Junior Caucus Coverage 2022

Reading Time: 7 minutes

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Andrew Park & Dylan Ma

RECORD: Park was involved in student government in middle school, leading as student body president for a year as well. Despite its limited involvement in student government at Stuyevsant, Ma-Park offers an outsider’s perspective to caucus.

DYNAMIC: Park and Ma met each other at Stuyvesant. They hold contrasting personalities and interests but maintain a good friendship, acting as compliments to one another.

PLATFORM: The Ma-Park ticket aims to uplift the student body through five key values, cleverly organized through the acronym A.E.I.O.U.: Accountability, Events, Inclusivity, Opportunity, and Understanding. The two value direct student input and highlighting current events and opportunities through expanding ARISTA and increasing communication with the student body. Their rational approach allows for realistic and feasible improvements, as their position on simplifying student government directs all focus to the student body. However, this simplified schema results in some vague promises. With goals to remove ambiguity from the homework policy, the Ma-Park ticket struggles to specify its own policies.

Eshaal Ubaid and David Jiang

RECORD: The two have prior event-planning and communication experience from leadership roles on Math Team, as well as some caucus and Student Union experience. There are examples of taking initiative and mobilizing resources through planning, for example, study sessions, but the experience is more niche and limited.

DYNAMIC: The pair has a strong, amicable relationship, reflecting open interactions with one another. They demonstrate common interests and complement each other in event-planning aspects. While they exhibit a strong connection, the relationship does not feel fully grounded.

PLATFORM: Ubaid and Jiang’s policies center largely around two central goals for their campaign: assisting students during a stressful junior year and changing the narrative around what a “successful” Stuyvesant experience looks like. They hope to accomplish the former by hosting study sessions, holding events to help students relax post-testing season, lowering the price of junior prom, and more; as for the latter, they plan to begin a “Stuy Highlights,” to recognize certain individuals at Stuyvesant, and establish a rolling application system for caucus positions. While most of their policies are fairly feasible, they fail to address the issues they plan to combat in the first place, as several plans are too minute to have a significant effect on the junior body.

Fiona Chen and Celina Chen

RECORD: Neither of the two have a lot of experience in student government, but they are both involved in student life at Stuyvesant. Celina Chen, as a member of Science Olympiad, SING!, and other clubs, has a clear picture of how these clubs work and believes this experience will give the ticket new perspectives on how to involve the student body in student government.

DYNAMIC: The two have a very organic and natural chemistry between them, as they have had a close friendship since the beginning of freshman year. They seem to have solid communication and cooperation, due to their similar personalities. However, Celina Chen is the more observant and grounded of the two, in order to complement Fiona Chen, who is more ambitious and imaginative. Overall, they are capable of flexibly working together and are genuine friends.

PLATFORM: The duo runs on a platform of support, unity, improvement, and transparency. They hope to enforce a stricter homework policy, with the student government taking more of an initiative to reach out to teachers who violate the homework policy. They also place an emphasis on event planning. One of their events, Clown Day, is focused on relieving students’ stress and allowing students to “connect with their childhood.” They also hope to bring more scholarships to low-income students to promote inclusivity, and aim to implement transparency by allowing time for students to directly communicate with the student government and ask questions about new policies.

Anthony Chen and Zidane Karim

RECORD: Together, Chen and Karim have some experience in student government, namely through Chen’s current role as the Director of IT in the Sophomore Caucus. Having co-founded the club StuyPy, which is designed to help Stuyvesant students learn Python, they’ve developed skills in spearheading initiatives, delegating assignments to departments, and contacting figures such as Internship Coordinator Harvey Blumm for his technical career opportunities bulletin.

DYNAMIC: Chen and Karim have strong chemistry, based on their close friendship and collaboration in leading StuyPy. The pair met online in the summer before freshman year, and only grew closer after having class together. They expressed that they have similar mindsets and are able to delegate tasks to each other well.

PLATFORM: The Chen-Karim ticket relies on three core values: fidelity, bravery, and integrity. Its primary goal is to establish greater awareness of the SU among the student body. While the two emphasized a desire to steer away from redundant policies, they have continued the common caucus initiative of study guides, which they see as a necessity of the student body. While Chen-Karim has proposed some unique policies, like expanding Blumm’s opportunities bulletin to include more local jobs, increasing SU transparency and channels of communication through a TikTok account and blog, and setting up a rental umbrella system, some of these fall short. In particular, the rental umbrella idea is nearly impossible to effectively implement for a school as large as Stuyvesant. Chen-Karim’s campaign is slightly discredited by the overly humorous approach that they take: their platform document is more riddled with jokes than with concrete expansion of how policies will be carried out.

Samaria Noel and Malcolm West

RECORD: The Noel-West duo have a mixed amount of prior experience in student government. Noel has only tutored young students outside of Stuyvesant, while West has previously held roles such as School President and Secretary, which allowed them to learn how to bridge the gap between students and the administration to create change.

DYNAMIC: Noel and West possess strong chemistry, partly due to the close friendship that existed prior to running for Caucus. Both candidates have bubbly and animated personalities, which allow them to easily connect with their classmates. Due to their shared interests and ideas for the school, the two have been able to build a formidable foundation. They accredit this foundation with their success in collaborating and overcoming occasional disagreements.

PLATFORM: The ticket aims to increase student engagement with both the caucus and Stuyvesant. Policies like a complaint box and form allow for flexibility in their course of action and emphasize their dedication to serving the student body’s needs. Other policies like their planned monthly events are aimed to encourage socialization and engagement with Stuyvesant culture. Some policies seem more feasible than others, but the overwhelming majority of their policies share a focus on student rights and accessibility. While the duo has clear and well-intended ambitions, a few, such as adhering to the homework policy, are underdeveloped, as the ticket lacks innovative and concrete ways to ensure that they are followed.

Olivia Haven and Zareen Islam

RECORD: Islam has had some student government experience as a member of student council in middle school and has a leadership position in an out-of-school nonprofit organization. Haven is part of the Girls Who Bake board at Stuyvesant. While the two do not have large roles in student government, they both demonstrate leadership qualities, such as organization and a sense of responsibility.

DYNAMIC: The pair met in their AP European History class, and have since then shared their lunch periods and often meet up to talk about school and hobbies. The two work well together and their strong friendship is apparent in the way they share talking time equally. Both emphasize the importance of being approachable and strongly motivated.

PLATFORM: The ticket aims to improve three major aspects of Stuy: mental health, college readiness, and community. Their primary goal for bettering mental health is to set up mental health spaces online, where struggling students can find others to converse with. They mention Discord, Google Forms, and Facebook groups as possible platforms for this initiative. In terms of college readiness, the candidates mention ideas such as creating career guides and inviting college guest speakers to address the student body. Though these ideas lack originality, they would certainly have the desired impact on the student body as a whole. For their third focus, community, the ticket looks to host a greater number of spirit days, as well as have more special talent performance days, such as Open Mic nights and comedy nights. They also mention study groups as a feasible initiative to better Stuyvesant’s sense of community. Though the candidates’ policies and ideas are certainly feasible, they lack creativity and originality, and the candidates do not seem to have well thought-out plans for implementation.

Yuchen Pan and Jovanna Wu

RECORD: Neither of the two have been in student government before, nor do they have any leadership experience. Both have some tutoring experience, and Pan has helped plan events for Stuy Hacks, and has reached out to other mentors to host events. Wu also explained that to her, leadership means helping others.

DYNAMIC: The candidates emphasized their different personalities and how they balance each other out. Wu is extremely extroverted, talkative, and has many big ideas, while Pan was described as the more quiet and detail-oriented one who helps keep Wu grounded. Pan is the one who works out the logistics and problems with Wu’s extravagant plans, allowing them to be a bit more realistic.

PLATFORM: The Wu-Pan ticket is advocating the three Cs: college, community, and connectivity. It wants to make information about college more accessible and easy to find, as the two believe that it is hard to navigate through the current network of information. They also hope to make Stuyvesant a community where everyone is engaged by promoting more social events. While their policies are very focused on making opportunities available for the student body, some of their ideas are overly ambitious: they want to help students with paying for college by raising money for grants. Although creating a Stuyvesant merch line for stationery is interesting, it doesn’t seem realistic to use money raised from that for college grants. Their idea of sending Weekly Minutes to make information more accessible to students feels repetitive, as it seems a dupe of Ingram’s Weekly Updates; however, they do clarify that these Minutes would differ from Ingram’s emails in their shortness, allowing students to be more engaged. Their other ideas, such as study guides and course selection guides, are unoriginal; though feasible, they have been done by ARISTA and other caucuses. They criticize the guides of other organizations as too old or not relevant anymore, so their versions would be improved. Even with these differences, it seems that their policies aren’t too creative.