Junior Caucus Endorsements

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Serenity Dingwall-Kassandra Sinchi

Overall Review: Serenity and Kassandra met in freshman year and got close through their involvement in debate. The Dingwall-Sinchi ticket clearly demonstrates good chemistry. They both have strong leadership qualities, drawing from Dingwall’s experience in the SU events department and Sinchi’s experience on the Student Leadership Team and as a Student Equity Leader. They emphasize the practicality of their policies and events, which is made possible by their extensive and diverse experience. One of their main goals is to improve students’ mental health, which would be done by closer collaboration with the guidance office and by taking inspiration from successful events at other schools. They recognize the importance of improving communication within their grade and ensuring more active participation. Dingwall and Sinchi are concerned with the college readiness of their peers and plan to assist by gathering much-needed advice from the senior caucus and upgrading the current AIS system to provide more options for students. Many of their policies such as the creation of a Rate Your Teachers website to share a more diverse collection of perspectives have the potential to be useful for juniors by improving previous caucuses’ efforts. However, the Rate Your Teachers website could be controversial if not monitored properly, and some of their proposals such as bringing emotional support animals to Battery Park would be difficult to safely organize. Other proposals like the escape room events seem to lack detail. Thus, The Spectator does not endorse this ticket.

Zihe Huang-Eisei Kori

Dynamic: The Kori-Huang ticket has significant experience of SU leadership, with Huang being the Outreach Director and Kori being the events director of the Sophomore Caucus this year. The two heavily emphasize the importance of communication, collaboration, and coordination, skills that they learned and developed during their time as caucus directors. Kori and Huang both understand the necessities of communication between the student body, whether that be transparency about budget finances or event interests, but also the value of sincere voices within the caucus cabinet itself. They intend on doing such by communicating via Slack, having consistent checkups with their members, and analyzing all successes and issues throughout the cabinet. Kori and Huang possess opposite work styles with Huang being very structured while Kori is spontaneous in his decision making. The two expect there to be a tension between their styles but believe that the balance they have achieved over their time together in Sophomore Caucus will translate into their performance as Junior Caucus presidents and hope that their different qualities will complement each other.

Platform: The Kori-Huang ticket understands the importance of college readiness for the junior student body and emphasizes this with a detailed year long plan beginning the summer before junior year. By partnering with organizations like Kweller, YTT, and the Stuyvesant Alumni Mentoring Program, the duo plans to provide juniors with various college and career exploration opportunities. They also understand the need for Stuyvesant-specific data in the college process and plan on analyzing and sharing Naviance admissions statistics through their Admissions Research Project. At the same time, the Kori-Huang ticket hopes to allow students to relieve the stress of junior year with events like a Halloween Locker Decorating Contest, a Winter Holiday Movie Night, a Senior Thrift, and a Spring Carnival. The pair highlights the importance of lowering J-Prom ticket prices by hosting fundraisers throughout the year and being transparent about costs with the student body. In the same vein, working with the students is essential to the Kori-Huang ticket. They hope to represent all juniors from niche groups to competitive clubs with highlights and galleries catered to respective interests. This ticket hopes to not only facilitate communication and collaboration between the students and the caucus but also within the caucus itself. They plan on overhauling the cabinet structure, including adding roles for college readiness and fundraising and organizing weekly meetings among caucus leadership. 

Overall Review: The Kori-Huang ticket outlines the intricacies and depth behind each and every single decision in their platform, which centers around their three main focus points of fundraising, college readiness, and event consistency. From the reconstruction of the Junior Caucus cabinet to the Junior Prom fundraising timeline they have prepared over a year in advance, Kori and Huang prove their allegiance to their class via their commitment of pure transparency and complete dedication to the student body. For all the reasons above and a myriad of others, The Spectator endorses this ticket.

Jasmine Liang-Ian Villatoro

Though Liang and Villatoro have limited student government experience at Stuy, they hold other leadership positions—Liang will be on Stuyvesant Theater Community’s SLATE, and Villatoro is a co-president of Stuyvesant Donated Apparel, a club dedicated to creating clothing to donate to the homeless community of New York City. The duo is primarily focused on making junior year a less intimidating experience for their classmates by organizing a series of events and competitions for all juniors to participate in. They also prioritize supporting students academically and consolidating college admissions resources. However, many of these policies, such as internship and scholarship guides, college fairs, and AP course guides, are adjacent to what has already been accomplished by ARISTA and Mr Blumm’s Opportunities Bulletin. Overall, despite their good intentions, the ticket suffers from a lack of specificity as to how they will accomplish their objectives, and most policies fall flat due to either redundancies with other preexisting organizations at Stuyvesant or their vagueness.

Vanna Lei-Philip Zhang

Dynamic: Vanna and Philip first met in freshman year while separately running for Freshman Caucus. The Lei-Zhang ticket holds remarkable potential as a duo by demonstrating a clear division of responsibilities. Lei—who has two years of experience as a Caucus President—plans to take care of duties regarding internal administration, as she is most familiar with matters pertaining to those aspects. In contrast, Zhang—who is currently a Science Olympiad Event Leader and has skills pertaining to outreach—will handle out-of-school tasks such as garnering donations and working with other organizations. With Lei’s strong track record of organizing events, one can expect that the trend will continue with well-planned and well-thought-out events that will cater to a wide range of students.

Platform: The Lei-Zhang ticket has a strong focus on easing the college admissions process with a wide range of policies. Two notable examples are their planned college tours to a host of popular colleges to provide students an affordable way to explore their options, and their college information guides, which will teach students about what different schools have to offer and help students figure out where they might want to apply. However, the main event of the Lei-Zhang platform is their effort to lower J-Prom ticket prices. Their policies demonstrate a unique understanding of what is feasible for their Junior Caucus. Rather than having many smaller events over the year that garner less attention, they aim to host only a few and focus what limited events-related funds are available to J-Prom prices. This doesn't mean the year will be devoid of fun events. In fact, they have many activities such as seasonal raffles planned with the goal of raising money for J-Prom. In addition, the two will take advantage of Zhang’s past experience with outreach to find sponsors for J-Prom outside of Stuyvesant, looking at organizations that have previously donated to other Stuyvesant-related activities such as Science Olympiad. Although it’s unclear how some of their plans will be helpful, such as coding a new platform for selling J-Prom tickets aimed at circumventing added fees, the Lei-Zhang ticket overall has thorough and realistic plans that tackle issues that matter to juniors.

Overall Review: The Lei-Zhang ticket plays to its strengths well. Lei’s unique experience with caucus allows the ticket to best understand what is and isn’t possible and thus execute realistic plans, and Zhang’s skills in outreach support the ticket’s policies and events in a substantial way that other tickets have failed to do. Therefore, The Spectator endorses this ticket.

Catherine Chan-Alexa Leahy

Overall Review: As teammates on both the mock trial and girls’ lacrosse teams, Chan and Leahy demonstrate a strong dynamic, prioritizing communication and transparency with each other while striking a healthy balance between cooperation and constructive criticism. Their vision is centered around a more tightly-knit junior student body and initiatives to improve mental health. Notably, the two proposed a mental health week prior to AP season featuring guidance counselor-led meditation sessions over the morning announcements, several lighthearted, stress-relieving activities (painting, coloring, origami, etc.), and fundraising opportunities through sales of stress toys and other goods. Chan and Leahy also hope to strengthen the bond within the junior class through board games and conversation starter cards in the junior atrium, which they believe will promote the formation of new connections and friendships. The two proposed a series of creative and plausible fundraising opportunities, ranging from Paint and Sips to raffles to trivia and movie nights, which will partially sponsor college tours, college admissions officer speaking events, career fairs, and more. These college prep initiatives—as well as their desire for more study guides and caucus-hosted zoom study sessions before major tests—demonstrate their emphasis on providing outlets for academic support outside of those that the school or other organizations provide. However, Chan and Leahy face a pressing obstacle with their lack of experience in student government and leadership roles. Though Chan is a member of the Student Union Events Committee and Leahy is a junior assistant captain for the girls’ lacrosse team, they lack significant experience in planning and organizing student government policies and events. Furthermore, while the two mentioned their plans to be transparent with the intent of fundraising events, they fail to incentivize many of their key events. Thus, The Spectator does not endorse this ticket.

Riuu Shaker-Sneha Puspa

The Riuu-Sneha ticket boasts an ability to collaborate and balance each other out. While Riuu is more extroverted and Sneha is more comfortable behind the scenes, the two have worked together before in a variety of clubs and activities such as SING!. This ticket focuses on listening to and prioritizing the voice of the student body, with plans of having a spreadsheet of student ideas guiding their decisions every month. Above all, they place an emphasis on getting smaller, more niche groups of students recognized and involved. Through goals like monthly newsletters shouting out clubs and advertising opportunities, the Riuu-Sneha ticket aims to facilitate a collaborative relationship between the caucus and the student body. However, while this ticket has a variety of events planned out to further this aim, they do not have a description of how they will accomplish their goals or organize their leadership, which is especially important considering their lack of experience in student government. Hence, many of their ideas come across as either too vague or rudimentary. For these reasons, The Spectator does not endorse this ticket. 

Vincent Chen-Chloe Tam

Overall Review: Having met in freshman year, the Chen-Tam ticket offers a very balanced dynamic. Their teamwork is evident in collaborative planning and complementary skill sets, where Chen’s idealism and Tam’s realism create a well-rounded perspective to effectively address various challenges. The pair has also developed strong skills through their involvement in other areas, which could prove beneficial. By serving on the cabinet of his freshman caucus, Chen gained valuable insights into fundraising and the inner workings of the caucus. Meanwhile, as a Red Cross leader, Tam has gained experience in organizing and planning numerous events while maintaining effective communications with different groups within the school. This ticket focuses on increasing the transparency of student government—especially when it comes to giving more students leadership opportunities and keeping the grade informed on policies and events. They also focus on making junior prom more accessible and affordable to students and making the junior atrium as welcoming as possible. They propose many specific policies to accomplish those goals. To improve the workings of their grade’s caucus, the Chen-Tam ticket suggests expanding the executive board while opening cabinet meetings up to whoever wants to attend. In order to raise money for events such as J-Prom, this ticket plans on holding fun fundraising events such as trips to the bowling alley and bi-monthly bake sales while also having smaller pre-party events to include more people in the prom experience and raise money for the actual prom. However, they did not provide sufficient insight as to how the pre-party events would work in terms of logistics. Academically, this ticket hopes to improve college readiness by raising awareness about various programs through the creation of an academic bulletin in addition to PSAT and SAT guides. However, the duo could not thoroughly explain how this initiative would function. Due to a lack of planning on execution of policies and events and a lack of student government experience, The Spectator does not endorse this ticket.

Bogdan Sotnikov-Maxim Argat

Overall Review: The Sotnikov-Argat ticket is a duo of great friends that have known each other since middle school. Although the ticket’s relationship is dynamic and well established, they did not provide substantial policies. Having provided only vague descriptions of possible events and changes, it was clear that the proposed policies were more suggestions than a clear plan. The ticket suggested reform of the bathrooms, focusing on providing smaller yet crucial privileges to the student body. The most notable policy was changing—or abolishing—the five-minute reentry rule for free periods to 10-minutes, but that is unrealistic because it is not within the Junior Caucus’s power. Due to a clear lack of substantial policies and planning, The Spectator does not endorse this ticket.

Checed Ligh-Cody Cai

Overall Review: The Ligh-Cai ticket was not well thought out and clearly lacked intent. When asked about why they wanted to run for caucus or when asked about specific goals, there was no specific answer. Rather, the pair provided vague, generalized statements. Their goal is to be a more transparent form of student government, but they lack initiatives to do so. However, their strong friendship and compatibility with each other makes them a well-fit duo in that regard. Regardless, their visionless-vision if elected gives The Spectator reason to not endorse this ticket.

Tristan Haugh-Andy Yao

The Haugh-Yao campaign video was a banana mukbang. Their campaign photo is the pair eating bananas. When asked “why bananas?” they responded, “bananas are excellent fruits.” Both have apt leadership experience—Yao does acapella and is “used to being in the spotlight,” and Haugh participates in MootCourt, SciOly, and produces SING!. They pulled a provocative stunt by pasting another ticket’s policies onto their policy document. They tried to prove that policy is arbitrary and all that matters is having an interesting campaign and open communication. Though we hope they can effectively distribute bananas, The Spectator does not endorse this ticket.