ARISTA Announces 2020-2021 Executive Council

ARISTA has announced its 2020-2021 Executive Council

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The 2019-2020 ARISTA Executive Council (EC)—seniors President Mina Ivkovic, Vice President of Events Jeremy Lee, Vice President of Operations Caroline Magdolen, and Vice President of Web Development Hilary Zen—recently announced the 2020-2021 EC, consisting of juniors Emma Donnelly as President, Roshni Patel as Vice President of Events and Service, Evelyn Ma as Vice President of Operations, and May Hathaway as Vice President of Web Development. ARISTA is Stuyvesant’s honor society, and its members strive to serve Stuyvesant’s community. They participate in-school events such as parent-teacher conferences and open houses, volunteer outside of school at places like soup kitchens or food pantries, and tutor underclassmen.

In choosing the 2020-2021 EC, the outgoing EC focused on finding members who are dedicated and adaptive. The 2019-2020 school year saw firsthand the importance of having an EC who could tackle unexpected problems, as they started the year off without a faculty advisor and had to adjust after the switch to online learning. “We wanted to have an EC [who] […] could deal with any issues as they [a]rose and think of new ways to get ARISTA involved if school was not in session next year,” Ivkovic said. “People who were going to continue to act even when things were getting static or staggering.”

Magdolen agreed: “We wanted to pick people [who] were really good at adapting. And I think that the EC we chose is going to be really well suited for that.”

Moving forward, the retiring EC wants ARISTA to reach a wider audience through greater outreach. “I hope the new EC continues to expand the number of students who can benefit from [ARISTA’s tutoring services] and make it available to everyone in the city,” Zen said.

Ivkovic added, “We want a more inclusive population of students to benefit from ARISTA. And once again, we want to market ourselves a little differently to use the more social media route.”

Consequently, Donnelly’s main goal is to expand ARISTA’s services to help students outside of Stuyvesant. “As president of ARISTA, I really want to uphold the value that volunteering is something we can contribute to inside of Stuy, but also something we can have a greater impact on outside of the community too.” Not only will this give more opportunities for ARISTA members to gain credits, but it will also benefit the larger community.

Donnelly was inspired to grow ARISTA’s reach when volunteering during the SHSAT testing days. “I was able to see a lot of hopeful students who were taking the SHSAT. A lot of them had their hopes set on Stuy, and I realized a lot of people don’t have the same resources that many of us had,” she said. “There’s still a big educational inequity in New York City, and just seeing their faces made me really committed to service both inside and outside of school, especially in communities that may be underserved.”

Patel is tasked with arranging such events with organizations around the city. “I was an Events Leader last year, and I found that a lot of people weren’t signing up for our events. Then at the end of the year, ARISTA had to reduce our credit requirement,” she said. “This year, I’m hoping that my events committee can get a lot of events out there, a variety for people to choose from, and that more people sign up.”

ARISTA has already initiated a handful of volunteer opportunities for members amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “[Junior] Liam [Kronman], one of our Events Committee members [is] doing Stuyvesant Phone Angels, so they call people in nursing homes who aren’t allowed to see their families right now because they’re at risk of getting [COVID-19],” Patel said. “In terms of virtual events, that’s going to take up a large portion of our time.”

As Vice President of Operations, Ma hopes to expand the resources available to Stuyvesant students on the ARISTA website to accommodate each student’s individual style of learning. “Something I noticed as an ARISTA general member was the lack of diversity in the types of study materials that were provided on the website, in addition to some subjects only having study guides for a few units,” she said. “Each individual has their own unique studying style. With this in mind, I hope to consolidate a wider range of study materials for Stuyvesant students on the ARISTA website by adding Quizlets, practice problems, links to helpful Youtube videos and websites, and other resources, to what we currently have.”

In order to accommodate the planned tutoring expansion and new study materials, Hathaway hopes to make the ARISTA website more functional. “It’s a little hard to navigate, so I definitely want to make that easier because ARISTA offers a lot of help to underclassmen, but if the website is hard to navigate, then they can’t access that, which is an issue,” she said.

As a whole, the incoming EC wants to create a greater sense of ARISTA team spirit. “We are trying to build [a] sense of community within ARISTA. And that will [be through either spirit day or] newsletters. We will be able to directly showcase what ARISTA has been doing as well as the committees [themselves], and making sure everything is transparent, so everyone will know what ARISTA has been up to,” Donnelly said.

Ma added, “Beyond Operations, I hope to motivate all members of ARISTA to put the power they have in making a difference to use. My goal for ARISTA overall is to cultivate a strong community of engaged and driven individuals that will not hesitate to lend a hand to those in need.”