Sophomore Caucus Coverage 2022

Reading Time: 10 minutes

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Aditya Anand and Adrian Turkedjiev

RECORD: While Anand has some experience in student government through his positions as Student President in middle school and a member of the Events Department for Freshman Caucus, he and Turkedjiev emphasized their experience on the debate team, which helps them with public speaking.

DYNAMIC: The pair has a professional relationship but seem to lack an organic and fundamental close dynamic. Both are extroverted and confident, and they emphasized their competency in public speaking, though issues with trust and communication may arise as one may dominate the other in conversation.

PLATFORM: Anand and Turkedjiev are running on the platform AA, a double entendre representing both accessibility and achievability, as well as Aditya and Adrian. Their policies and events are thought-out and address important issues but are not particularly unique or likely to be carried through. Their strongest policies are plans to improve student welfare, such as having designated prayer areas and allowing students to remain in the building after 5:00 p.m. by staying on the first floor with the security guards. Some events are very ambitious, such as requiring teachers to post all their weekly assignment plans the weekend before, while their enforcement of the homework policy is not much different from what is already in place. Anand and Turkedjiev do address the feasibility of their plans and intend on finding solutions or compromises for their more ambitious policies.

Ethan Sie and Jaco Xia

RECORD: Sie ran for Freshman Caucus previously, and after not being elected, he promptly joined Ying-Xian’s caucus, where he was able to see what worked and what he would like to change. Xia was in his middle school’s student government until seventh grade and hasn’t had any leadership opportunities at Stuyvesant due to his dedication to certain extracurriculars like the robotics team.

DYNAMIC: Sie and Xia plan to split the caucus into two and divide the departments between themselves to oversee the operations they plan to undertake throughout the year. Due to Xia’s high commitment to clubs, Sie will be taking on the departments that require more communication and checking in, while Xia will oversee the departments that meet less often.

PLATFORM: The Sie-Xia ticket plans to lead the student body through their three pillars, dubbed CPR: Communication, Privilege, and Reception. They want to increase the student body’s knowledge through a map of the school (which could be used to help the incoming freshmen and sophomores but would quickly become obsolete). They also plan on creating Facebook groups for people to find others to commute home with, though, as of sophomore year, people likely will have already found friends to commute with. Sie and Xia also plan to communicate with the administration about changes in testing policy, such as making quizzes only on testing days and changing the weight of pop quizzes, something that seems unlikely to be agreed upon by teachers and the administration. Finally, Sie and Xia have planned various events for sophomores, such as escape rooms and a locker decoration contest.

Geoffrey Huang and Tay Cheong

RECORD: Cheong has prior student government experience, having served as his middle school’s class president. Through this position, he became familiar with advocating for students’ needs and reforming policies, such as being able to change his middle school’s uniform colors. Huang complements this skillset with his past experiences being part of his middle school’s National Honor Society, along with his role as a campaign manager earlier this year.

DYNAMIC: The duo shares a tight-knit dynamic, as they are close friends from meeting on the boys’ track and field team and sharing the same Global Studies class. They build upon each other’s ideas quite well and believe they would work well together.

PLATFORM: The Huang-Cheong platform revolves around the idea of making the Stuyvesant experience more enjoyable while simultaneously upholding the rigorous academic standards of the school. They emphasize three main guiding pillars: practicality, happiness, and communication. To alleviate stress at Stuy, the candidates propose hosting a greater number of fun and educational events for the student body to participate in, including dodgeball games, seasonal dances, and hide and seek games. They also propose creating a centralized manual containing basic information about the sports teams at Stuyvesant, with the goal of improving recruitments for PSAL teams.

Mahmuda Meher and Nicky Mota

RECORD: Meher and Mota both served as campaign managers for last fall’s Freshman Caucus tickets: Patel-Tung and Xian-Ying, respectively. Meher hosts her own fundraising club, Fiscus, which helps deliver materials to orphanages around the world. Mota doesn’t have any leadership experience, but she participated in debate for all four years of middle school.

DYNAMIC: Meher and Mota met this year and have become close friends. They are in constant communication with each other, something that would ensure that they are both fully informed of all developments. They are both outspoken and build on each other’s ideas fluidly.

PLATFORM: Meher-Mota’s platform revolves around their three Cs: community, communication, and change. Though many of their policies emphasize valuing the opinions of the student body and representing diversity, some changes, such as reinforcing the homework policy, are outside the scope of the power that the Sophomore Caucus wields. In addition, many of their planned events, such as dances, carnivals, movie and gaming nights, and talk circles, lack originality and are similar to the current Open Mics that take place at Stuyvesant, as well as previous events hosted by other caucuses.

Preena Patel and Malka Lubelski

RECORD: Patel and Lubelski have solid experience in student government, working as members of the finance and events departments of the current Freshman Caucus, respectively. They expressed an intention to draw upon their awareness of students’ desires and their event planning experience to bolster the sophomore class. Patel holds additional leadership positions in the Locksmith Committee of Key Club, the Stuyvesant Hindu Association, and the education nonprofit Fiscus. The two are further involved in Stuyvesant’s speech and debate team.

DYNAMIC: After meeting in class this year, Patel and Lubelski built a harmonious relationship. They conveyed a shared passion for bettering their grade and school, and the two are evidently comfortable in bouncing ideas off of each other and communicating smoothly. They especially noted that their pairing and complementary skill sets produce increased creativity and richer idea pooling.

PLATFORM: Patel-Lubelski’s platform is centered around the pillars of inclusivity, transparency, and growth, with an emphasis on planning. They have framed several initiatives to assist with the transition from freshman year to sophomore year, including a centralized secondhand textbook distribution system, PSAT-specific prep resources and tutoring, Zoom crams, AP study halls, and collected course selection opinions. Several of these proposals rely heavily on upperclassman participation and may falter with expected drops in engagement level as the year progresses, though Patel and Lubelski expressed possible combative incentives of extra credit and service hours. The ticket highlighted their plan to clarify the cell phone policy and enforce homework and grade uploads, though their ideas for implementing additional consequences for teachers and requiring teachers to send out monthly Google Forms seem unlikely to pass by administration and come to fruition. The duo shines most in the variety of their fresh, accessible event ideas, which encompass sports, outfit, and locker decoration contests, time capsules, and cultural celebrations.

Vitaly Pya and Victor Kamrowski

RECORD: Overall, the dynamic pair has had limited experience in student government. Pya held a position in student government during his last year of middle school, while Kamrowski does not have much notable experience.

DYNAMIC: Pya and Kamrowski have known each other since the beginning of the school year, and they have been able to communicate and take responsibilities during their campaigning. Kamrowski has been noted to be more organized, while Pya prioritizes listening to the student body. However, they have not been actively promoting their platform and policies on social media or through other means.

PLATFORM: The Pya-Kamrowski ticket believes they are the best duo to represent the student body and wants to create a closer community in the sophomore class. They have four policies that include removing the headphone ban, repainting the sophomore bar, allowing for more freedom when entering and exiting the school building, and increasing events. However, these events are unclear and not yet well-specified. In addition, the pair has received a strike for having a campaign manager petition for them.

Berk Eyubov and Cyrus Mahak

RECORD: Though passionate about making change in Stuyvesant’s student politics, Eyubov and Mahak have limited experience when it comes to high school student government. Mahak took on the roles of student council president and vice president in fifth and sixth grade, respectively. Eyubov has assumed leadership roles outside of the school environment but, like Mahak, none within Stuyvesant’s walls.

DYNAMIC: Eyubov and Mahak met in first semester Biology, and throughout the year, the two have grown close and comfortable with one another. In order to effectively manage their campaign for Sophomore Caucus, Eyubov and Mahak have emphasized the importance of delegating responsibilities, such as maintaining a social media presence and hanging up posters around school.

PLATFORM: The Eyubov-Mahak ticket emphasizes the relevance of improving the everyday lives of students. Their main policies include letting students in early during free periods, peer-to-peer emotional counseling, and rerouting the escalators to go up when they break down. Though admirable, these policies are perhaps too ambitious. Actually implementing them through the administration won’t be feasible. Eyubov and Mahak also plan to release helpful guides featuring outside opportunities, teachers, and AP classes while also hosting Zoom calls every Friday to “stay in touch” with the student body.

Collin Liang and Antonietta Baerga

RECORD: Though Liang was in his middle school’s Junior Honor Society and Baerga was part of a mentoring program in eighth grade that constituted helping incoming middle school students adjust to the new atmosphere, the two have had overall limited experience in student government.

DYNAMIC: Liang and Baerga have known one another since the beginning of the school year and have become well acquainted through school projects and class assignments. Their experience working on such academic activities has given them the opportunity to become comfortable collaborating with each other, and they are keen on open communication to ensure the equal distribution of responsibilities between themselves.

PLATFORM: The Liang-Baerga ticket places emphasis on four main aspects of the Stuyvesant community: academics, public events, general quality of school life, and funding. The duo plans to amend the current homework policy, though their ideas for decreasing student stress related to nightly homework are rather unclear and lack specificity. Their proposition to have study guides in collaboration with ARISTA and Big Sibs is, though understandably ambitious, not necessarily a novel idea. Several of their other planned implementations are also slightly unfeasible and lack innovation, such as a reformed headphone policy and early entry into the building from lunch/free periods. Though their ideas for student-only class chats and increased budgeting for the student body are commendable in their attempt to place focus on students, problems with feasibility and a general lack of specificity in regards to proposed changes keep the Liang-Baerga ticket from truly standing out among fellow competitors.

Fin Ying and Andy Xian

RECORD: Ying and Xian are no newbies when it comes to student government. The two have ample experience as current leaders of Freshman Caucus. This prior experience has been instrumental in allowing them to forge meaningful connections with both the student body and other members of the Student Union. Given their strong student government background, Ying and Xian are actively involved with the SU and the administration, and they believe that their passion for caucus and willingness to sacrifice their time make them the ideal candidates.

DYNAMIC: The duo has excellent chemistry, rooted in a friendship that was born in middle school. Having already worked together as leaders of Freshman Caucus, Ying and Xian understand each other well and are only strengthened by disagreements. They are open to compromise and value rock-solid communication when it comes to establishing trust and settling conflicts.

PLATFORM: The Ying-Xian ticket’s four pillars are communication, advocacy, transparency, and service. They hope to improve communication and transparency with the student body through newsletters, promotions, and a more involved social media presence. Their advocacy pillar focuses on helping students find their place and feel empowered within Stuyvesant’s walls. They plan to implement this aspect through various reforms, including placing more feminine hygiene products in the bathrooms, creating a sophomore website, and hosting Tuesday talks on their social media that condense important information for students. Their emphasis on service demonstrates a push to create a comfortable environment for students through inclusive school functions, like their LGBTQ+ rock painting event.

Ryan Rad and Christopher Louie

RECORD: Rad has a lengthy tenure in robotics, captaining teams in both elementary and middle school. He also moderates Stuy’s freshman Discord server, which includes around 500 students.

DYNAMIC: Rad and Louie are focusing their efforts separately: Rad plans to handle the technical, website, and financial-facing side, while Louie is more centered around outreach and student involvement. While they plan to deal with separate spheres, they stress the importance of maintaining an even balance of both work and power in their roles as co-presidents.

PLATFORM: The duo prides themselves on balancing ambitious projects and small changes that will ultimately be impactful in the community. From indoor plants to stimulate a healthier environment to various community-building activities, the ticket has built its plan around several systems already in place (i.e. guest speakers, movie nights, and study guides). The ticket plans to be self-sustaining through merchandise sales, fairs, and raffles, though this plan may fall short without a concrete plan to garner participation. Other policies, such as their plans to use a universal platform for materials, homework, and classwork and to condense Mr. Blumm’s weekly opportunities bulletin, seem perfectly feasible and are more targeted toward convenience for their class. A facet of their platform that the duo made sure to stress is their focus on improving mental health among the sophomore class. For instance, every semester, they hope to create a play about mental health, though this effort may conflict with STC’s seasonal productions. In addition, the duo will work with Pstuychology and guest speakers to provide monthly presentations.