Candidates Continue Campaigns

From post-its to pinnies, the six remaining presidential candidates employed a variety of campaign strategies as they advanced through the first round of eliminations last Thursday. Brianna Barros ’12, Colton Dempsey ’12, Khalil Flemming ’12,, Uday Singh ’12, Yuni Sumawijaya ’12 and Min Jae Yoo ’12 were announced as the presidential candidates following the primary elections. Despite a decrease in the number of candidates from last year, the race did not see a decrease in campaigning prior to the first round. Dempsey said, “There was a lot of campaigning. People were talking to people every chance they had. Even though we had a smaller group of candidates, we seemed to work harder than in previous years.” Many candidates said they used a variety of more unconventional strategies to attract votes. Yoo’s campign managers distributed sticky notes all around campus and encouraged students to stick them anywhere after writing short messages on them. Yoo said, “The purpose of this was to get as many people involved in my campaign process. People could write anything they wanted, just as long as Min Jae Yoo was added at the bottom.” “A lot of other candidates expressed their ideas in their posters. I didn’t focus on that. I just tried to get my name out there,” he continued. Sumawijaya also employed a similar strategy to draw people’s attention. “A couple of my friends and I got these pinnies that say ‘Vote for Yuni’ and wore them on the day of the election. It think the pinnies really got people’s attention,” she said. As the only remaining day student candidate in the elections, Barros is dedicated to improving day student representation. Barros said, “I’ve been posting lots of posters in GW because I really want to work with the day students. I feel like they’re left out on a lot of things at school.” Flemming focused on redefining his identity on campus. He said, “A lot of people know me as an outgoing, fun-loving person. I wanted to make sure that people knew I was serious about the presidency.” Singh broke down his platform into the “5ingh plan”, highlighting the five major components of his platform. “I believe that branding is very important because it makes ideas easily accessible to the student body,” said Singh. As part of his five-part plan, Singh described his goals to provide students with school-wide wi-fi and a new campus bike rental system. The candidates said they plan to focus on altering their campaign strategies in preparation for the second round of elimination. Prior to the second round of elections, the candidates will also create election videos and participate in a debate hosted by the Philomathean Society. “I’ll be focusing more on my platform, instead of just barraging people with my name. Slapping my name on everything won’t get me through the second round,” said Dempsey. “I wanted to hear what people like about Andover and what they want changed. I see the school presidency as a medium between the administration and the student body. My ideas don’t matter as much as the student body’s ideas,” he continued. Yoo plans on emphasizing the new theme of his campaign. He said, “There’ve been a lot of good ideas in the past that have faded away. I hope to stress my theme of ‘bringing back unfinished business’ during the second round.” Yoo hopes to revive The Academic Advisory Board, a board consisting of students that keep in close contact with the Dean of Studies. Singh hopes to focus on new ideas. “Older ideas have been forgotten for a reason. Innovation is key. Asking for greater staffing for Commons and the Gym is not only more expensive, but has been attempted in the past. We need to move on and start looking at the future so we can start being progressive and stop being regressive,” he said. Second round voting details will be released by the Student Council in the coming days.