While most students may be focused on the 2021-2022 school year coming to a close, there are already preparations for the 2022-2023 year. One of these preparations regards ASB leadership. In this article, the brand new ASB Executive Council members give some insight on their upcoming plans.
ASB Executive Council:
Ben Fowlkes B’23, President
Andrew Johnson B’24, Vice President of Athletic Activities
Betty Roberts B’24, Vice President of Campus Life
Brynn Manke B’24, Vice President of Community Affairs
Charlene Kim-Aun B’24, Vice President of Communication and Finance
Rising senior Ben Fowlkes wanted to run for office to guide Bellarmine’s institutional ideology towards a progressive and college readiness path. He also stated that, as a senior, he has “a responsibility to give back to my community and advocate for students who are not having their needs met or their concerns addressed.”
Fowlkes outlined many plans he has for the upcoming year. Some short term, logistical issues he wishes to resolve include the line in the cafe, urinal dividers, and unnecessary gendered/exclusive terms in the student handbook. He also wants to promote independent work time during, and allow students to work on the highest priority assignments. He continues, “I also believe that as students’ extracurricular activities are becoming more and more influential during their college admission process, Bellarmine as an institution must provide students with the autonomy they need to engage in these opportunities without obstructing their academic requirements.”
Fowlkes hopes to highlight in the coming year “the successes of student-led events this year like club-led prayer services, student-led assemblies, and especially the multicultural assembly. It is clear that when we let dedicated students rely on supportive faculty in piloting these events, they produce the most impactful and engaging experiences in the community.”
He continues, “In terms of the non-academic aspects of Bellarmine’s climate, I would like to highlight the successes of student-led events this year like club-led prayer services, student led assemblies, and especially the multicultural assembly. It is clear that when we let dedicated students rely on supportive faculty in piloting these events, they produce the most impactful and engaging experiences in the community.”
The VP of Athletic Activities, rising junior Andrew Johnson, shared why he ran for office. “I believe that I’m a good representative of Bellarmine students and athletes. I would be easily accessible to listen and act in the best interest of our student body. I also believe that the ideas I have for the upcoming year will help foster more participation in activities and sports.”
Further, he wishes to encourage more participation in sports and clubs: “I’d like to do this by encouraging people to create more clubs and have regular meetings as I feel that some clubs fizz out after a month or so.”
The candidate who will be the VP of Campus Life is rising junior Betty Roberts. Her plans revolve around changing the culture at Bellarmine from a student’s perspective. She explained, “I decided to run for office because the school spirit and atmosphere is very important to me, especially because I was unable to have a true freshman year here at Bellarmine. Finally being able to attend pep rallies and football games made my sophomore year much more memorable than the year prior!”
Looking forward, she said, “Some plans I have for the upcoming year are more engagement for student-led activities/events, more students involvement in activities like pep rallies and dances, and overall having more club access and resources!” After going through two years of school during a pandemic, being together will certainly not be taken for granted in the foreseeable future.
Regarding the current year, Roberts said “This year has been a big focus on reentry and learning what the climate at Bellarmine is. Next year, I’m hoping we can focus on the best parts about our climate, like our school spirit and involvement. I primarily want to have more student led events, like multicultural week. It was a lot of fun, and even more impressive since it was run completely by students. To have more events like that and to have more students create their own events would be fantastic and highly beneficial for everyone to enjoy their high school experiences.”
Rising junior Brynn Manke talked about her plans for the future, as VP of Community Affairs. “For me, next year will revolve around one focus: service. First, I want to make service opportunities more accessible by creating a comprehensive list of student-frequented nonprofits, and ask a few students to volunteer as go-betweens to help other students reach out to organizations of their choice. I also hope to hold a “service fair” of sorts, like a club fair, but for students or representatives from service organizations to present their organizations to the entire student body.”
She also has some concrete ideas on how to put her plans into action. “I want Bellarmine to strengthen its focus on sustainability and supporting local businesses. First of all, I would like to see Bellarmine use gift cards to local restaurants as prizes in Kahoot!, instead of cards for chain restaurants. And, I would like to see Bellarmine use more local restaurants to cater events. Lastly, I would like to see Bellarmine partner with nearby businesses in its composting initiatives to spread our spirit of sustainability. All things considered, I really want to see a strong passion for service and unity”
Rising junior Charlene Kim-Aun, VP of Communication and Finance, also has big plans for the upcoming year. “I hope to ensure that our favorite Lion activities are properly funded and help overcome the financial challenges that burden many of us.”
All of the candidates have big plans for the upcoming year. While summer is on the horizon for most of us, we expect these members to lead us in hitting the ground running when we return in the fall.