Candidates running for Student Union (SU) are often insiders to the political process. Junior Wei Lin and sophomore Joyce Lee, however, are not. Despite popular opinion, Lin and Lee believe that this is not a weakness, but rather a strength. They believe that being outsiders to the SU will result in a better understanding of what students want. “Because we are part of the student body, we are integrated. We are both involved in Acapella, I’m in Speech and Debate, and Wei [Lin] is on the football team. We are so integrated into the school that we’re able to understand the typical student that cares about the school and wants to help out, but doesn’t know how to properly voice that opinion,” Lee said.
Lin and Lee’s platform is largely built on two points: increasing spirit and increasing communication. They plan to increase spirit by creating a Facebook page much like “Stuy Student Updates” through which they will announce accomplishments of the student body. Lin and Lee explained that the newsletters Parent Coordinator Harvey Blumm sends out are not widely read, making Facebook a more effective way to get the word out about what the student body is doing so that Stuyvesant pride can be increased. In terms of increasing communication, both Lin and Lee expressed a desire to advocate for online polls and emails to the student body.
Aside from spirit and communication, the SU is responsible for many school events, but Lin and Lee did not have many new ideas when asked for specifics about this responsibility.
The halfhearted responses Lin and Lee gave when asked how they would get things done and work with administration made The Spectator feel less confident in their abilities. In addition to this, many of the ideas they had were not unique and the ideas that had potential seemed to be not fully thought out. This, as a result, gave off an impression of unpreparedness and made us feel as if the ideas they expressed would be forgotten once they finished the interview. Both Lin and Lee also do not have a prior relationship with the administration; a factor that The Spectator believes will make it hard for them to enact any of their ambiguous plans, if elected.
Despite this, Lin and Lee are very passionate about what their candidacy and seem to genuinely care about the school, stressing that they are not doing this for college and saying how much they loved Stuyvesant many times throughout their interview.
While passion is incredibly important in a candidate, The Spectator decided to not endorse Lin and Lee, in part because we believe they are not assertive enough to run the school. Both Lin and Lee stressed the fact that they were team players, yet we believe that the people running this school cannot simply be team players, they must be leaders. This willingness to integrate themselves too much into the school resulted in a lack of confidence in their plans with many instances of “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” coming out of their mouths during our interview with them. Lin and Lee also did not clearly express how they would go about making their platform a reality. While having ideas like increasing communication and spirit is something we would like, without a concrete plan, ideas are of no use. Passion and relatability are essential in any candidate, but these are not unique to Lin and Lee. The Spectator is looking for real change and concrete ideas, and we don’t see that in this ticket.