AJET Elections are just around the corner! Whenever elections come around, AJET gets a lot of questions about both the positions and the experiences we’ve had as AJET committee members. So here, all in one place, we’re publishing both position details and questions we have been asked about our time on AJET.
If you have any further questions, please email the committee members directly, or email firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com , or comment here!
The current AJET Committee is:
- Samantha Martin – President
- MiNa Kim – Vice President
- Peter Underwood – Treasurer
Here are some of the questions AJET members have been asked:
Why did you choose to run for AJET?
Samantha: Originally, I ran because I wanted to put some guidelines in place for future AJET. With the previous team, we created our first charter, which gave us better guidelines for the positions, and this year we made a new website! I had heard of other prefectures’ AJETs being significantly less active or less inclusive than Aomori’s, so I really tried to focus on making events that everyone could come to if they wanted and ways for future AJET to do the same thing easily.
MiNa: Actually, nobody applied for the position last year so I guess I kind of had to stay another year? I originally ran for this position because again, nobody had applied. Hopefully, Joe Biden showed those who are contemplating on running that being VP really isn’t that bad!
Peter: When I first arrived in Aomori, both AJET and the wider Aomori community made me feel incredibly welcome and at home right from the start. We have an amazing set of people in our prefecture, but we are quite spread out – so the events and gatherings that AJET organised were always a wonderful chance to get together and see everyone. I wanted to give something back, and do for the new (and old) Aomori JETs what AJET had done for me.
What is the most enjoyable thing about your role in AJET?
Samantha: I like meeting new people, and seeing how the community changes from year to year. It’s really exciting, and even at the end of my fourth year here I still get really fired up when the prefecture gets new people 🙂 I also really like seeing who gets REALLY competitive during the G.A.M.E.s we have at our events haha
MiNa: Screaming at people to be quiet during announcements; but that doesn’t really have anything to do with my role in AJET. I just like to yell at people.
Peter: As cheesy as it sounds, seeing people enjoying themselves at our events. That’s the biggest pay-off for me, and seeing everyone coming out of a venue saying what a great time they had (and then usually going to Nijikai!) is a great feeling.
Anything you’d say to those who want to run for your position?
Samantha: You can’t please everyone all the time, but taking everyone’s needs into account really makes the events better as a whole. When you take my place as President, you’ll be promo-ing, planning, and getting details together to make each event special, and that includes taking into account types of people. People who drink or don’t, people who eat meat or don’t, people who like staying overnight places or don’t– count everybody in as best you can, and the rest will fall into place.
MiNa: It truly is a great leadership role opportunity, so take a chance, step up, and be a part of shaping the Aomori life experience! If you need any help during the first couple of events, feel free to give me a shout. Other than that, good luck! Also, same as last year, you”re gonna have to mentally prepare for some weird complaints.
Peter: The biggest feedback I’ve seen from people asking me about the job is, “I don’t know if I could do that, it sounds difficult”. I can be a pretty disorganised person on the whole, and I managed to do this job for a year with zero major hiccups and nobody dying. As long as you can do basic math and write things down, you’re perfect!
What’s the AJET event you’re most proud to have been a part of organising?
Samantha: This last year, the cabin party was really different, but I loved it and it’s going to stay my favorite. The food was bomb, everyone helped AJET raise some money with our raffle, people liked the shots even though it was a biiiiit sticky, there was dancing, there was laughter, and we got to divvy out sweet prizes. Getting to hang out with everyone around a campfire as things settled down, looking up at the stars and pointing out constellations… good times man. Really good times.
MiNa: I’m proud of all our events, but I particularly enjoyed the welcome party! It’s always a doozy.
Peter: I think the Welcome Party and the AJET Formal are my highlights from the year. They were fun to plan, fun to set up, and fun to be a part of. They’ve also been my favourite events in the years I haven’t been with AJET, so getting to actually help plan one and seeing people having fun with it was fab.
For those of you staying, what will you take from your AJET experiences into your next year in JET (and maybe AJET, if you run for another term)?
Samantha: I have heard from a lot of people when I mention that I’m stepping down that they think I’m leaving. I’m staying! I just want to say that I’m stepping down not because it isn’t fun, not because I don’t love it, but because I think this organization thrives when we have a variety of leaders in it ❤ It’s time for new people bringing new ideas to the table!
Now on to the actual question lol
AJET not only gave me an opportunity to meet other people, but when I was President I learned just how MUCH goes into a simple event. I appreciate every AJET officer who came before me, the people I got to work with along the way, and the venues that try their best to accommodate a group of 50+ people who are just so psyched to be around each other we can’t control our volume haha. It makes me feel like I’ll never be able to take for granted just how hard people work in Aomori to make sure we feel like a kind of family. A snowy, weird, lovable family! I’m glad I can spend my fifth year next year enjoying that feeling!
(and I’ll still volunteer for setup/cleanup at future events– I know how it is)
MiNa: I’ll be taking a lot from this, the good and the bad. Being a part of AJET has been an incredible learning experience. It has been a privilege to serve the Aomori community, and I hope that even after I am gone, the community will continue to be as amazing as it always have been. So many AJET events have contributed to creating amazing memories in Aomori and I hope that it will continue to have a great effect on creating experiences for future Aomori JETs as well.
Peter: Same as Sam, I’m not actually leaving! And my reasons for stepping down are pretty much the same – I want to see what the new blood does with it in my last year!