Sophomore Caucus: William Tang and Eshaal Ubaid

The Spectator reviews the platforms of the Sophomore Caucus candidates, this being the Tang-Ubaid ticket.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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By Julia Lee

RECORD: William Tang and Eshaal Ubaid have both garnered significant student government experience. The pair founded Be A Leader, a leadership club aimed at helping their fellow students gain leadership skills and increase their self-confidence. At Stuyvesant, Tang and Ubaid were both on the Events Committee of Freshman Caucus.

CAMPAIGN: Tang and Ubaid have a good rapport and complement each other both professionally and personally. They are both well-spoken, elaborating on each other’s points with few pauses or breaks. Their confidence in their abilities is evident and present themselves as very capable leaders.

PLATFORM: The policies in their platform draw inspiration from their previous student government experience and deviate significantly from that of other caucuses. As previous members of the Events Committee of Freshman Caucus, they hope to use their knowledge of the inner mechanics of a caucus to implement cabinet reformation. This indicates a larger trend of their platform, in which they focus ambitiously on structural, administrative changes rather than community events, which was the focus of many caucuses this year.

The three pillars of the Tang-Ubaid ticket are adaptability, inclusivity, and innovation. They are cognizant of the importance of the former two, as their class—one that has yet to step foot into the school building collectively—transitions to in-person learning in the upcoming school year. Major initiatives to supplement the transition include a Contact Masterlist for easier communication among the sophomore body, utilizing other social media platforms such as Discord to send updates and other relevant information, and an advice column as part of a periodical newsletter. All are well-intentioned and realistic. They will still focus on online interaction, as they believe it provides the foundation for in-person engagement. Further elaboration on in-person engagement would have helped their platform, though.

Innovation was displayed through multiple initiatives such as promoting eco-friendly culture and merchandise, both of which draw on Tang and Ubaid’s passions, respectively. Tang is part of the global climate strike movement Fridays for Future. Their vision for the eco-friendly initiative involves ongoing collaboration with the Environmental Club. While interesting, this lacks details in their platform. Ubaid is serving as the assistant art director for SophFrosh SING! 2021 and helped design the logo for their ticket. They believe merchandise will encourage engagement and school spirit. They hope to collaborate with the Internal Affairs Department, the Student Union as a whole, and art teachers to help promote this. While not entirely necessary, this is a feasible and supportive policy.

A standout point in their policies is their focus on internal, structural change such as cabinet reformation. They hope to shed more light on the individual members and departments to improve public perception, using them directly as forms of communication to interact with the rest of the sophomore body. Internally, they hope to create a sense of community and accountability through work parties and record-keeping (think minutes but made public).

All of this demonstrates a willingness to be transparent and tackle what they believe to be the root of the problem in student government: general unresponsiveness and apathy among the student population. They plan on enacting systemic change in how caucuses are structured in order to target the problem directly. This means reaching out to the sophomore body through different platforms, including everyone in updates, and working within the boundaries of what can realistically be done. They know the limitations they will undoubtedly encounter, but they are also creative problem solvers and can meet their goals without overextending their limitations.