Andover Calls on Kaul for Presidency

After a competitive but cordial election process, Hemang Kaul ’13 learned late Wednesday night that he will serve as Student Council President for the 2012-2013 school year. Next year, Rolando Bonachea ’13 will work alongside Kaul as Vice President, and MJ Engel ’13 will serve as Executive Secretary.

After the 728 ballots were counted, the results of the presidential race were released to the Andover community via The Phillipian Online, The Student Council’s Facebook page and an e-mail from Paul Murphy, Dean of Students.

The final round of voting opened on Wednesday after All-School Meeting (ASM), during which the final three of the initial 13 candidates gave speeches to the student body. Voting closed at 10:30 p.m. that night.

In his speech during Wednesday’s ASM, Kaul said, “The job of the School President as someone who can push forth ideas will be important as ever with the coming of a new Head of School. I believe any ideas for change, whether old or new, fresh or stale, raw or ripe will all have the opportunity to thrive under this new leadership.”

“I will confidently push for what is needed by the students and work with the administration to accomplish it.”

Kaul’s platform included creating a mandatory online grading system, bringing an ATM to the Den and organizing a peer-counseling program for Juniors.

In his speech, Kaul characterized himself as both approachable and “willing to approach,” confident, capable and “unafraid to speak when necessary.”

“The past couple of months of this campaign have been a great time for me: meeting people young and old, and listening and hearing the ideas of others,” he added.

Kaul also joked that the Andover community, unlike Grammy-winning singer Adele, could “have it all” with him as president, a reference to Adele’s hit song “Rolling in the Deep.”

As President, Kaul will also speak to the school at All-School Meetings and moderate Student Council meetings.

Kaul, Bonachea and Engel, who all currently serve on Student Council as the Upper Representatives for the Class of 2013, will begin serving in their new roles in the fall of 2012.

“I think we will work really well together because we have a year of experience, and we all are really good friends. Everything we have done so far has been a team effort, and I think in the future it will be the same,” said Kaul.

By his side will be Bonachea, who will serve as Vice President. Bonachea’s campaign ideas included an online sign-in station in the library and a Den takeout system.

“I think that [Kaul, Engel and I] will be able to work very well together. We have always had a very good relationship and I hope that we can get some things done for our school,” said Bonachea.

“Its been a great experience, I got to meet tons of new people, making videos, making posters, campaigning – it’s just been a great time,” he continued.

Engel will serve as the Executive Secretary, completing the three-person Executive Board at the helm of Student Council.

Her ideas included a website called Andover Answers, where students can both ask and answer questions regarding the school, a Student Leaders Summit, at which students can gather and voice proposals for the school they want to accomplish, and finally TEDx Andover conference, an opportunity for the Andover community to share ideas and stories.

“I’m so excited that it’s us three next year because we have been working together this past year and we’ve developed great teamwork that I’m sure will only improve,” said Engel. “I really loved the speeches this year because it was a great culminating moment for the whole campaign. It allowed [the candidates] to add a different dimension to the campaign by showing a different side of each of us.”