Junior Caucus: Daniel Lyalin and Emmanuel Abayev
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Though the DNA ticket has shown experience in leadership and civic engagement outside of school, the duo has limited involvement with governance in school affairs.
Though the DNA ticket has an outstanding website, its campaign efforts have been largely unsuccessful.
The DNA ticket has a meticulous platform oriented around technology that is almost perfectly adapted to virtual learning. The ticket, however, fails to propose innovative ideas that will inspire social interaction among the junior class.
The DNA ticket stands out for its pragmatic and effective platform. Lyalin and Abayev plan to enact practical, useful initiatives, like a redesigned Junior Caucus website, a central database with access to all recorded class sessions, a customizable bell schedule, and a program that filters Internship Coordinator Harvey Blumm’s Student Opportunity Bulletin. The ticket also plans to expand StuyVantage to essential online student services like Duolingo Plus and a school-wide GitHub Student Developer Pack. In fact, the ticket has even started working on some of its ideas along with its technology team.
Lyalin and Abayev also exhibit great chemistry and a collaborative spirit. As was clear at the Board-of-Elections-hosted debate and has even been acknowledged by the duo themselves, Lyalin is more technically-grounded in logistics and details while Abayev is more creative and thinks outside of the box—two contrasting leadership styles that compliment each other well. They have known each other since the seventh grade, and their partnership and mutual respect for their differing leadership styles came through strongly in both the debate and their interview with The Spectator.
Moreover, DNA’s professionalism—they came to the interview dressed in a suit—is greatly appreciated. Its website, which was entirely created by the candidates and their technology team, is also beautifully designed and informative.
Despite these strengths, Lyalin and Abayev suffer from a lack of experience in the Student Union, though they have some in-school leadership. Lyalin is a board member on the Red Cross and the vice president of the Stuyvesant Ethics Bowl, and Abayev is the director of the Writing Center. Outside of Stuyvesant, Lyalin founded a non-profit organization, School Supply Campaign Inc., and Abayev assisted Congressman Max Rose in his campaign, founded a tutoring program, Alpha Prep, and aided a study of NCAA athletes at the University of South Carolina.
Additionally, DNA’s presence on social media is lacking, and the campaign does not attract enough attention from the junior class, ultimately allowing their strengths—a great platform and strong presentation skills—to go largely unnoticed.
The ticket’s inability to engage with the greater junior class is also apparent in its lack of social proposals. While their more tangible proposals would greatly benefit the junior grade, social interaction is more important now than ever before. The ticket does not have any original event ideas and does not explain how it would go about creating a “truly unforgettable” Junior Prom. Caucus events are crucial to promoting unity and camaraderie among all grade members, and the DNA platform does not have a clear, dynamic plan to address this. We, however, commend the ticket for its emphasis on realistic, innovative digital initiatives.
Overall, the DNA ticket’s strengths do not compensate for its lack of experience, minimal campaigning, and absence of dynamic social proposals. Though there are undoubtedly many great aspects of the DNA ticket that would make Lyalin and Abayev effective Junior Caucus leaders, The Spectator does not endorse it.