Senior Caucus: Cynthia Tan and Elio Torres

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By Sasha Socolow

RECORD: Having served the past two years together as president and vice president, Tan and Torres have an incomparable amount of experience under their belt. However, while they performed adequately in-person, there has been a growing disconnect between the caucus and students over the remote year due to a lack of transparency and communication with the student body, leaving many unaware of the events and resources they have worked on.

CAMPAIGN: The two have an amicable dynamic. They emphasize the importance of communication and trust, and their personal connection as friends only strengthens their professional relationship. The Tan-Torres ticket also prioritizes organization, efficiency, and direct communication within their caucus.

PLATFORM: The Tan-Torres ticket plans to focus on college readiness and senior events, along with an emphasis on alternatives and backup plans, many of which take into account COVID-19 regulations and administrative limitations. Their extensive experience in event planning enables them to expand on existing senior traditions while starting some of their own. Their college preparedness initiatives are a linear progression of their policies from this past year but lack specificity regarding the senior college application process.

After serving as Junior Caucus president and vice president over the past year, Cynthia Tan and Elio Torres are back for their final election, running uncontested for Senior Caucus. Aiming to make senior year fun and stress-free, their ticket is centered around addressing student concerns regarding the college admissions process, planning for senior events, advocating for additional electives, and tackling students’ mental health concerns. With experience, preparation, and an amicable dynamic, it is likely that their ideas will become a reality.

With the hectic college application process in senior year, Tan and Torres plan on implementing a variety of events and resources to make the season more seamless. Priorities of theirs are making sure all of these resources are digestible and working in conjunction with the college office to centralize college resources and host informative events. These opportunities will include college essay workshops, senior advice events, a How-To-College series, and scholarship resources. All of these materials, along with application deadlines, open houses, and more, will be easily available in a college calendar provided to students.

Where the Tan-Torres platform shines is in their plans for senior-specific events. In addition to senior prom, senior sunrise, and graduation, Tan and Torres plan to have a homecoming dance in the fall in order to bolster school spirit. Additionally, they hope to hold a summer kickoff in the coming months due to the lack of a junior prom this year. The two plan to host smaller initiatives,like a “Nostalgia Day” for seniors involving childhood shows and snacks or a photo booth near the senior bar to foster a sense of community.

However, the Tan-Torres ticket lacks a comprehensive plan to address students’ struggles with mental health. While Tan and Torres cite poor mental health as a large problem at Stuyvesant, their plans to remedy the issue seem fairly standard. The two are currently working with representatives from other specialized high schools on a mental health manual that dissects mental illnesses and provides tips on improving mental health. They also plan on hosting mediation and yoga events for students to destress and relax. While this proposal seems helpful, a plethora of similar resources are already available to students. Additionally, students have reported a lack of communication from the caucus, leaving many unaware of the resources that exist, furthering their ineffectiveness.

However, Tan and Torres recognize their unique position to advocate for the students’ wants and needs, which includes bridging the parent-student gap by advocating for the student voice to parents and the administration and fighting for more lenient policies toward students to facilitate the return to in-person learning.

Overall, Tan and Torres promise an enjoyable senior year when it comes to senior events, but they lack concrete solutions that address students’ mental health and the return to in-person. Even so, with their experience as caucus leaders over the last three years and their strong ties with administrators in school and external organizations, the Tan-Torres Senior Caucus has both the plans for and the capabilities to execute their plans for the coming school year.