Stuyvesant High School Holds Its First ARISTA Induction Ceremony After the Pandemic

Stuyvesant High School’s ARISTA honors society held an induction ceremony on October 6, 2023.

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The Stuyvesant ARISTA Honor Society held its first in-person induction ceremony for members since 2019 in the Murray Kahn Theater on October 6, 2023. Dozens of students and ARISTA leaders worked together to ensure that the event ran smoothly. 

Around 300 people attended this event in total, including students, staff, and family members. Senior and President of ARISTA Vanessa Chen recalls being pleasantly surprised when she was sent an e-mail informing her that three generations of Stuyvesant ARISTA inductees, meaning a student, their parent, and their grandparent, were planning to attend. “It definitely made me recognize further that this ceremony is very meaningful. It is not just something done for tradition’s sake and I hope I did justice to that,” Chen said.

The event had many parts to it, starting with a slideshow that explained the association to the attendees. Principal Seung Yu, English teacher and ARISTA faculty advisor Eric Ferencz, and other speakers addressed the members of the group. Chen recited the pledge of ARISTA, which the members repeated. Lastly, the students were called up row by row on stage to receive their certificates for being a part of this association.

Not only was this event important for celebrating the members of Stuyvesant ARISTA, but it also helped to strengthen the bonds between its members. “My favorite part was probably getting to know the executive council as well as my Operations team. Last year, we didn’t have many chances to work with the rest of the committees,” senior and Vice President of the Operations Committee Juni Park said.

While the leaders of ARISTA made the majority of the decisions, Ferencz and the ARISTA Operations Committee played a huge role in making the event happen. “[They prepared] the customized T-shirts for every member, organizing them and placing them on their seats beforehand, printing flyers, and putting up QR codes,” junior Tamiyyah Shafiq said.

Junior Angela Mashuryan recently joined ARISTA, and so far, she has enjoyed her experience with the association. “There are plenty of opportunities to choose from, so I never feel stifled or pressured because I know I can always do what I will most enjoy,” Mashuryan said. “I genuinely do love volunteering and feeling like I’m helping out in some way, whether that be big or small.”

However, to Mashuryan, the event felt rather underwhelming, from an emotional perspective. “I did feel proud and like part of a larger community, but there was something stiff about it that took away from the emotional aspect,” Mashuryan said.

During the ceremony, there were certain logistical oversights, which some members credit to a lack of preparation. “It just felt like it could have used a bit more rehearsal, like making sure we could see the people on stage and hear the music without [any] interruptions,” Mashuryan said. “[They could have worked on] adjusting the lighting so we could see the people on stage. Most of the time, while they were talking, they were completely in the dark, which felt a bit awkward and made it harder to focus on the message of their words.”

Members also believed that as a whole, the event was not as expansive as it had the potential to be. “I guess we could have advertised it better [and] made it bigger [as an event],” Shafiq said.

But there were some key moments of the ceremony that stood out to many members, including keynote speaker senior Ryan Dong’s speech. “Ryan has used the tools from ARISTA and has made it something of his own. Not only do we value him as a key member of ARISTA, but I [also] could not think of a person who demonstrates the four pillars of ARISTA better,” Chen said.

During the event, the candle-lighting ceremony, in which four candles representing the pillars of ARISTA—scholarship, leadership, service, and character—were lit, was especially memorable to many. “I think it was a very unique touch to represent the four pillars of ARISTA, and I know it’s been a couple of years since they last did that,” Mashuryan said.

Looking back, senior members of ARISTA reflect on how far the organization has come, as they held their first in-person induction ceremony in over four years, and they hope the same level of success is reached in upcoming years. “I really hope the next executive council carries on the tradition, and I wish them the best of luck,” Park said.