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ExCo Elections 2020: Public Relations Candidates

Junto asked this year's Public Relations candidates, Mika Kobayashi (10) and Kristen Yee (11), about both their general action plan and a specific plan for increasing awareness about the Senate beyond Schoology updates.

Tell us about your biggest potential policy initiative.

Mika Kobayashi

My biggest policy initiative is to make sure we keep the Student Body updated and engaged in ExCo's work, through organized, cohesive colorful graphics. At the same time, we should keep open a clear mode of communication between the students and the Senate. Weaving more of the student body’s voices into the work we do would result in proper representation of the students’ opinions in Senate meetings. We could be getting compliments for our achievements, which is definitely rewarding, but we could also be getting critical feedback, which is very helpful to make sure we improve year by year. It does say in the job description for the Senator of PR, that we “work to promote student voices and ideas for consideration by the Senate". What better way to get their voices heard than to get input from the Student Body directly? Through clear communication and student-led advertising, we could be super successful in tying the Senate, faculty, and student body all together. This is the position of Public Relations after all, might as well keep the public engaged in the Senate’s work!

Kristen Yee

To be completely honest, before becoming a part of Senate two years ago, I asked myself the exact same question. As a member of the student body, I was not fully aware of what our senators/class officers were up to. Although our current Senator of PR has done an awesome job keeping us aware of the happenings in our community through Schoology updates, I have many new ideas on how our communication can be improved. Our Senate is involved in a host of different student initiatives. While Schoology is a great place to look out for new updates, it can be clouded with other homework/class assignments. Aside from keeping our student body posted on the latest news through Schoology, I plan to utilize other platforms like Instagram to increase awareness of Senate events and initiatives among the student body. By regularly utilizing an app highly used by a broad base of our students, I would not only be able to keep the community thoroughly updated, but would also be able to reach and relay information to our student body in a more casual, fun and interactive way.

A majority of the student body is largely unaware of the work the Senate does. Going beyond Schoology updates, what else would you do to increase student body awareness?

Mika Kobayashi

If I were to become Senator of Public Relations, I would expand the areas in social platforms where the Senate can be reached, knowing Schoology and Instagram already work very well. We can be more active online and widen the accessibility of the ExCo representatives. I am a big believer in clear communication, so in an effort to flip the unawareness of the student body surrounding the Senate, I think weekly updates may be a way to go — increasing the frequency of sending out reports regarding what is happening within the HKIS community and the Senate. This way, it reaches out to the school community more often than it already does, providing more opportunities for students to be involved in the updates. Hopefully, this would invite more people to contribute their information and event promotion they want included in the Student Life Schoology page. The more students involved, the merrier HKIS Student Life will be!

Kristen Yee

My biggest potential policy initiative would definitely be to solidify a two way system of communication between the Senate and our student body. I believe that not only should students have extremely easy access to hearing about the work done by the Senate, but students should also have fluid access in getting their opinions and ideas represented in Senate discussions. To accomplish this goal, I plan to include a place where students can provide student input across various platforms: polls, surveys and Q and A’s on Instagram and/or google form links within Schoology updates. This way, students can be assured that all of Senate can hear everyone’s feedback.  To help with better transparency surrounding the senate, I plan to create some form of media (possibly in the medium of bi-weekly or monthly videos), to keep our students informed about what senators are working on so they can step up and get involved. Knowing that HKIS students can be busy, and that updates can be lengthy at times, my goal is to relay information in the most concise and effective way possible. If elected as your Senator of Public Relations, through the use of my creativity, I promise to work my hardest to keep our students thoroughly updated so we can stay connected and involved, whether it be through short and punchy Schoology updates with colorful and appealing graphics, or creative and dynamic videos for students to watch via Schoology or Instagram. 

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