San Marino High School’s Associated Student Body, or ASB, meets every day during fourth period and there was no better way for the 2016-17 edition to become acclimated with one another than to spend four days together in close quarters. Which last week they did, assembling at California State University, Long Beach, for their annual retreat, which affords them an opportunity to discuss, plan and get acquainted. Not necessarily in that order.
“Our number one goal for this year’s ASB retreat was to get to know each other,” said Jose Cairé, who has been the ASB advisor at SMHS for 17 years. “A great team has to first develop as a group before they can produce and perform. We definitely got to know each other and began forming as a unit. We also spent time working on finalizing our theme for the year, planning our first assembly, and working on the first week’s planning. I am excited to work with this new group of students. They are definitely interested and have the drive needed to succeed as a group of leaders.”
Senior Douglas Luo, who was elected ASB president by the student body in May, found the retreat both educational and enlightening.
“We were able to bond a lot while learning some very important lessons,” said Douglas.
He explained several group activities that fostered a sense of trust and one that required ASB members to support the weight of one another, literally, through a series of linked forearms.
“That was a unique exercise,” Douglas said. “There are more girls than guys in ASB and they more than held their weight. That was a valuable lesson.”
He also said that the entire team went into a parking lot later in the evening and had to perform group activities.
“We were tired and didn’t want to listen to each other,” he said with a laugh. “It was very easy to get frustrated and give up. At the end of the exercise, the theory that worked was a variation of several theories that were proposed early in the process. It was an excellent lesson in perseverance and persistence and we realized we could not get frustrated as a group. Progress is progress, no matter how small. The group is much stronger after the retreat.”
The ASB will be busy next week setting the tone of the 2016-17 school year. Douglas told The Tribune his personal goal as president is “to be inclusive.”
“That is something I really value,” he said. “I think sometimes ASB can give the perception that we are off by ourselves, and I want the entire student body to know we are there for them, that they are a part of something. As far as my role within the ASB itself, it is really important that I lead by example.”
The group also determined their theme for the year, but Douglas asked we keep it a secret until the student body is notified.