ASB structure changes to be more equitable


Tualatin High School ASB at Seaside, Oregon.

Kayla Vo, Staff Writer

In a fast-paced move, the structure of our Associated Student Body (ASB) is changing to include a representative from multiple affinity groups at Tualatin High School (TuHS). This addition is a major step made by our equity team towards inclusivity and diversity within ASB.

Up until now, ASB elections were limited to 32 individuals who were elected by their peers. With this addition, the intent is that ASB will now have a more comprehensive view of the student body and will be able to better represent the needs and interests of all students. However, these representatives will not be elected through the traditional ASB election process, but instead will be appointed straight into the class by the affinity group or club they are a part of. This action is to show how TuHS is committed to creating a more inclusive and representative ASB. 

We talked to two members of the TuHS staff, Principal Michael Dellerba and Culturally Responsive Liaison Sindy Avila-Gutierrez, to get their thoughts on how this restructure will impact ASB and the student body. 

Dellerba has been working with the current structure of ASB for about seven years and is eager to have this shift put into action.

“Having more voices at the table welcomes more inclusive events. Countless students have voiced that they want to be a leader, but they have public-speaking anxiety, specifically in such a white-dominated space,” Dellerba says. “As affinity and alliance groups emerge at Tualatin High School, they should be represented in our student government.”

Avila Gutierrez agreed that the changes are important and will benefit the school as a whole.

“We wanted to make sure that the minds of our student groups are aligned in order to further improve collaboration and communication. Expanding the structure and adapting our constitution would do just that,” Avila-Gutierrez adds.

The two current ASB advisors, Matthew Unis and Eric Wadsworth, have also announced that they are stepping down from their roles with the organization.

“Mr. Unis and Mr. Wadsworth have done an amazing job for so many years,” Dellerba said. “Having to coach these students takes time and effort. They have guided and shaped you and the rest of ASB to become leaders that are ready for this change.”

Staff and students seem to agree that it’s important to approach this process with respect, integrity and a commitment to building a better school. Timberwolves are looking forward to seeing how this will impact our ASB and our school community as a whole.

“Students elevated this need,” Dellerba said. “Students drive the change.”