Junior Caucus: Cynthia Tan and Elio Torres

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cover Image
By Zoe Oppenheimer

Record: 4.5

Both Tan and Torres have served in caucus for the past two years, giving them an unmatched level of experience. While they successfully organized 13 initiatives during their time as President and Vice President, respectively, of last year’s Sophomore Caucus, their website has not been updated since first semester, and some juniors have noted a lack of communication via e-mail from the caucus.

Campaign: 3.5

The Tan-Torres campaign is classic and energetic—they have a website, as well as pages on both Facebook and Instagram. They’ve used social media to successfully advertise their ticket and were polished and engaged during the debate, both signs of a successful campaign.

Platform: 3.5

While the Tan-Torres platform has excellent ideas scattered throughout, these initiatives are hidden among both unoriginal and unfeasible ideas. Their platform seems to prioritize quantity over quality, and while some of their initiatives are strong, we would have loved if their platform had been more heavily edited.

After successful Freshman and Sophomore Caucus terms, the Tan-Torres duo is back and running again. The Tan-Torres ticket’s selling point is undoubtedly their experience. This past year, they organized seven initiatives pre-quarantine, including a gingerbread house competition and an escape room event, both of which sold out all available tickets. They also hosted six events during quarantine, including a Bob Ross painting event with chemistry teacher Michael Orlando and two iMessage game tournaments.

Tan and Torres are also heavily involved in the Stuyvesant community. Through their work outside of caucus, Tan and Torres have seemed to maintain a solid grasp on the needs of their class. This is evident through their platform, which is broken down into four sections.

Though they have strong ideas throughout each of these sections, their Events section is, on the whole, their best. Aside from their semi-unoriginal ideas of virtual study hall sessions and virtual self-care seminars, they propose a SING! Greatest Hits Night, which would be a virtual screening of the top moments in past SING!s, and a virtual relay competition, harkening back to the success of their events like the Sophomore Caucus Escape Room. Our only critique is aimed at their virtual college tours idea, in which instead of partnering with the college office to host virtual information sessions for juniors, they plan to contact colleges themselves.

The second section of their platform is their External Affairs projects, the most notable part being their plans to negotiate free or reduced CitiBike memberships for Stuyvesant students as an alternative mode of transportation to school. They also want to reach out to local publishers, galleries, and newspapers to have students’ work displayed. This, however, seems unfeasible, as it is often difficult to have work published, even if the organizations are smaller-scaled and local.

The third section is their Internal Affairs projects, which is broken down into collaborations with the Student Union (SU), clubs, student body, and the administration. Though not thrillingly creative, this section houses solid plans, including working with the SU Events Department to transition classic Stuyvesant events (such as Styloween) online, partnering with student organizations like the Black Students League and ASPIRA, allowing students of all grades to attend caucus meetings, and communicating with the administration to monitor the feasibility of hosting Junior Prom. A few policies seem idealistic, though, such as having non-caucus volunteers assist at caucus events.

Their final section is expanding their website. Among others, the ticket hopes to include an SAT and PSAT update page, a scholarship opportunities page, a college application timeline, and a competition and awards opportunities page. They also want to continue working on their opportunities bulletin and their study guide platform, both initiatives started last year. While these pages would clearly benefit and assist the junior class, Tan-Torres’ current website has not been updated since the end of 2019, meaning it seems unlikely that their IT department will be able to create all of these resources.

It is clear that this ticket has invested most of their time into brainstorming unique social events, which is understandable, as their achievements last year were mostly event-based as well. While some ideas for academic policies are feasible and helpful, such as a guide for teacher recommendations, many are unrealistic and vague, such as “advocacy for spring semester program changes” or creating Junior-Caucus-specific virtual college tours. While some of the policies show that their heart is in the right place, they aren’t well-thought-out.

Tan-Torres’ ideas for this year, aside from a notable few, aren’t particularly unique, but they don’t need to be—the ticket’s experience last year has clearly informed their proposals this year. The Tan-Torres slogan is Trusted and True, and ultimately, that is entirely accurate. For that reason, The Spectator endorses this ticket.