Introducing Andy Xian and Fin Ying as Freshman Caucus Co-Presidents

As the newly elected Freshmen Caucus co-presidents speak about their objectives for the school year, other students state their expectations for the Freshmen Caucus.

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By Francesca Nemati

“We will fix, find, and further your concerns!” is the slogan of freshmen Andy Xian and Fin Ying, who were recently elected as Freshman Caucus Co-Presidents for the 2021-2022 school year. During the election on November 24, the Xian-Ying ticket obtained 191 votes out of a total of 335 votes and was chosen out of 14 tickets. The runner-ups, freshmen Aditya Anand and Mason Chung, received a total of 135 votes. Xian and Ying aim to introduce new policies that benefit freshmen and smooth the transition from middle to high school.

The duo’s dynamic began in middle school, where they gained leadership experiences through different positions. Xian held student government positions while Ying was a leader in other clubs, such as Editor-in-Chief of their middle school’s yearbook committee. They believe this past experience will help them succeed in their current position. “This past position has taught me how to effectively collaborate with a team and advocate for changes that will benefit the community,” Xian said.

Xian and Ying’s campaign platform centers around four pillars: inclusivity, flexibility, communication, and collaboration. In the spirit of their pillars, they promoted themselves through physical interaction with students and an increased social media presence, the latter of which they noted as more appropriate. “We also had a lot of social media presence instead of putting posters around the school because more students pay more attention to social media rather than posters,” Ying said.

The duo has several courses of action and initiatives in mind to carry out these pillars. One is by recording caucus meetings for the student body to view, to maintain transparency and communication between the freshman student body and student government. “The Student Union (SU) and current caucuses have already begun working with Fin and Andy to help them transition and develop plans for the year,” senior and SU President Shivali Korgoankar said.

Aside from communicating their ideas through meetings, the co-presidents plan to send out biweekly e-mails to the freshman class that highlight events specifically catered for them. “We hope to emphasize all the events we plan to hold in order for students to interact with each other,” Ying said. Some of these events will include a Sports Teams Fair, a monthly Community Day, and a Cultural Share-Aloud Day. The presidents will also host some events that are specifically freshmen-oriented, such as the Freshman Olympics, which they will host if a majority of the class shows interest in one or more sports.

Though both aspire to do their best, they still acknowledge their limitations in what they can do. “We know that we should focus on school policies that are realistic and amendable rather than ambitious,” Xian said. “We want to implement policies that the freshman class wants but at the same time, we need to convince the school administration to go through with these policies.”

Freshman Tamiyyah Shafiq agrees with their sentiment but still expects the co-presidents to advocate for the freshman body. “I definitely expect the Freshman Caucus to ease the transition between middle school and high school, especially because this year it’s not only from middle school to high school [...] but also the transition between online and in-person school,” she said. “I understand that the freshmen caucus only has power up to a certain extent, but I expect them to fully use the power they have to improve life for the freshman body.”

Others are aware of the significance of the role that Xian and Ying are stepping into. “This is a huge role to fill since Andy and Fin will be having to lead the new, young minds through this large school while being freshmen themselves,” freshman Samin Yasir said.

As Xian and Ying begin serving their term as co-presidents, they appreciate the position they hold and all the support they received thus far. “Unlike [Xian], I was never part of [the] student government [before] so I am honored that people trust me,” Ying said. “We are excited to serve [as co-presidents] and want to make freshman year enjoyable for everyone.”