Freshmen Campaign Week and Elections Held Virtually


Krisha Konchadi

Under in-person instruction, freshmen would vote for their ASB leaders during their advisement period. This year, freshmen can vote on Canvas from their homes.

Ryne Dunman, Business Manager

UPDATE (09/15/20) 10:41 p.m.: After the voting period ended, it was revealed on Sept. 14 that freshmen Makena Wong was chosen as the freshmen vice president while Arjit Singh was elected as the freshmen president.

“My biggest goal is to bring people together,” Wong said. “Social distancing has really left limited opportunities for people to interact with one another, os I hope that I can be able to bring people together and just make everyone feel comfortable enough to the point where they have a good, positive outlook for the rest of the school year.”

Original story posted 09/11/20

ASB held its first virtual campaign week for freshman president and vice president candidates from Sept. 8-11. Freshmen can vote for their class representatives from Sept. 11-13 at 11:59 p.m, according to the @portola.asb Instagram page.

Candidates for freshman president are Zain Alzobiedie, Victoria Chen, Josiah Lee, Gabriela Sarabosing, Michael Shen, Sophia Riley Sim and Arjit Singh. Candidates for freshman vice president are Nadia Alikani, Ryan Aminloo, Ria Krish, Makena Wong and Karina Young.

Candidates used a variety of media to advertise their campaigns, such as social media posts and personally reaching out to the student body. Virtual instruction has limited candidates’ abilities to use flyers, posters and other methods of advertisement that would have been typically available on campus.

“I think the biggest challenge is leaving an impact,” ASB president and senior Jun Kim said. “When they campaign, they have to make it memorable because we all are scrolling through hundreds of Instagram stories a day, so that candidate has to make sure that people remember their face, their name and their ideas.”

Elections speeches can be viewed on the @portola.asb Instagram page under the IGTV video tab. All freshmen received a Canvas invitation for the “PHS Class of 2021” with quiz access to the ballot. Voting is voluntary, and only hybrid students will be allowed to participate in the election, according to ASB co-adviser Emily Sheridan.

This is the first year that two ASB positions are available to freshmen, expanding from a single freshman representative position last year. The move, intended to diversify the voices of freshmen, comes after ASB’s decision to transition from a house to a class system.

“When we changed from a house system to a class system, [ASB] decided that it would make sense to incorporate freshmen obviously into that class system,” Sheridan said. “We’d already had a vice president and a president for each house, so we changed it over to each class, and I think it’ll work really well. It seems like we have a lot of interest, a lot of people running, and it’s a really natural way to fit freshmen into the scheme of ASB.”

Winners of the election will be announced on the @portola.asb Instagram page, on Sept. 14.