The first round of voting for the 2014-2015 School Co-Presidental elections took place on Monday, when the student body voted six out of 10 candidate pairs through to the second round. 954 students voted. Voter participation was 85 percent.
Uppers Arthur Doran and Antonia Leggett, Sina Golkari and Tessa Peterson, David Gutierrez and Rebecca Somer, Carter Page and Hanover Vale **, ** Corinne Singer and Juan Pablo Villarreal, and Kinsey Yost and Andrew Zheng will all move forward to the second round of voting. On February 28, the candidate pool will be narrowed to two pairs.
The six candidate pairs will participate in a debate on Wednesday, February 26 in Paresky Commons, according to Junius Williams ’14 and Clark Perkins ’14, School Co-Presidents.
The student body was alerted of the results in an email sent on Monday night. Unlike previous years, Williams and Perkins released voting percentages in Monday night’s email.
Each voter was able to cast up to six votes.
68.3 percent of the 954 voters voted for Gutierrez and Somer. 61.4 percent voted for Singer and Villarreal and for Golkari and Peterson. 59.3 percent of voters chose Yost and Zheng. Page and Vale were selected by 56.8 percent of voters, and 53.8 percent of voters voted for Doran and Leggett.
“We found that in our past years of experience with elections, it would have been immensely helpful to know where we stood and to know the numbers. We found there have been lots of students who have been curious to know the numbers themselves, so we sought to present the hard numbers in the most legitimate fashion,” said Williams.
Below is a list of the remaining candidate pairs following Monday’s vote and their top three proposals.
**Arthur Doran and Antonia Leggett:**
_I. Rethinking advising with a more personal selection process at the end of freshman year_
The new advisor selection program would match you with an academic advisor with a survey at the beginning of Lower year (or Upper/Senior/Post-Graduate year for new students) based on common academic and general subject interests.
_II. Creation of an electronic textbook database to reduce costs and increase efficiency_
The electronic textbook database would be available to all students and would be accessible on laptops, tablets and smartphones. While the administration is currently considering requiring iPads for the Junior class in future years, we hope to capitalize upon this by making online textbooks available to all students. By doing this, students would no longer have to lug around heavy textbooks and shell out hundreds of dollars at the beginning of each term.
_III. Helping students appreciate the campus, with more outdoor seating areas and outdoor classroom spaces_
We live on such a beautiful campus, and, though it is hard right now to think about the fall and spring days of lawning, we want to make the best use of those times with more outdoor chairs on the quads and additional seating circles for holding class outside.
**Sina Golkari and Tessa Peterson:**
_I. Selfie sign-in_
Online sign-in would be achievable using a sign-in app installed on tablets stationed in places of study and dormitories. Students would sign their names and mark the time on the device in a similar way to the current system. After the student signs, the application would take a photo of the student, so that a house counselor could verify the authenticity of the student’s sign-in. If such a system proves successful, it would be updated to work from student iPhones.
_II. Host Dorm_
Like international students have “host families,” day students would benefit from host dorms, with access to support resources such as common rooms, dorm munches and meetings and house counselor mentorship, among others. Host dorms would be assigned thoughtfully, just like new student housing, so that day students feel comfortable within their assigned dorm.
III. Student Health Website
_III. Creating a student website_
A student website will be created, compiling health resources (regarding sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress, eating disorders, depression etc.) into a local interface. The website would also give students access to online anonymous Q&A with Isham and Graham House, as well as archives of previously-asked questions. Such a website would open up campus to discussions on student health and let students know that many of their classmates grapple similar questions, thus helping to overcome the stigma around visiting Isham and Graham House.
**David Gutierrez and Rebecca Somer:**
_I. Mental Health Awareness_
We strongly believe this campus needs to open up the discussion on mental
health. While many struggle with mental health issues themselves, most of us at least know someone dealing with them. This issue affects a large portion of our student population and has gone unaddressed for far too long. We want to host a school-wide forum
or possibly make this next year’s school congress topic in order to connect students with faculty on this issue. We also want to do a poster awareness campaign and create a guide that outlines how to seek help for yourself or your friends.
_II. Community Spirit & Bonding_
We have come up with concrete ways to improve orientation in order to make
it a time for people to actually bond. While brainstorming realistic, simple ways to help day students have a place to go on campus, we thought that it was a no-brainer that they should be allowed to study with friends in dorms during study hours.
_III. Bringing Your Ideas to the Table_
We’re all about hearing the improvements that make your days a little easier.
This year, I (Rebecca) collaborated with Mrs. Kip to add the new healthier options to Fourth Meal. It’s these small details that we want to bring to Student Council. While meeting many of you, we have heard many new suggestions, such as adding a plate of cheese
pizza to Paresky each day. It’s these realistic ideas that Student Council needs to focus on.
**Carter Page and Hanover Vale:**
_I. Strengthening community and easing the transition to Phillips Academy via “Out of The Blue.”_
We intend to implement its use in Junior English classes during the Fall Term or a pseudo-”PACE” program for ninth graders and its incorporation within advisory groups for all other grades. We believe a more open community stems from discussion, and that “Out of The Blue” is the greatest form of student expression we have, as well as the perfect vehicle to base this discussion around.
_II. Using Technology to Improve Education. Creating online videos specific to Phillips Academy in introductory science and math classes, similar to MITopencourseware._
We feel it is imperative to utilize the capability of our student body and having these videos as a work duty would satisfy the requirements of those who may have not been able to tutor as well as allow for students to strengthen their understanding of a certain subject.
Restricting hours of certain lights on campus in order to reduce light pollution and energy waste, encouraging the school to shy away from fossil fuels and embrace alternative energies and proposing the modification of old buildings on campus to make them more efficient.
**Corinne Singer and Juan Pablo Villarreal:**
_I. Bringing Student Council to your screen and your proposals to the table_
Through the Student Council website, every student should have the ability to contribute to,
read about and comment on initiatives taken by the members of Student Council. You should
not have to be on Student Council in order to participate in its affairs.
_II. Using Online Resources_
Any initiative pursued by the whole school carries more weight than one pursued by a
few. Revolutionizing Student Council by taking it online would allow students to demonstrate their interest in initiatives online, the collective voice of the student body will not be ignored. Let’s
build the online bridge between the student body and Student Council.
_III. Introducing Powerschool_
Problem: Tired of vague midterms? Anxious about your progress in class?
Solution: Welcome to “Powerschool,” a program that teachers use across the globe in order to post online live updates, comments, and grades on specific assignments. “Powerschool” constantly calculates and updates your term average, abolishing grade ambiguity.
**Kinsey Yost and Andrew Zheng:**
_I. Student Council Transparency_
It’s the age-old question: What does Student Council do? To be honest, we are not entirely sure. The student body deserves to be aware of its representatives’ actions and how effective Student Council can actually be as an instrument for reform. To address this grand issue, we first propose a simple monthly printed newsletter that would be distributed to the student body and inform students of the progress Student Council is making.
_II. Day Student Integration and Cluster Munches_
Although day students make up over 25 percent of Andover’s population, we do not do as good a job as we should of integrating day students into the community. One way we can help to facilitate this connection is by making cluster munches earlier so it’s easier for day students to attend. Through cluster munches, we meet new people and bond over our shared love of free food, but this privilege may conflict with the unique schedules of day students. Earlier cluster munches are one simple way we can begin to tackle a much bigger problem.
_III. Online Sign-In_
We hope to implement a new system of sign-in that would not require us to toil to and from our dorms everyday. As two people who have both lived in remote Abbot dorms, we know first hand that the walk can be quite intimidating and exasperating. iPads could be put in places of study (Gelb, Morse, library etc.), allowing students to sign in and out digitally by signing their name with a stylus. With software being tentatively developed, these signatures would be able to be recorded, logged and viewed by the student’s house counselors.