ASBC Elections: A Historic Revote


Bishop's Communications Office

Last year, the junior class listened and laughed to their peer’s campaign speeches for the 2022-2023 ASBC election cycle.

With a fraudulent election, heavy student pushback, and several tense moments between candidates and faculty, this year’s Associated Student Body Council (ASBC) election has and will make Bishop’s history.

On April 18, 2023, the ASBC Faculty Advisors — Assistant Dean of School Mr. Michael Beamer, Director of DEIJ Mr. David Thompson, and Dean of Students Ms. Michelle Shea — called in a mandatory meeting for all contested candidates of the recent ASBC election. At 5:30 p.m. later that day in an all school email, ASBC announced that they will “re-run the election for all positions that had more than one candidate and open the election to all students in grades 7-12 in accordance with the constitution.” This will mark the first time in Bishop’s history that an election will be completely re-run.

Below is a timeline of the events that led up to the decision for a complete re-election:

21 Years Ago

In 2002, the ASBC members at the time drafted the baseline for what is our modern student council constitution.

February 9, 2022

The most recent amendment to the constitution was fully ratified. This amendment mainly clarified and updated the role of the Athletic Representative position, but also included slightly altered role requirements for all positions.

Friday-Sunday, April 14-16, 2023

The voting for the 2023-2024 ASBC election cycle closed at 4:00 p.m Friday. Faculty Advisors became aware of the results and went to the student council constitution and ASBC candidate information document to clarify the qualifications for a runoff election in. However, discrepancies were found between the two documents. Underlined are the differences between the two policy statements.

  • Student Council Constitution: “A candidate must receive more than 50% of the total votes cast by students in grades 7 through 12. A plurality of votes would not be sufficient and would necessitate a run-off election(s) between all candidates who received more than 25% of the vote until a candidate received more than 50% of the votes
  • ASBC Candidate Information: “A candidate must receive more than 50% of the total votes cast by students in grades 8 through 11. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes, there will be a run-off between the top two vote-getters.

Then sometime over the weekend, the Faculty Advisors made the executive decision to continue the election cycle with the constitution’s policy. This marks a significant change in the ASBC election system due to the fact that at least the last 5 election’s runoffs have followed the candidate information policy and have only allowed grades 8-11 to vote.

Monday, April 17th

In the early morning, all candidates (contested or not) were notified about the election results and the layout of the runoff election. Students were notified later at 1:25 p.m.

The following students were listed to participate in the runoff:

President – Dylan Navarrete (‘24), Justin Stone (‘24), Serena Zhang (‘24)

Vice President – Sanskar Lohchab (‘24), Jess Luo (‘24)

Arts Representative – Ava Bradley (‘24), Riley Brunson (‘25), Aster Jin (‘24)

* The runoff positions for President and Arts Representative did not change from the primary election. As a result of students learning about the election, many questions arose about the logic of this runoff system, an election almost identical to the primaries.

At their regular scheduled meeting during X-period, ASBC was notified about the constitution and candidate information policy differences. In their meeting, members debated where to go forward in the election process since, according to the constitution, two grades (7 and 12) were unintentionally excluded from voting. ASBC and Faculty Advisors then decided to open up the debate to the candidates who ran contested and sent an email to all candidates who ran opposed, telling them there would be a mandatory meeting during lunch the following day.

Tuesday, April 18

In the morning, student’s inboxes were filled with the morning’s Daily Urinal article: Gerard Blake’s criticism of the runoff and election systems as a whole. 

The ASBC candidate meeting started right on time during lunch. The room consisted of the students who made the runoff election, and also all students who ran against an opponent. Also in the room were two senior ASBC members, President Ryan Arrowsmith and Student Advocate Kenneth Xiong, the three current Faculty Advisors, and two future Advisors (Math Teacher Ms. Dolores Williamson, Spanish and Mock Trial Teacher Ms. Nicole Uhland).

Most students thought the meeting’s main purpose served as a platform to discuss the structure and nature of the runoff election. While that was the case, students were also surprised when the Faculty Advisors brought light to the dated constitution and the constitutional violations committed last election.

Staying in line with the Chapel word of this school year, “Integrity,” the Faculty Advisors stated that ASBC has a duty to uphold our school values of integrity and stick to what is stated in the constitution.

At that moment, multiple of the runoff candidates raised their concerns with the 21 year old document that has been virtually unchanged since its creation. Questions like “Why would 7th and 12th graders vote if they are not in Upper School?” and “What does that mean if our most recent election ‘broke’ the constitution?” flew across the room for several minutes. Student’s then turned to the constitution to see what the amendment process is and if they could change the constitution in order to not undergo another entire election. The problem: What values would ASBC hold at all if they changed the student constitution in the middle of an election cycle?

The meeting was constantly back and forth, with no one coming to an agreement for what the landscape of this election will look like. After the candidates were shot down when trying to ask to hold a vote among themselves on whether or not they should hold an election, the Faculty Advisors stated they would make the executive decision to hold a re-election, now including grades 7 and 12, and will hold as many runoff elections after the re-election as necessary to see who gets over 50% of the votes.

Wednesday, April 19

Voting for the new primary election opened at 11:50 a.m.

Friday, April 21

Voting for the new primary election ends at 2:55 p.m.

Which candidates are affected by the re-election decision?

  • Although the Monday primary election results stated that Eric Chen (‘24) won the position of Treasurer, he will have to run again against Yi Tu (‘24) who now has another shot to garner more votes.
  • Mia Bravo missed the runoff cusp, having less than 25% of the votes from the previous election. She too will have a second chance to make her mark on the new voters in grades 7 and 12.
  • The Arts Representative and Presidential campaigns will still be as close as ever, as there were no changes from the previous primary election and runoff election.

Linked here is a list of the candidates. We will report on any future updates of this story. If you have a perspective or opinion to share, email us at [email protected]!



Last time Updated was on Wednesday, April 19th, 2023