A sit-down with the president(s)

Even while everything is at a distance, the LSHS ASB remains determined to bring students together.


Rachel Howard

Junior class president Emma Morris being interviewed about ASB.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit students hard. Teenagers, who were busy studying and testing, found their worlds abruptly halted. Sports seasons were canceled and prom were nights abandoned. Instead of the joyous, go-out-with-a-bang finish to the 2020 school year, many were expecting, June bled into July, and summer break became less of a vacation and more of sitting on the couch in unwashed pajama pants. 

While online schooling has improved tremendously since the initial March shut-down, many students are feeling disconnected from LSHS and the rest of the student body, including  LSHS ASB officials, like senior class president Oliver Bashour. Bashour said that he felt “very disconnected from the student body. There’s nothing like being able to see classmates and friends in person.”

Junior Class President Emma Morris said that she struggled to find the “motivation to do things,” and Sophomore Class President Romeo Bustillo echoed her sentiments, saying that’s he’s “such a people person and I believe I do my best work when there are other people around me and this year has been so tough on me, not being able to socialize with people and not being able to feel people’s vibes [has] definitely been an obstacle [I’ve] tried to overcome.”

Despite the detachment students are feeling from their peers, the class councils and ASB have been working diligently to recapture the LSHS school spirit, and enrich the school year for everyone. 

In a word, their focus is connection.

Even without the restraints of the pandemic, connection had always been at the forefront of ASB president and senior Cooper Clairemont’s mind. “I really wanted to focus on greeting people in the morning and being able to reach out to people individually. [I wanted] to be able to set up conferences once a week and talk to people I don’t normally talk to. And that’s what I really wanted to focus on this year, and it’s not like COVID threw that out the window but my mindset about what I had to do changed a lot.” 

ASB wasn’t able to greet students at doors this year so, like everything else during this pandemic, their approach to connection adapted. 

Instead of making posters for the halls, they switched to social media, designing posts and Canva’s to be published to the school’s various social media pages.  

Assemblies changed drastically, which had switched from playful congregations of students in the gym to engaging videos filmed around the school. According to Cooper Clairemont, he didn’t have to worry about the logistics and scripting of the assemblies, focusing more on what individual shots were going to look like. “I think a lot of what I loved this year was the videos that we’ve been able to make. Yes, we aren’t able to do our usual assemblies but the preparation for the videos are so much fun…I love this creative aspect [of] figuring out what the shots are going to look like. ” He said. 

Optimism regarding the changes because of distance learning is prevalent in much of ASB’s mentality this year. “We have to figure out how to manage it.”Clairemont said, also explaining that, “you have to have a specific mindset going into this work, and you can’t expect that it’s all going to work out. You can’t also expect everyone is going to love what you do…You just kinda have to in with the mindset of ‘well, I hope people enjoy this, if not then let’s reflect and find out what we can do differently.’” 

ASB is separated into four intermingling branches. The sophomore class, the junior class, the senior class, and the executive officers. Everyone works together on different projects to help improve the school and foster connections. 

The sophomore class is heralding something called the ‘Jammy Jam,’ an online pajama party “where people can come to join us one night and we just hang out and play fun games and talk with each other,” says Romeo. 

The junior class is also working on a way to connect students, according to Emma Morris. Similar to the compliment boards around the high school last year, the juniors will be running compliment Instagram posts in the second semester, where they will ask the student body for compliments about their peers, and then format and publish an Instagram post with the compliment. 

The senior class is running a few projects. Bashour says that “connecting students through art is a big goal of mine,” and the seniors are running something called Viking Night Live, which is a monthly showcase of student-made music posted to YouTube. 

Along with Viking Night Live, the seniors are also holding monthly drive-thru’s known as ‘Senior Spotlight.’ These drive-thru’s will be held at the high school, with the first one being held on January 20.  

ASB has also been carrying out other activities to connect students, such as virtual scavenger hunts and interviews at the beginning of the year. “At the start of the year we did a lot of student interviews…just kind of asking silly questions…It really started to make connections with kids that I don’t think we would’ve made through online content or even in the classroom,” said Clairemont. 

Although ASB has been successfully planning events for the student body, it has not been without difficulties. 

Morris said that one of the things she’s found most difficult was ”communication, especially because everything is online so it’s easy for an email to get lost…Whereas if you’re in school you can just go and talk to someone.”

 Bashour shared similar thoughts with Morris, saying “getting people’s eyes on what ASB is doing is not always easy, though we have put lots of work into advertising and reaching out to as many Vikings as possible.”

Bustillo found it more difficult to be in ASB this year compared to last year because of the disconnective nature of online schooling. “ASB is all about the student body, and not being able to connect and make relations with the student body is probably the biggest problem and issue that we all are facing and trying to figure out.”

Clairemont found that “fostering a schoolwide spirit is a little bit harder when you give the kids an option on whether or not they want to [participate]. But I believe you’re able to make more individual connections rather than a schoolwide engagement. I think we knew that going in this year so we’ve been really trying to focus on how [we can] reach out to those specific individuals.”

In spite of these struggles, ASB has continued to remain positive. Best explained by Clairemont, they’re looking at these unfortunate circumstances “not so much [as] a negative experience, but a learning experience.”

Whilst everything still remains distanced, Clairemont has considered how the school will be when everyone hopefully returns, saying, “when we come back I really want to focus on, ‘yes this is still school, but let’s really celebrate that we’re here in-person.’”

The LSHS ASB continues to work diligently to promote connections within the student body, even as they have to find new ways to circumnavigate the obstacle that distance learning presents. 

Clairemont left some words for future leaders at LSHS. “One of our biggest problems this year is being able to plan ahead and get things done on time…So for future years, my advice would be to plan as far ahead as possible because you never know what’s going to happen.”