Megan Cui ’21 and Salvador Gómez-Colón ’21 have been elected Student Body Co-Presidents for the 2020-2021 school year, according to an email sent to the Andover community on April 13. During the virtual Co-Presidential Finalist Debate held on April 10, Cui and Gómez-Colón said they want to inspire the Andover community to get more involved in the school’s future.
“At the core of it all is the purpose for running for Co-Pres, you. You’re the reason why we’re putting ourselves out there and we want to get stuff done. Andover is an incredible community with amazing people, and I am grateful every day to be a part of it. We recognize that life at Andover has its ups and downs. Nothing is perfect. If we’ve learned something in the past few weeks, it’s that we can’t promise everything will go as planned, but if Megan and I can bring a bright smile to your faces and make Andover just a tad bit brighter, then it will have been worth it,” said Gómez-Colón.
Outlining much of their platform during the debate, Cui and Gómez-Colón shared their ideas to implement electronic initial sign-in stations and begin a Snacks and Lawning initiative, in addition to continuing All-School munches. In order to make Student Council more accessible to the student body, the pair also plans to launch an online platform to collect student ideas and to introduce an Innovation Committee, which would develop and implement such ideas. Additionally, they addressed their three-part plan for student support and wellness.
“This whole campaign has been an amazing experience for both of us. We’ve got to know so many of you and your ideas, and for that we are so, so grateful. It’s because of the gratitude and positivity that we feel at Andover that we embarked on this campaign for Big Blue Change at Andover. To improve student well-being, we want to introduce the wellness excuse to allow us to take a day off to preserve our well-being. Second, we want to make hygiene and health products more accessible across campus by implementing “Feel Better” stations. And finally, we want to extend personal time to cover full long blocks,” said Cui.
According to Cui, sustainability is a focal point of their agenda. Cui and Gómez-Colón plan to support the implementation of climate change into the Andover curriculum and encourage sustainable practices throughout campus.
“Sustainability is always something we wanted to be a part of [our campaign for] “Big Blue Change,” and one example is the Climate Curriculum. [Part of] that is making sure that the stories that are told, whether it is English, History, Science, you name it, are faithful to the reality that we live in today. We want to put Andover at the forefront of this global movement, and we want to raise awareness on issues like water and energy reduction that happens at dormitories,” said Cui.
During the debate, Cui and Gómez-Colón faced off against opponents Jack Palfrey ’21 and Summer Seward ’21 via Zoom. Seward asked Cui and Gómez-Colón if their plan to introduce more printers to dorms and cluster spaces would produce more paper waste and undermine their efforts toward sustainability. In response, Gómez-Colón shared that many of his teachers continue to ask him to print assignments for class, and until they change those expectations, students must continue to print. Additionally, Gómez-Colón noted that waste reduction is only one focus in the broader goal of sustainability.
“The movement for sustainability isn’t only about not producing waste or emissions. It’s also about empowering each other to make good choices and to make our world more equitable. So, the sustainability in our platform doesn’t only limit itself to Climate Curriculum and promoting sustainability, it’s about promoting well-being. For example, the wellness excuse that we introduced solidifies our student sustainability. Electronic initial sign-in stations, which significantly cut down on paper waste, also help us reduce stress and make it easier for all of us to manage our time and live Andover to the fullest,” said Gómez-Colón.
According to Cui, it is only with the student body’s support that the pair can bring out the best in Andover. Gómez-Colón expressed gratitude for those who have supported the pair throughout the campaign and emphasized that through their continued support, Cui and Gómez-Colón would bring “Big Blue Change.”
“We are so grateful to be with you guys today. Being surrounded by your ideas and energy and your support has made it clear that this campaign isn’t about us as candidates, it is about being an instrument to fulfill your desires for the Big Blue Change for Andover,” said Cui.
Gómez-Colón continued, “The other night, as Megan and I were talking about Andover and what we love about it, she brought up this famous thought by JFK that would be a great mission for all of us to follow. Instead of asking what the Academy can do for us, ask what we ourselves would do for the Academy.”