In Depth

Before Election, Collins and Adler Reflect on Term

Tantum Collins ’08 settles comfortably in his chair patiently waiting to be questioned while Jonathan Adler ’08 busily scribbles away at a piece of paper resting on his knee. Adler was scribbling down a list to remember the pair’s accomplishments. “I’d say it’s a range of small to large things [we accomplished], some still being worked on. There’s the communication side of things; with the students and Student Council, we’ve made sure that each class has its own website managed by their class representatives,” Adler says. “Also, Tantum and I have a radio show. We relay the information to the students, though some weeks it just doesn’t work out,” Adler says. Collins continues the list, and says, “We have an office in the library for better communication. We’ll continue that next term. We have big initiatives. We published the Blue Pages, pushed for the one-card key system and online sign-in. Also, we had School Congress both Fall Term and Winter Term. It was the first time in four years since we’ve had that here.” Now, School Congress involves 50 to 80 students, as well as the Student Council, and meets in small groups with faculty in different rooms. Last week’s School Congress discussed honesty on campus. Adler and Collins discussed their transition to office last year. Adler says, “We arrived in office with a solid plan in action and then observed the platforms of cluster presidents. We absorbed that, and through that had plenty to do for the entire year.” Collins says, laughing at his discomfort from last year, “I was terrified [to give my speech last year]. I spent all of spring break practicing. It was very intimidating, but fun in the end. Once I was at the podium, giving the speech, it was calm and relaxing. Not as nerve-wracking as I had expected it to be.” Adler reminisces and eventually says, “I was very excited to give the speech, and still do enjoy every opportunity to speak.” Adler and Collins reflected on regrets of their time in office. Collins says, “Not everything has gone perfectly, especially this week, with the voting issues. It’s been a learning experience for the past two terms. We came into office not knowing nearly as much as we do now. We see what is and isn’t reasonable and learned how to organize things.” In the last round of presidential elections, the server went down in the middle of voting, inhibiting students from casting their ballots. Adler says assuredly, “Where initiatives have failed, we’ve gained a lot in learning how to lead and in understanding how the school functions. We get better and better at our jobs as we push for certain initiatives.” The pair reflects upon their time together in search of a funny memory. Adler says, “We went to the interscholastic student council conference at Choate. There were six schools there, and Tantum and I went there in coat and tie, and we were the only ones who dressed up. That was a little funny.” “Most of our other stories are a little too inappropriate,” Adler adds. He and Collins sneer at one another, and laugh. Adler continues, “We laugh a lot in meetings—it’s hard for us to suppress sometimes. Actually, scratch that other story. This one’s good—Once we drove with our faculty advisor, Mr. Alonso. He chose the music we listened to in the car. I’ll just say that less than admirable choices were made. And it didn’t help that he sang along the whole time.” Collins adds another favorite memory. “I very much enjoyed Jonathan’s impression of me at ASM,” jokes Collins. When asked about what he would miss most once he is out of office, Collins reflects, “It was an essential part of my PA experience and it is definitely going to be very different over summer and next year with not nearly as many commitments. It was the highlight of Student Council. We have an extraordinary Student Council.” “I agree,” says Adler. “I think Student Council is such a large part of my Andover experience, and they end at the same time. I will not be able to distinguish what I miss about Andover and Student Council. I will miss the people, the peers I’m working with, faculty who I’ve worked with for certain initiatives, and the administrators, some of whom I’ve grown close to through the meetings.” Collins says, “I think the best part [about being president] is having the opportunity to connect with so many people here. It was the reason I ran for president. It was my third year being on Student Council, and the Student Council, faculty, and administration, everyone is incredible.” When asked what the worst part of his job was, Collins was initially unsure. Adler fills in for his friend, “The worst part for you is the constant fear of assassination.” After a moment of thought, Collins says, “It has really been awesome. There is nothing I don’t like about it. My least favorite part is the less exciting parts of the job such as writing hours of emails every night. But it is definitely more than balanced.” Collins and Adler quiet down, and chuckle about the topic of their love lives. “You’re overestimating me by saying that I had one [a love life] to begin with,” says abashed Collins. Adler laughs with his colleague and says, “[Being vice president] has not affected my love life. Sadly. I flex my political muscles in front of the ladies, but it doesn’t work.”