Sophomore Caucus: Jeffrey Tan and Johan Wielaard

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By Johan Wielaard

Record: 2

Wielaard and Tan have both filled leadership positions at some point in their middle school careers, priming them for potential SU leadership. This prior experience includes captaining sports teams and acting as academic mentors for younger students.

Campaign: 3

Though the Tan-Wielaard campaign has not done the best job of outreach and maintaining an online presence, the duo has a strong rapport with one another and are balanced in the qualities they bring to the table.

Platform: 3.5

The Wielaard-Tan platform is specific and actionable. Their plans include karaoke night, group study sessions, and even “Random Play Dance,” in which danceable K-Pop songs are played in a random order. One concern about these plans though is that they may be too recreational, putting perks over priorities.

The main word that comes to mind when one seeks to describe the Wielaard-Tan ticket is “good.” Theirs is a good campaign. The two candidates have a good rapport and brainstormed many initiatives to improve the conditions of the sophomores, like karaoke nights and group study sessions. They have also managed to strike a difficult balance that caucus candidates often fail to strike: that between making policies that are in caucuses’ wheelhouse and policies that will meaningfully impact students’ lives. Namely, they would try to persuade Principal Seung Yu to have all teachers post their slideshows on Google Classroom after their classes. That balance is delicate, and they manage to strike it. That’s impressive and commendable, and it makes their campaign stand out.

Their platform, however, does not always succeed in this regard. Most notably, their plan to make the school’s elevators accessible to anyone who must commute seven or more floors between periods is problematic on several levels. First, there are too many students with seven-floors-or-greater gaps for the policy to be effective. There would just be long lines for the elevators. Relatedly, the plan would create enormous traffic for those who do need the elevators, such as students with medical passes or teachers with carts. And because of these shortcomings, the administration would never agree to the policy.

Wielaard-Tan’s more unrealistic policies, combined with a level of detail that while not completely unsatisfactory is not highly rigorous, hurt our generally positive view of their platform. But we were not terribly impressed with their record. As with the rest of their campaign, they were good: both worked in small leadership positions in middle school or freshman year, and they ably described those positions. But neither consisted of the sort of event-planning executive experience that one wants in a Caucus leader.

Their campaign, finally, is good. Their website is accessible and decent-looking; they have an Instagram account with four posts; the candidates have a good rapport, and they present professionally. But there is nothing that makes them stand head-above-shoulders over other tickets. It is, well, good.

We think that, if elected, Wielaard and Tan would serve their class well. They would be good, but we do not believe that they are the best option sophomores have.