Student Council Elections: Results and Outlook

The end of the year is nearing and that means Student Council elections have come to pass! Here are the results for next year’s executive cabinet:

President-Elect: Heidi Dong (’16)
Vice President-Elect: Benjamin Cooper (’16)
CAB Director-Elect: Paul Nebres (’16)
Treasurer-Elect: Gloria Choi (’16)
Senior at Large-Elect: Franklin Ye (’16)
Junior at Large-Elect: Madison Dong (’17)

These results mean a few different things for campus. Each of the candidates outlined certain goals into their speech. Following is an analysis of each of the candidates’ speeches:

    Heidi Dong

Heidi’s speech focused on rallying the student body. She focused on existing structures and initiatives, encouraging students to use StudCo’s submission boxes and speak to representatives. She also stressed that she was ready to take on the work and that she was “not a visionary,” merely a dedicated person ready to give her all.

    Ben Cooper

Ben’s speech was very informative. He ran unopposed, so his speech tried to rally around his goals. He focused on setting up more pathways between students and the academics on campus he also focused on expanding and reforming clubs position on StudCo and on campus.

    Paul Nebres

This speech was surprising! Paul’s speech was expected to be lighthearted since his posters were very simply designed and he has a history of being CAB’s token “cutie.” There was even a rumor of his speech being a rap. That said, he cleaned up, put on a suit, and outlined very serious methods of streamlining and optimizing CAB meeting efficacy and efficiency.

    Gloria Choi

Gloria took a note from past StudCo members and called the organization her “boyfriend” before outlining ideas for both increasing communication for chartered clubs fundraising and student evening checks in the Main Building.

    Franklin Ye

Aside from certain muttered swears, Franklin’s speech was framed around his personal inspirations: Bill Nye (The Science Guy) and Kyle Thomas (current CD of 04). He advocated for a general policy shift in StudCo of preemptive action against problems on campus, citing the Res Life after-check-programming-ban as an avoidable conflict.

    Madison Dong

The rising Junior-At-Large centered her speech on her personal journey and previous failed attempts at joining StudCo’s cabinet—as well as a wonderful result at a Track meet: 4th of 4 teams! Using this as a base of emotional support from her audience she captured the audience’s attention with a promise to advocate for a Modern (meaning qualitative) Transcript.

Overall, the ideas thrown out during election speeches certainly seem like a tough sell. Many people used ideas that have been tried and have met challenges, for example Madison’s Modern Transcript or Gloria’s Main Building Check. These face significant administrative opposition. To achieve these would be incredibly difficult. Franklin’s Preemptive Action faces different difficulties since it is a challenge in any organization, regardless of whether it is student-run.
Some other ideas, however, are extremely implementable. Paul’s ideas about optimizing meetings are clear and achievable. The two unopposed candidates—President Elect Heidi and VP Elect Ben—both focused on ideas that began implementation this year and are viable in the future, though their processes will be slow. Heidi’s rallying speech might have gone so far as to steal the evening since it simply asked students to use existing pathways of communication and believe in StudCo’s ability to enact change.
The next year will see challenges for Student Council. Its cabinet introduced both realistic and idealistic ideas, but it is ultimately, as Heidi said in her speech, a “representative body.” The fact that StudCo is made up of people the students voted in means that we believe in their ability to enact at least some of the promised changes. The Acronym will provide further coverage on the transition between this year and next year’s Student Council leadership.

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