I recently got the chance to talk to Jasmine Liu and Pranav Manoj, the new Sophomores-At-Large for the Class of 2022. Here is the full interview:
Why did you both apply for Sophomore-At-Large?
Jasmine: I applied mainly because I wanted to be more directly involved. In my experiences before, I was part of the student council back in my old school. We focused mostly on events. I wanted to be more involved with the community here, especially with the Grab-N-Go program and Big Sibling program since all these directly affect me now, even more than prom and homecoming.
Pranav: I wanted to create a positive experience and changes in our school to allow others to pursue their interests all while being safe in the residential element.
What was the hardest part of the Sophomore-At-Large process?
Jasmine: Since it was much more time consuming than I expected, it made me really question how much I wanted to be a Sophomore-At-Large. I had to push a lot of other commitments, such as studying and other extracurriculars, to pursue this position. In the end, it made me believe I wanted this position.
Pranav: I think the competition was, at least, surprising. I did not expect so many people applying for Sophomore-At-Large. But in the end, it made me more motivated to make my application stand out and be the best I could be.
What are some hopes you have for Student Council this year?
Jasmine: This year, I want to really focus on better sleep, as well as having better Welcoming week experience for the incoming class next year, so they feel more at home when they come here for their first two weeks. It really helped us this year, so I hope to improve it for next year’s class.
Pranav: As I said before, I want to make the residential place more comfortable for all. For the Student Council, I want to focus on sleep, nutrition, and time management. We can probably add more programming to emphasize these three elements.
What is one problem you’ve seen at IMSA so far?
Jasmine: The biggest problem, one thing that causes everything else, is time management. Because when time management goes awry, then so does your sleep schedule and stress management. I believe that time management is purely personal, and everyone has different ways of approaching it.
Pranav: Just in general, as I have said, the underlying cause of all the problems in life here is time management so that means sleep issues, which lead to the inability to perform at classes.
What kind of initiatives do you want to get involved in as part of the Student Council?
Jasmine: I think what I want to focus more on is like using the universal calendar. These days, everyone says that one of the biggest problems is that they have so many big tests and assignments in one day. Previously they weren’t that big of a problem, but it’s a problem when teachers don’t want to collaborate and try to help their students plan their time a little bit wiser so then they don’t have that much work. By using this calendar the teachers can collaborate and make sure that you know one student doesn’t have 5 tests in the day. Another thing I want to work on their sleep again because they’ve tried tracking sleeping, surveys, etc. However, average sleep is still is not enough for all of us because I heard the average sleep here is about 5 hours (sophomores to seniors).
Pranav: We have already gotten involved in MHI week through the daily activities. We brought in therapy dogs and all that, so I think continuing this awareness of stress management is probably the next initiative and I think that MHI week is one of the most important weeks for the Student Council. I’m probably going to look at creating programs to allow students to receive help in this environment to thrive in IMSA. Then, we could still have an increased workload, and students can pursue their own interests. I think that’s a major initiative I am going to take.
If you were a mandatory IMSA course, which one would you be?
Jasmine: It’s only been one semester here so I haven’t experienced at my new classes. But what I want to embody is Moving and Learning, because it sounds like a PE class but it’s really not because it’s really not PE — we have to do like salsa and biking and it’s unexpected like me.
Pranav: Probably what I’m doing right now, which is CSI. So I’m thinking logical, step-by-step and math is my ideology.