ZIA: Julia Brestovitskiy and Zoraiz Irshad

The ZIA Campaign, comprised of juniors Julia Brestovitskiy and Zoraiz Irshad, has ambitious goals for next year’s Senior Caucus; the Spectator Editorial board reviews their campaign.

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By Zoraiz Irshad

Platform: ★★★☆☆
The ZIA platform is ambitious and demonstrates a good understanding of the kind of policies for which caucuses are responsible. However, it is light on detail, and its ambition seems like it would stretch the Senior Caucus’s budget too thin.

Record: ★★★☆☆
Though Brestovitskiy has some experience in the Student Union, it is surpassed by Bromberg’s term as Junior Caucus Co-President. In addition, both candidates of Zeyhana have previously campaigned, while ZIA shows a lack of experience through its rather undetailed platform.

Campaign: ★★★★★
Brestovitskiy and Irshad are running a seamless and professional campaign. The two have good chemistry and rapport, and both seem quite competent.

The ZIA Campaign, comprised of juniors Julia Brestovitskiy and Zoraiz Irshad, has ambitious, but somewhat light on detail, goals for next year’s Senior Caucus. Going by the acronym GIST—Greater social interaction facilitation, Insight toward our collective future, Status updates of programs and events in school, and Team spirit building—the pair is putting a lot on their plate should they assume office. Overall, Brestovitskiy and Irshad have a solid if somewhat far-fetched platform, and they appear highly competent. Some elections seem to consist of a highly competent incumbent against a deeply amateurish challenger; while the Zeyhana campaign is the former, ZIA is not the latter.

The campaign’s proposed “Big Alumni” program, whereby alumni would be brought in on a regular weekly basis to mentor students with specific career interests, would certainly benefit students. However, the way in which the program attempts to differentiate itself from previous similar Senior Caucus initiatives—the fact that alumni would be brought in regularly each week—lacks feasibility. That said, its snAPs and Secret Snowflake initiatives, where students may send each other candy-accompanied notes during AP exam season and before winter break respectively, are practical and attainable for a caucus, though the former seems more original than the latter since there are already similar sales around winter break.

The campaign also has an ambitious event agenda. Brestovitskiy and Irshad want to introduce financial aid for prom, as well as a Spring Fling and a Fall and/or Winter (depending on a gradewide survey) homecoming dance. The upside of this is that the ZIA campaign is avoiding a common pitfall of non-incumbent SU, and particularly caucus, campaigns—the promotion of campaign policies that are simply outside the purview of the office for which the campaign is running. Event planning is the main responsibility of the caucuses, so ZIA is correct to focus on it. However, while the other dances and prom financial aid are in the caucus’s purview, they are not realistic. The Senior Caucus budget simply doesn’t allow for the level of ambition in ZIA’s platform. However, given the competence displayed by Brestovitskiy and Irshad, it seems likely that they would be able to adapt.

Ultimately, the Senior Caucus will be in good hands regardless of which ticket wins the election. Though The Spectator decided to endorse the Zeyhana ticket because of its experience and more detailed, professional platform, we are confident that, should the ZIA ticket win, its candidates will do an excellent job next year. The Spectator does not shy away from calling a spade a spade when it comes to incompetent campaigns; this is not one of those.