up and making sure that everybody is excited and motivated. They have the right motivation.

AB: How will you improve benchbuilding? Are there any improvements to benchbuilding that you seek to implement?

AP: Something that I found in bench building, which was really weird, was that deadlines didn’t have a straight deadline for props and things like that. So I want to make sure that there’s a set deadline, because it was super hectic when it was going on. So I want to create a schedule specifically for bench building, to make sure that everybody knows what’s going on, especially in class council, they should be the first priority, understanding what bench building is and how they’re going to approach it.

AB: If COVID and distance learning were to resume next year, how will you go about carrying out benchbuilding?

AP: The same thing we did this year by making props at home and keeping class bondings up when making the props. That was one really fun thing that I think we did. And then we also did a class bonding with all the props, that was all one thing that we got to get to know each other as a class itself and also with bench building students.

AB: Do you have plans to have events for your class throughout the year?

AP: I’m not sure specifically right now, but I am sure that I’m going to have events scheduled throughout the year.

AB: What are some ideas you have for spirit week?

AP: I found that the point system really works. When people publicize they get points and that’s how we manage people who are going to get cut out of class council and who stays in. As I said, I’m going to be looking for determination. So I want to make sure that everybody is participating in those assignments that are mandatory for spirit weeks.

AB: Now that you’re more familiar with the high school environment, what differences do you see between ASB in junior high and ASG now?

AP: I think ASB was more of a smaller group. Whereas ASG is a much bigger group, and we keep everything much more organized. I know that when I was in middle school, I didn’t really know what ASB was doing. And there wasn’t a specific schedule, or I didn’t really know what was going on. With ASB I didn’t know about the events, and I wasn’t really participating in any of those things. While you’re in ASG. It’s very communicative, and everybody’s communicating. And they have a defined schedule. I’m learning about all these events much faster through Facebook, and I’m seeing all these events that I didn’t know about before.

AB: What are you going to do to make sure that your fellow class council members stay on task?

AP: So obviously, there’s going to be deadlines, and there’s going to be a time, for example, how we have this year, for publicity,  that you have to publicize this event, from this time to this time. And that’s when you get credit. Doing that any later or any time before, you will not get any points. And also, I’ll be contacting people who I see that aren’t participating at all or aren’t paying attention when it’s not yet the cutoff date. I will tell them that “Hey, you’re I see your points being Is there some reason for that?” And I could ask them about that. And I could reach out and tell them that “Hey, you need to participate and keep it up so you can stay in class council and help your class.”

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