What Went Wrong with ASB: ‘It all started with COVID’

ASB orchestrating and participating in their ‘Think Pink’ spirit week for breast cancer awareness.

Spirited football games, elaborate pep rallies, organized and popular campus events, CLORG coordination… without fail, ASB works tirelessly to build a well-rounded and memorable high school experience for Golden Valley students.

However, behind the scenes, it isn’t always that simple.

Now, past members of ASB have vocalized their experiences to The Grizzly Gazette as they tell about the stress and pressure that came with the job; this leads to some disconnected from the program having a negative outlook on the group.

However, current members acknowledge their past shortcomings and speak of their hard work this year to improve the causes of these faults.

Junior Daniel Nameh, a 2020-21 member of the recognition team, states that he does not think negatively of any individual, nor does he put the blame on them, but recognizes how much stress and exertion can come with ASB. He confirms that even at football games, which is supposed to be a very fun event, many ASB members would be so stressed out to the point of crying and breaking down, saying “As soon as one started crying, the next would.”

As he observed the stresses of others on different teams, he often saw “a lack of leadership” causing students to be lost on what to do. He also observed tension made between the members on various, important decisions which lead to disagreements.

Daniel also addresses the set implementations that further increased the stress of the day-to-day job such as the “snitch system”; a system in which one student could fill out a google form giving the name of another student they thought wasn’t working hard and in return receive class credit. This was a system to solve the issue of “one person doing the work while everyone else was being lazy but it was quickly taken out” reported Daniel.

ASB members Haelle Asare, Kayla Simone, Aimee Castro, and Lilibeth Castillo helped throw the ‘Grizzlies Gone Mad’ homecoming football game. (@gvhsasb on Instagram)

This was meant to be a motivating factor that caused many to be on edge, but without it, the few doing the work were put under enormous pressure and felt alone in their job.

Daniel also recalled the “first come first serve system.” There was a sign-up sheet for clean-ups, set-ups, and other requirements in order to get your credit to pass the class. If one didn’t sign up for a role fast enough, they then wouldn’t be able to get their needed credit to pass.

This wouldn’t have been terrible but Daniel explains, “at first we thought we were only required to do two jobs, but one day it became three, and everyone was confused and in shock.”

This caused many to be stressed about finding a time in which they could meet their requirements, and the miscommunication greatly weighed on the students .

Many believe the hardships that came from ASB had come from their previous advisor. Danielle Cox, the Executive President, suggests the advisor, “was trying to stick to tradition since it worked in the past. She didn’t adapt to the new student body after covid.” There was a disconnect between the tradition-minded advisor and the newer class, who wanted to make ASB how they saw fit.

The Grizzly Gazette reached out to this advisor for comment and did not receive a response.

Disconnection and the faults of ASB “all started with Covid”, Cox states.

It had caused “constant debating and arguing” within the program. They tirelessly tried to push different events for the student body’s well-being, even if it meant sacrificing their own mental health.

However, “the students didn’t care.” They didn’t want to participate online, causing ASB to feel unrewarded for their effort.

The devastating absence of passion and campus involvement from students continued into the year back from Covid. She emphasizes “it was a constant push” to try to get students involved and excited again, but their efforts were left unappreciated.

Lack of passion even extended to students in the program. Going from “having a full class [of ASB members] that would constantly contribute to maybe 10 that actually cared,” led to the implementation of systems to try to motivate students. This included the ‘snitch system’ which, as Danielle reasoned, hoped to “motivate students to be passionate since that’s what ASB is all about”.

The ASB crew throwing their neon-themed homecoming rally. (@gvhsasb on Instagram)

This year, ASB addressed the causes of its downfalls from the past.

Past member Daniel believes “Just from the looks of it, they’re able to do a lot more stuff and everyone looks a lot happier.”

They have reduced the size of those who are accepted to be a part of ASB in order to ensure collaborative and passionate teamwork. They also have new co-advisors this year who have “held on to some traditions, but want to work on building their own legacy rather than holding on to the legacy of the past” causing a stronger connection between them and the students, Danielle concluded.

Golden Valley ASB has had to overcome many challenges, but despite this, they continue to work hard and do everything they can to provide students with the best high school experience possible.