SU Endorsements: Sofat-Giordano

The Spectator editorial board analyzes the Visian's platform, campaign, and candidates.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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By Matt Melucci

Platform: ★★★★☆

The Visian platform holds more substance than even the 19-page platform would indicate. While their proposed policies are a continuation of the work of past administrations, they are feasible and would benefit the student body if implemented.

Record: ★★★★★

Sofat and Giordano have served in the SU for all of their years at Stuyvesant, bringing with them an unmatched level of experience. They have consistently supported all members of the community throughout that time.

Campaign: ★★★★★

Both Sofat and Giordano went into the SU Debate and our interview with an impressive level of preparation and respect. They upheld a professional appearance and conduct, even when directed with accusations of embezzlement.

Having served as Freshman Caucus and Sophomore Caucus President in 2016 and 2017, and as Student Union (SU) Vice President since 2018, junior Vishwaa Sofat continues to pursue serving the student body as he runs for SU President with sophomore Julian Giordano as his running mate. The “Visian” campaign distinguishes itself from the two others with the fact that the Sofat-Giordano ticket rests on experience. In both the debate and more so during the interview with the managing board, Sofat and Giordano demonstrate the knowledge and working dynamic necessary for an effective and receptive administration, earning The Spectator’s endorsement.

The Visian campaign, beginning with its 19-page platform and continuing with our two-hour interview, shows dedication, effort, and care to further their slogan of “inclusivity, transparency, and accessibility.” The platform dedicates a section to Sofat and Giordano’s accomplishments while working within the SU and in communities outside of Stuyvesant, testifying to them having a combined “half a decade of experience in the SU.”

While knowledge from experience built the foundations of their concrete platform, working together in close partnership for two years has established a strong, complementary dynamic between Sofat and Giordano. Finding a running mate who would be on the same page—who would “share that same ‘visian’”—was important to Sofat. It is clear that he and Giordano stand on the same page in terms of philosophy and policy; during the interview, either Sofat or Giordano would continue from where the other left off when elaborating on their platform. Finding a running mate who would also introduce a different way of approaching an issue was equally important a criterion; Sofat recognized disagreements between him and Giordano as a way to help him rethink his methods and beliefs.

In terms of working relations, Sofat combines his strong grasp in administrative affairs with Giordano’s expertise in out-of-school affairs. The combination of Sofat’s senate-level connections and Giordano’s local-level connections allows the Visian ticket to work on multiple tiers. In terms of personalities, Giordano’s caution complements Sofat’s assertion when interacting with the administration. Sofat acknowledged that such interactions necessitate “[asking] for forgiveness after instead of approval first.” Though Sofat admits that Giordano might have trouble doing so, he attests to Giordano’s initiatives and ability to gauge when to assert himself. It is worth noting that both Sofat and Giordano were aware of and openly described each other’s weaknesses. To us, this demonstrated effective communication and a clear sense of trust.

Sofat and Giordano’s effective collaboration has led to a list of policy proposals that are extensible, feasible, and beneficial to the student body. At first glance, many of Visian’s policies appear to be mere incremental improvements to existing efforts underway by the SU, such as improving dances and increasing the selection of beverage vending machines available within the school. But the iterative nature of these proposals obscures the thought and effort that has gone into them. The vast experience of both Sofat and Giordano is exemplified by their in-depth knowledge of each one of their policies. For example, when asked about the Tea’s Tea vending machine’s compliance issues, Giordano was immediately able to pull up the DOE regulations regarding selling food and drinks in schools, and effectively explained how the SU procured the vending machine and the potential problems surrounding it. Both Sofat and Giordano possess this ability to go into the nitty-gritty details of implementing various policies, and are able to explain how they would modify policies that they had previously failed to accomplish.

The unique degree of experience embodied in the Visian campaign stands out most strongly in regards to their fifth-floor balcony proposal. Both Sofat and Giordano have worked with the administration and governmental organizations in an attempt to secure grants to fund the project, and they have carefully tabulated the educational, emotional, and environmental benefits of the project for both the Stuyvesant and TriBeCa communities. No other ticket possesses the connections and experience with bureaucracy needed to implement ambitious proposals like upgrading Stuyvesant’s infrastructure. Giordano and Sofat have had two and three years, respectively, to immerse themselves in these issues and form the relationships with school administrators that are necessary to put these proposals in place, a head start we believe is insurmountable by the other tickets. And Visian manages to maintain an emphasis on proposals that would directly help the student body, like PSAL frees and the enforcement of a new homework policy, while Sleazoids and Tam-Kuke seemed to focus more on SU-specific reforms that mean less to voters.

While Visian’s commitment to thoughtful policy proposals sets them apart from the pack, their professionalism and character cement our endorsement of the ticket. Throughout the SU Debate and our interview, we observed a high degree of respect, with both Sofat and Giordano avoiding ungrounded insinuations or ad hominem attacks against other candidates. They also proved to be helpful in arranging our interview and in ensuring our coverage could be posted in a timely fashion, reflecting an understanding of the importance of collaboration with others that’s essential for the SU. Most importantly, however, Sofat and Giordano are untainted by any evidence that they do not respect the LGBTQ+ or female communities at Stuyvesant; the same cannot be said for the other tickets. In fact, in his closing argument during the SU Debate, Sofat made sure to clarify: “I believe in women’s rights, I believe in LGBTQ rights.” The fact that this statement was necessary speaks to the abysmal state of this year’s campaigning season. Visian is the only ticket we can trust to serve as role models for the student body and ensure every community feels safe at Stuyvesant. Ultimately, it is due to the combination of Sofat and Giordano’s teamwork, experience, policies, and character that The Spectator Editorial Board is endorsing their run for SU President and Vice President.