Taft Votes: Interview with ASB President Candidates Kaitlin Tobin and Edan Saedi

Taft Votes: Interview with ASB President Candidates Kaitlin Tobin and Edan Saedi

In the hope of informing Taft students about the ASB election, the Taft Tribune is interviewing the ASB presidential candidates for the school year of 2022-2023. Here is an interview with ASB President nominees Edan Saedi and Kaitlin Tobin.

TAFT TRIBUNE: What is your purpose for running for ASB president?

TOBIN: I want to make Taft the best place it can be. I know a lot of students have a lot of things they want to be changed, such as the dress code or the bathrooms. My purpose in running is that I want to help make their dreams a reality. For instance, bathrooms could be cleaner. I feel like we can help out with that. Or, dress code, we can help reform it, or at least change the way it’s enforced. I just want to help make Taft a more friendly and good environment for everyone.

SAEDI: I love ASB. I’ve truly enjoyed my experience over the past three years –planning events, coordinating activities, participating and coordinating with the student body. I believe that the point of ASB Is to help make high school the way that the students want to see it. We’re merely an auxiliary to facilitate in the development of students’ interests, students’ activities, students’ events, and to truly make their high school experience memorable. The reason why I’m running for ASB President is, at the end of the day, I want to see our student body’s voices being heard more. I want to give every student on this campus a greater opportunity to share their thoughts, insights, and beliefs and to make that a bigger factor in our decision-making process.

TAFT TRIBUNE: How will you support students as ASB president?

SAEDI: As ASB President, first and foremost, I will make sure I listen to your thoughts and opinions. ASB hasn’t done too great a job of facilitating that in these past few years. I’ll listen to your voices; I’ll constantly ask you for suggestions as a lot of you have seen –it’s me doing just that at Club Rush, at homecoming, at dance, whatever it may be. I will make sure to put your thoughts and interests above everything else and ultimately make sure that your high school experience is once again the way you want it to be.

TOBIN: As the president, I will support students by continuing to hold my presidential Instagram or just by providing support. Like, if anyone needs anything, they can come to ASB, or we could have a little box with suggestions people could put in it —which would be kept in D120, the ASB room. But, my school email, always feel free to reach out to that. I just want to make sure that everyone is having a good time at Taft, and if there’s any issues, that [students] don’t hesitate to reach out. I want to do my best to help.

TAFT TRIBUNE: How will you incorporate Taft students’ ideas into your campaign?

TOBIN: I mean, I’ve already asked many people some things they’d like to change about Taft. One thing I heard was [the issue of] feminine hygiene topics, which we don’t have. So, if I was elected as president, that’s something I would want to work on. Another thing was bathrooms and dress code. The suggestion box, even though it’s kind of 5th grade-ish, really gets things done. [Students can] talk to me or come to anyone in ASB. I’d be happy to hear them out and do what I can.

SAEDI: Yeah, so I’ve already started incorporating student ideas into my campaign. A lot of students, and my peers, and my friends know that I’m always an approachable person, and part of my campaign is this idea of something that I called CBA: it’s Community-Based Approach. It’s as easy as ABC. Ironically, it’s ABC backwards. Basically, part of this campaign is that I’ve told everybody that if you have an idea on a campaign message, or you have an idea on an Instagram post that I can create, or if you have an idea on something that I can do for this school, let me know and I’ll incorporate that into our campaign. We’ve had some ideas for our Instagram posts and others that have actually come from students. Then I worked together with them to try to create them and to turn it into something that ultimately reflects, once again, the student population, and so my campaign has so far actually heavily incorporated student participation to try to build a community-based approach.

TAFT TRIBUNE: How do you feel about the responsibility of being ASB president, and the duties that need to be done during your term?

SAEDI: The past three years of ASB, whether it’s in-person or online, has been a truly wonderful experience, and I’ve had the opportunity of meeting so many wonderful students, planning so many wonderful events, and I’m honestly looking forward to next year with all the challenges and hardships that, of course, will come with coming out of the pandemic and construction, but I look forward to the opportunity of sitting down and working with a group of students and getting things done. As your Sergeant at arms currently this year, that’s what I’ve been doing; I’ve been getting philanthropy activities done. I was here till 7:00 PM on the week of finals getting everything ready for Santa for Students, making sure that our drive the next day was a success. I’ve been here at events that I haven’t planned. I’m always dedicated to ASB and I really hope you’ll give me the opportunity to continue my dedication and to allow us to bring the change that we need to bring to our campus.

TOBIN: I feel pretty confident. This year, I was the ASB vice president, so I worked very closely with the current ASB president. I know the time commitment, and I want to focus a lot on ASB, even though I’m taking honors classes. I feel like it’s really important to have someone who spends a majority of their time on ASB and on making the school the very best place it can be. Working with this year’s president, I saw how things were run, how to get things approved, what qualities you need. I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to do a good job.

TAFT TRIBUNE: What made you run for ASB president instead of senior class president, as they both would support the senior class?

TOBIN: Even though I will be a senior next year, I didn’t just want to support my grade, I want to support the whole school. When I was an incoming freshman, I did not really know what ASB was, I was kind of the shy one that no one talked to. So I want to make Taft a place that can help everyone. I want to make it encouraging for all the new students, regardless if they’re seniors or not. I just want to make everyone happy and included in Taft, and not be afraid to speak up. Running for ASB president would allow me to focus on the whole school and its feelings rather than just seniors… It’s really important to have a good, strong community at Taft.

SAEDI: I’ve been truly blessed in the past three years to plan entire school activities, whether it’s online book readings for service hours, blood drives in person, Santa for students, club rush, whatever it may be. I’ve been truly blessed with the opportunity to plan events that help everybody, not just the senior class. So the reason why I’m running for ASB President and not Senior Class President is that I want to give back to our entire school community, not just the future seniors, but the future juniors, the future sophomores, the future freshman. I want to make sure everyone’s experience is good and just give back to a community that’s given so much to me already.

TAFT TRIBUNE: Why should Taft students vote for you?

SAEDI: Taft students should vote for me because I’m the type of person who is dedicated day-in-day-out to making your voices heard. I’m dedicated to understanding your thoughts and input. I will always be there through whatever challenges and adversities we may have to support the students and to get what ASP needs to get done.
Vote for me because I’ve demonstrated my commitment to you and I will make sure that next year is ultimately the best it can possibly be.

TOBIN: Taft students should vote for me because I’ve had very close experience working with the president, so I know how things run. I know the bylaws and constitutions, which help get things approved very well. I helped get 105 new paint bottles in 21 different colors so that the art department could be the best it could be, and so that the students weren’t limited… I’ve done that. I’ve also helped out with Toreador News, and I met with the superintendent last year and this year as well, so I have a good connection with the school board. One last thing for this question: recycling programs. As you can see, there’s a lot of trash at Taft and not many places to recycle. I started a recycling program that will be running next year. We improved it throughout the year and got it approved by Ms. Yu and everyone involved. I feel like that’s very important.

TAFT TRIBUNE: Is there anything you would like to add that you haven’t mentioned yet?

TOBIN: I just want to say thank you to everyone for giving me this opportunity and the chance to run. I feel like I’ve really been able to come out of my comfort zone with this position. I’ve made many good friends along the way, I’ve had some great support, and this past year as vice president I’ve learned so many things. I grew close with the ASB community, Taft in general, and I’ve just had a really good time learning. Not only in ASB, but also as a person. I feel like it will help me for the rest of my life.

SAEDI: I’m so blessed to have been a part of ASB, at Taft for the past three years, I’m truly grateful to be at this school and I hope that together as a community, as a school campus as a student body we can make next year the best it can be despite all the conditions, adversities and challenges we may face.