The ASB Student Council is Flawed

The ASB (Associated Student Body) is a council made up exclusively of students, their tasks involve being in charge of fundraising, culture, and general decision making for the school. Normally the ASB is an independent club however it is done a bit differently at Minarets High. Instead the presidents of all the various clubs of Minarets come forward as representatives of their club, and at the beginning of the year they were elected into the different positions. The ASB meets every Wednesday at lunch, where they normally approve fundraisers and allocate the school’s funds.

Now for their flaws. If the ASB was an actual government of a country, I could have the audacity to call them corrupt and lazy. Corrupt in the regards that they do not operate in the way a student council should, and lazy in the regards that no one there really seems to be willing to put in the time and effort to make it operate like one.

I have been to several of the ASB meetings, so I will describe my experiences. First off, the “meeting room” is in a classroom of the AG building, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with it being a classroom, but I think it would be best if it had privacy away from biased staff members. Something I noticed right away when attending these meetings, there were never more than 7 students attending the meeting maximum, and that includes myself and the ASB president, who doesn’t partake in any of the votes. If the entirety of the ASB is composed of all the presidents from all of Minarets’ clubs, then there should be 17 students at most attending assuming all the clubs listed on the website are included. That would mean more than half of the council doesn’t even bother coming.

Now for how the meetings usually play out. The first order is always approving the previous meetings minutes, not sure why but I don’t think that’s uncommon for meetings like this. The second order is often a few fundraisers seeking approval. And the final order is often the allocation of the school’s funds. This is where the president states our treasurer’s report, which includes our balance and our income and outcome. After that, the president lists off every single thing that must be either approved or disapproved. This is where the main problem lies, which brings the ASB into the lazy category. The president will offer “Is there a motion to approve all expenditures?” yes literally all of them, there is usually around 20 or more that is listed. And like clockwork, “I make a motion to approve all expenditures.” Then someone always seconds, followed by a vote. “All for approving all expenditures?” most of everyone will say yea, “All opposed?” nothing, absolute silence. And just like that all expenditures are approved, that was the final order, everyone can move onto lunch, and that barely took 5 minutes.

I have never seen a time, where they didn’t approve all expenditures, when they absolutely shouldn’t. Often enough, the balance might be a fair amount, but the funds that have to be approved completely eclipse what is available. So the normal course of action is to, unfortunately, consider a few budget cuts. The FFA often have the largest amount of things seeking approval which also require the largest sums, and on occasion the Media club. Me and another attendee both agree that making a few cuts there would be the wise and sensible course of action, but nobody would possibly be willing to spend the extra 5 minutes to cut back a few of them to save money. Everyone clearly wants to leave as soon as possible so they can proceed to their lunch immediately. This really makes me think no one there takes any of it remotely seriously.

After attending another meeting, the balance was a relatively meager amount, and the funds requested were jaw dropping excessive. Nothing happened differently of course. I spoke with the other attendee about how appalled we both were that all of those were approved without a second thought. We spoke a little about how someone needs to actually stand up and say nay to approving all of them, that’s when I asked “Has anyone ever tried?” He said “We have. A while ago we tried declining one of the FFA things, because it was way too much. But after we tried [the adviser] was all like “Why are you declining it?” and just gave us a death stare, then just kept pestering us for doing it. So we ended up not declining any of the FFA stuff.”

This is absolutely outrageous. The ASB needs to have members actually care to attend, not have a borderline empty club. And it needs to have those members actually care about what goes on in the meetings, not just voting yea on everything to escape to lunch in record times. And perhaps the most important, the council has to be completely immune to anyone who does not have a vote, influencing the votes to meet their own ends, especially if it yields negative results. The ASB Student Council needs to change and operate as a competent group of students willing to lead and manage the school in a way that progresses it to be better.

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