Q&A with future ASB president Ali Kiley

Sarah Wagner May 18, 2015 1
Q&A with future ASB president Ali Kiley
Ali Kiley '16 delivers her campaign speech in the Dining Hall before students voted for the ASB. Kiley has been involved in student council since she was in seventh grade. Photographer: Syd Stone '16

Every year, Archer holds elections for ASB executive council and ASB president.  This year, elections took place on April 29. Rising senior Ali Kiley ’16 ran unopposed for ASB president and is extremely excited for next year.  The Oracle sat down with her to learn more.

What does it mean to you to be president of the student body?

AK: It’s something I’ve been working for since seventh grade when I started student council. Being president means being organized and clear minded but also open minded and being really up to any challenge and ready to make a difference and make changes that will benefit the student body and things the student body wants to change.  Also being president is so exciting for me; it’s really what I’ve wanted for a long time.

How did you feel when you found out you would be president?

AK: I did find out before other people because I was the only person running and Ms. Warner told me personally. It didn’t sink in for a while. It felt really good, it felt like I could do anything and I have the opportunity to do anything. Furthermore, it made me more motivated to start planning, organizing, and making changes right now, as well as mapping out what the summer will look like.

Speaking of next year, what will planning look like and what will that mean for you in the upcoming months?

AK: Well, Ms. Shirk and I—she’s taking over responsibilities for student council—have been planning to have meetings pretty often, at least once every couple of weeks during the summer.  We really want to have a full calendar done by the end of the summer so that we can start the year and just know exactly what’s coming and what needs to be done.

Right now—I haven’t told anyone this—I have been planning to go around to the sixth and seventh grade advisories and ask them what they want to see next year.  I know that a lot of the sixth and seventh graders have the most interesting, fun and exciting ideas and are willing to voice them. So I’m going to go around and say “what did you like,” “what did you not like,” and “what would you like to see next year,” and just start working from there.

I’d also like to get student council completely organized this summer and start planning the roles that student council will have next year—we want to make it a lot more organized, more approachable and more open to the student body so they are able to participate and come to our meetings.

What have been your roles on student council up until now and how have they shaped you?

AK: Until this past year I was a [class representative]—so I was a rep for seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th grade. And then in 11th I was on the ASB executive council.

Kiley's campaign poster where she sits poised in front of a fire. Used with permission from Ali Kiley '16

Kiley’s campaign poster where she sits posed in front of a fire. Used with permission from Ali Kiley ’16

I always felt like I was doing the most when I was with student council and planning things for the whole school.  And that’s where I participated the most, that’s where I felt like I had the most voice, that’s where I was able to speak up and voice my ideas.

I think that has shaped me toward the place I am in now where I am not just focusing on the grade. I know some people really thrive and get excited about planning events for the grade and being involved in the grade and making them closer, but I think my specialty is being involved in the whole school and not focusing just on my grade.

So I think that realization of, “Oh, I really do thrive in student council planning all of the events and trying to find ways in which all of the school can benefit from my plans” really helped me to be in the place I am.

If you could tell yourself something when you entered Archer knowing what you do now, what would it be and why?

AK: This may sound cheesy but I’d say just be yourself.  That’s something I was nervous about because I started Archer when I moved here [from New York] and I had had some friend troubles in elementary school as many do, and so I was naturally nervous about starting school thinking I would be left out. But it was really really easy for me to come into Archer, and I think that was because it was so open and so welcoming.

Why is spirit important and why should Archer girls have spirit?

AK: Spirit is very important.  I think it says a lot when people take pride in where they go to school and who they are and what they’re involved in.  I think that it’s something I’ve come to define as I’ve visited colleges and I think about what I want in a school.  It’s something I see and I also want to expand upon in Archer.

I want people to be proud of the school they go to and I know a lot of people are but I want them to know why they love it and define that themselves.  What are the areas they love the most? What can they get excited about at Archer? For some people that’s STEM, for some it’s theater, for some it’s sports.  It comes in a lot of different ways and for me I think it’s being positive I think it’s supporting other people in what they love. Personally I love having people come support me at games. That’s what it looks like to me but I also think it’s just being there for people and supporting them in whatever they do.

You’re a big athlete here on campus. How has your participation in sports helped shape your views on teamwork and leadership?

Kiley smiles during a mid game moment with soccer captain Yasmeen Namazie '15.  Photographer; Shishi Shomloo '15

Kiley celebrates during a game with soccer co-captain Yasmeen Namazie ’15. Kiley has been playing soccer since she was five years old. Photographer: Shishi Shomloo ’15

AK: It’s really helped me to learn how to understand different points of view and strategies. For some people it really helps to be vocal and for others it helps to just be a listener and soak everything in.

Being an athlete I’ve looked up to the captains through the years, and I’ve seen the different approaches the captains have taken and the coaches as well.  I’ve seen what’s really successful and what’s not so successful.

I think that being a part of a sports team has taught me to be able to communicate with others, be able to get along with others, be able to lead others and make really strong bonds.  It goes back to the idea of spirit: when a team is really close, they have their own form of spirit and I think that’s what student council needs in order to spread spirit throughout the school.

Feeling the spirit within a sports team has made me more passionate, more enthusiastic and more excited to spread it through Archer.

What is your number one goal for next year?

AK: For myself, it’s probably to live up to everything I want.  It’s to hold myself accountable for all the things I said I’d do and that I want to do and that I believe I’ll do.  I think that my other goal is to really spread the love and support that already exists here.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of running for ASB president in the future?

AK: I would say definitely do it.  Make sure that you’re not too busy.  If you already have a lot of things going on then maybe don’t run because it’s a really big commitment. But if it’s something that you’re passionate about, if it’s something that you have a lot of ideas for, if it’s something that you’re ready to take on—definitely do it.

One Comment »

  1. Mr. Robertson May 18, 2015 at 1:13 PM -

    Very eloquent and articulate, Ali! Can’t wait to see you fulfill this role next year! You’re gonna be great!