First All School Meeting of Spring Term: Co-Presidential Debates

For their last time speaking as Co-Presidents in All-School Meeting (ASM), Sam Bird ’18 and Eastlyn Frankel ’18 mediated the debate between the final two Co-Presidential candidate pairs.

Having passed several rounds of preliminary voting, Rhea Chandran ’19 and Matthew Cline ’19 opposed Keely Aouga ’19 and Nick Demetroulakos ’19 as the final two pairs. 

The debates opened with a five-minute opening statements presented by the candidates. Each pair was then asked one question from a current Co-President, followed by a second question prepared by their respective opponents. The debates closed off with two-minute closing statements from each pair.

In their closing statement, Cline and Chandran emphasized the importance of togetherness at Andover. 

“In the end, you can’t do Andover alone. You need at least one person on your team that you can count on, and Matt and I, you’ve got two,” said Chandran during ASM.

In their final remarks, Aouga and Demetroulakos offered their support to each student sitting in Cochran Chapel.

“There is more to just being okay on this campus, and Nick and I just want to be there for you guys so that you guys can all be just a little bit more than okay,” said Aouga during ASM.

Shahinda Bahnasy ’20 said that the format of the debate allowed each pair to best present their platforms and personalities.

“For me, both of the partners did a very good job of explaining their platforms and portraying what they personally want to do, not just as a pair. It was very genuine from each person,” said Bahnasy.

Miley Kaufman ’19 said that each pair felt different to her during the debate.

“I think both teams had very different approaches to the way that they talked to us and in the way they presented themselves, and I thought it was really cool to see my classmates and people that I know and love up there representing our grade,” said Kaufman.

On the other hand, Aidan Burt ’21 felt that the positions the the candidates took were somewhat similar, differing only in their presentation.

“I thought that both speeches were well put together, but I thought they shared a lot of similar ideas. They were both focused on both the parietal rules and making sure everyone is okay,” said Burt.

Bahnasy and Kaufman both noted a question that Aouga and Demetroulakos asked to Chandran and Cline. Bahnasy felt that both the question and the answer held equal merit.

“I really liked Keely and Nick’s question to Rhea and Matt, the question [of] ‘What does being happy mean at Andover?’ because I think that for every person on this campus, it would probably be a different answer. I think it was great because it gave Rhea and Matt the opportunity to show everyone on this campus what satisfies them as potential Co-Presidents,” said Bahnasy.

Kaufman added, “I think ‘How do you define happiness at Andover?’ was such a great question, because I didn’t know the answer.”

Will Kantaros ’18 felt that Cline had the best answer throughout the debate. Kantaros said that Cline inspired both him and the audience with his words.

“I think that the debate focused a lot on the mental health of students and overall well-being and happiness of the campus… In my opinion, it was a really successful part of the debate to see Matt step up and answer the question so vividly and with so much hope and inspiration,” said Kantaros.

After the debates, the polls for the final election round were open from 11:45 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Aouga and Demetroulakos emerged as the victors of this year’s Co-Presidential race. They will serve together for the 2018-2019 school year.

Editor’s Note: Keely Aouga is a Commentary Editor for The Phillipian.