The Newspaper of Irvington High School

Candidate Kimberly Jiang

“My goal would be to include more events where there would be social interactions since in our freshman year everything is virtual, so we pretty much lack a lot of social interactions. I want to have more fun events where people can interact, make more friends and meet new people.”

For those in a hurry:

  • Kimberly Jiang is a candidate running for Sophomore Class Officer with the campaign goal of creating a UNIQUE experience for her class. 
  • She is currently the intern for the procedural committee in IHS ASG, which is the committee in charge of processing forms and organizing event calendars. Jiang is familiar with how the ASG works and will know who to contact to get things done.
  • Jiang’s focus would be on making the sophomore experience more unique and bringing out the experiences that freshmen missed out on this year due to distance learning; she hopes to create events that have more opportunities for social interaction.
  • Jiang aims to build a sense of community and to make school more than just school. This involves hosting more recreational activities such as meditation sessions or posting about how to handle daily life occurrences. 

Will: Why are you the best candidate for Sophomore Class Officer?

Kimberly: The reason I think I would be a good candidate for the Sophomore Class Officer position would be that, since I’m an ASG intern this year, I got to see how every position in ASG works, and I feel like I really wanted to put that knowledge to use. By becoming Sophomore Class Officer, I can help organize events, and since I have an idea of how ASG functions, I can help organize things better and know who to contact for what kind of issues.

W: Describe your experience in student government and what you learned from it.

K: I’m the intern for procedural, who’s usually in charge of the calendars and the different events that will be going on. And being an intern for procedural, I learned how people constantly organize the mass of calendars and process all the forms and events, and how it needs to be a very organized process with everything being on time. So by being an intern, I realize how important time can be for ASG.

W: What would you aim to get done as class officer?

K: I’m pretty positive that by sophomore year, we will be back to in-person school. So my goal would be to include more events where there would be social interactions since in our freshman year everything is virtual, so we lacked a lot of social interactions. There also wasn’t a lot of friend-making in general, so I want to have more fun events where people can interact, make more friends and meet new people.

W: What’s one way that you would gain input from your class and reach outside of your friend group?

K: Normally, I would ask my friends. For some classes my friends have a group chat for class information. So I might ask my friend to see if they can help me ask questions about their information, if they have an idea about ASG, or I can try to message on the Facebook class group chats and if they have any suggestions or ideas, they can PM me with stuff like that.

W: What’s one thing that you would do differently than what is being done this year?

K: I will try to make things more interactive next year. Since this year’s events are all virtual, even if you join the event, people might feel like they’re not actually joining an event. So next year, we want to make this more interactive so people can actually feel like they’re doing an event, not just a class that they have to attend.

W: Do you believe that your class has unity, and if not, how would you improve it?

K: I would say our class does have a sense of unity, but I will want to make the unity even stronger than what we have right now. From the class’s group chat, I can tell that people are actively posting and trying to publicize things, making people join events. But I feel like a lot of people are not participating as much or as focused, because there’s a lot of things on our plates right now. Next year, since things would be easier for them without COVID, I would try to make this unity stronger by reaching out to more people, make sure to post more events that are not just about school, maybe some fun stuff. So people can feel like it’s not just a class where like official announcements, but also where you can check to laugh and have fun.

W: What ideas do you have for homecoming?

K: If we are still in-person for homecoming, first we will need to do a survey to see who is interested in homecoming and what kind of ideas they have. To get homecoming started, we can organize a document or a spreadsheet where people can input their ideas, and different suggestions and ideas as a rough draft. And then we can go into more details with more meetings and participation. And if school is in-person, then things would be a lot easier; maybe we’ll still have to keep a little bit of distance to make sure things will be safer. It would be the usual start where we ask everyone for their ideas, see if they have any suggestions. And then we can have a piece of paper where we can also drop down ideas similar to Google documents. And then we would start organizing, listing materials, buying materials, and then just building stuff together as a class and just enjoying our time.

W: If quarantine is still in place, there’s a chance that homecoming doesn’t happen at all, just like it did this year. So do you have other ideas to replace it?

K: We can maybe have something similar since homecoming is a chance where we get to demonstrate what we build. Maybe we can make posters or something that is virtual where we can still demonstrate it to the school instead of it being physical.

W: How will you organize class dances and how will you get the class to participate in them?

K: I would say of course first we need to brainstorm ideas, decide on a theme. And then we will need to reach out to publications and procedurals to make sure things can get started and have some ideas of talking to them and say any other suggestions or how we can improve. And to get more participation, of course, we need to publicize it; we will be posting fliers on social accounts. If it is in-person, we can hang up posters and give some to teachers so they can hang them in their classrooms. But if it’s virtual we can only rely on social media and just publicizing it to a class.

W: How would you encourage school spirit in your class?

K: To encourage school spirit, of course, we would try to make sure everyone participates and make sure people feel like Irvington is a family and not just a school. We will need to constantly make posts not just about school, but also about daily lifestyle, or simply give tips about how to handle school. 

W: Can you elaborate a little bit more on your idea of social media posts?

K: Being a virtual freshman, we’ve never actually been on Irvington school grounds. We might make a map on Facebook group chat, where people can have a basic idea of the layout for Irvington. And also post some kind of stress-relieving tips or study tips on how we can effectively study, if it’s now in-person. If it’s still virtual, we can have some meditation tips, or just relaxing tips, so people don’t feel as stressed.

W: Can you also elaborate more on how you would make school “more than a school?”

K: One important thing I feel like we need to achieve is inclusiveness because oftentimes, people think of school as a place that they are forced to go to. I want to make people feel like going to school is something they would actually enjoy instead of them being forced to attend school. To do that, of course, maybe encourage people to reach out more, talk to people they haven’t talked to in class, make sure everyone feels like they’re participating. And if it’s still virtual, maybe people are too shy; encourage the teacher to use the chat function more to answer instead of actually using their mic. If it’s in-person, then we can have more group assignments so that people can work together with their class, meet new people, and just participate in general with different people and feel included.

W: How will you recruit students for class council, and how will you organize and delegate tasks?

K: If I were to recruit class council, I want to include people with different perspectives and different skills. That way, it’s actually like we’re having a class where we get ideas from different points of view, people who have different skills can help us in different ways. To organize class council, I would separate them into sections, like treasurer or publications, where people who have their skill set will be sorted into each section, so things will be easier to be dealt with. Also, in each section, I would include people with different personalities, so people could also interact a little more.

W: How would you increase school spirit with the class council?

K: One way I can think of to increase school spirit with class council would be to have the council reach out and ask students. Class council is what I would say an important part for being a class officer, because you have your own group that you need to manage. So to increase school spirit, class council would also need to actively participate in events, and also reach out and publicize on their social accounts. To increase school spirit delegates and class council need to do their role and make sure everyone in the class also feels included, and reach out to different people and interact with them.

W: Are there any other goals that you plan to achieve with the class council?

K: My main goal would be for freshmen who didn’t have a chance to experience what it feels like to be a freshman to be able to experience that feeling as a sophomore.

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

K: For now, if it’s virtual, we can have some interactive class events. Maybe we can play games together as a class where people can actually interact through these games and actually have discussions and communicate.

W: How would you publicize these events?

K: Our generation is constantly on our phones going through social media. The more people who publicize, the higher chance that people are definitely going to see the fliers. Even if they don’t want to participate, they will have an idea of what is going on. So maybe the next time they see something similar, they will actually want to participate. Another way to gain publicity is that sometimes, if the teacher is not busy and is willing to help, we can ask them if they can help publicize after class, just like a good quick notice.

W: Assuming that we’re still going to be virtual next year, what ideas do you have for class bonding events?

K: Some ideas would be games and maybe watching movies together as a class. Another thing I’m thinking about would be doing a survey and see if others have any suggestions so we can get ideas from class to see what they think.

W: What are some ideas that you have for spirit weeks?

K: Of course, the most traditional would be the IHS Vikings shirt. Then we can do pajama days, or depending on the homecoming thing, we can have dress up similar to that. You can also have some events within a week, like a game tournament or a Kahoot trivia based on what kind of spirit week we’re going for.

W: This year, we had winter week, but we ended up having a pretty low participation rate. What would you do to fix this?

K: One thing I might do is publicize within group chats. Like I’ve said before, classes with different teachers usually have their own social group chats where people can discuss the homework. One thing I would do is send in fliers within these group chats, so more people can notice because not everyone always checks their social media for stories and posts.

W: How would you increase uniqueness for your class?

K: I’m thinking about trying out new ideas that we haven’t done before in the past few years, which are very unlikely since we’ve already had a lot of interesting events. But I want to try to make this experience unique by doing things a little bit more differently. Posts are usually more formal than what I expected, so maybe we can add more interesting things to our post or make things a little bit more entertaining in general.

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