TnT: Cynthia Tan and Elio Torres

Cynthia Tan and Elio Torres promise to “blow you away” with their three-pronged emphasis on transparency, innovation, and team; the Spectator Editorial Board reviews their...

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Cover Image
By Matt Melucci

Platform: ★★★☆☆
While Tan and Torres have brainstormed a strong list of projects and one major policy project, they are still working out the details of their ideas (i.e. if they are going to have a website or not and whether they are going to collaborate with ARISTA for their study guide database). Additionally, aspects of their platform are similar to existing programs; for example, their alumni newsletter idea is similar to an existing Sophomore Caucus newsletter. However, the ticket’s projects are realistic, showing an understanding of what can be accomplished by their caucus.

Record: ★★★★☆
Both Tan and Torres have Student Union experience, working closely to manage Freshman Caucus. While they were unable to fulfill all of the policy goals outlined last fall in Tan’s platform with Freshman Caucus Co-President Emma Wong, the caucus was able to make tangible progress with their Coming In Early proposal, which they hope to continue to develop this year.

Campaign: ★★★★☆
Though the TnT campaign successfully raised its profile via the use of comical Facebook cover photos and TnT puns, Tan and Torres are serious candidates. They attended the Sophomore Caucus Q&A Session, and during their interview, they seemed to complement one another well.

Freshman Caucus Co-President Cynthia Tan has decided to run for Sophomore Caucus President with a new running mate—Freshman Caucus Chief of Staff Elio Torres. The Tan-Torres ticket is running unopposed. Despite this, the pair, dubbed TnT, promises to “blow you away” with their three-pronged emphasis on transparency, innovation, and team.

One of the ticket’s many projects include a study guide database, similar to the one found on the ARISTA website, but for the sophomore class specifically. Tan and Torres plan to send out a survey to the current sophomores, asking them to submit their study guides from this year. By hosting their own study guide database, the pair hopes to include study guides for every teacher. When asked how these study guides would be approved, the ticket responded that they would again ask the sophomores to peer review the guides before they are posted for the incoming sophomore class to use. As an alternative to hosting their own database, the pair has also considered working directly with ARISTA, as ARISTA already has a system for approving study guides. Tan and Torres would instead work to increase the amount of study guides within the preexisting ARISTA database.

The Tan-Torres ticket also aims to sort through Internship Coordinator Harvey Blumm’s weekly Opportunities Bulletin in order to extract the opportunities relevant to sophomores. Many of the options are only available to students 16 years or older, and by condensing the bulletin, the pair hopes to enable younger students to find appropriate internships and other opportunities more easily.

The ticket also proposes the creation of an alumni newsletter that would offer guidance from Stuyvesant alumni. “We know that a lot of students at Stuy[vesant] are stressed about not knowing what to do in the future and what they have to do to accomplish their goals. We wanted to reach out to alumni who are successful today, interview them, and publish what we learn and observe so [that] Stuyvesant students can see what they can do to achieve [those goals],” Tan explained during their interview. This newsletter would be similar to the current Sophomore Caucus’s “So You Want to be A…” newsletter, which features information about different professions. However, Tan and Torres hope to focus more on the alumni and their experiences rather than on different fields of study.

These aforementioned projects—a database for study guides focused on the sophomore curriculum, a condensation of Blumm’s weekly Opportunities Bulletin targeted specifically for sophomores, and the alumni newsletter—are expected to be housed on a Sophomore Caucus website. The Tan-Torres ticket believes that this website will become a hub for Stuyvesant sophomores to find various resources, from student discounts to textbooks used in the sophomore curriculum. However, when asked about their ideas for the website during the interview, the pair’s plans were underdeveloped. Though the current Freshman Caucus has an IT department, developing and maintaining a website is a huge responsibility. Additionally, the pair was unclear about whether or not a website would be necessary, as their study guide database could be a collaboration with ARISTA and their newsletters would be e-mailed out to their grade.

Aside from their projects, the ticket also has promised to continue to work on their Coming In Early policy proposal, which would allow students to reenter the building during a lunch or free period before the warning bell. While many administrations have attempted this in the past, Tan and Torres have expressed optimism that they will be successful. This year, Freshman Caucus has been working on the Coming In Early policy, and they presented a proposal to Assistant Principal of Security, Health, and P.E. Brian Moran. Moran has expressed interest in the proposal, but made its success contingent on the caucus helping keep the cafeteria clean. The Tan-Torres ticket has proposed working with Key Club and the Environmental Club in order to improve clean-up habits in the cafeteria and move forward with their proposal.

Finally, Tan-Torres expressed their interest and willingness to help the leaders of next year’s Freshman Caucus. “We didn’t really have mentorship as Freshman Caucus this year. We hired our staff late [and] we didn’t have access to a lot of resources. […] We think that it’s important that we work with the incoming Freshman Caucus and get them on the right foot so that they can be successful,” Torres said.

While the TnT campaign is working out the kinks within their platform, their clear awareness of the feasibility of their projects and policy proposals make them strong candidates for next year’s Sophomore Caucus.