Julia Lee and Stephanie Naing

Julia and Stephanie
Photo by Ting Ting Chen

Compared to some other candidates running for Sophomore Caucus, Julia Lee and Stephanie Naing may not have the most experience working with the Student Union (SU). However, The Spectator has decided to endorse Lee and Naing, because they had the most comprehensive, thought-out, and promising platform.

Many of their goals are, first off, very plausible to achieve. Such initiatives include renovations on the Lost and Found by expanding its size and dividing valuables by size and category, as well as making utilities such as the photo studio and Student Lounge more accessible to students through better advertising.

In addition, their goals are not only realistic, but innovative as well. For instance, by talking to SU officials, Lee and Naing plan to offer an alternative to detention that will better benefit the Stuyvesant community, called “the Cafeteria Duty Detention System.” In this program, students can perform cleanup duties in the cafeteria by cleaning up the amount of litter that is usually left behind at the end of the lunch periods.

Lee and Naing also plan for better maintenance of bulletin boards by removing old flyers and updating the boards with new ones. Such ideas go above and beyond the sophomore class to help everyone in all grades.

But this does not mean Lee and Naing do not have any plans to promote school spirit within their own grade. They have talked about the redecoration of the Sophomore Bar, and the continuation of afterschool events like movie nights and game nights. Adding on to these events, Lee and Naing also aspire to set up Karaoke nights, a fundraising event that they have already deemed feasible through discussion with other caucus members.

But Lee and Naing’s campaign is not without flaws. When interviewed by the Managing Board, Lee and Naing’s potential to create change was more or less the same as the other sophomore candidates. On paper, Lee and Naing were impressively eloquent and knowledgeable about their status and experience as freshman. But, by the interview, Lee and Naing’s plans for change went only as far as a vague mission to fighting apathy and make Stuyvesant a more fun place. Hence, The Spectator is apprehensive about the execution of Lee and Naing’s platform beyond their written word.

Additionally, while Lee and Naing’s platform is more realistic than others, The Spectator found their ambitions generally idealistic due to their lack of experience with the SU. Some examples include Lee and Naing’s aspirations to create more Spirit Days specifically for sophomores, a sophomore-only music talent show, and photography, art, and writing tournaments within the school as fundraisers.

Their ambition to create a better use for homeroom representatives and for councils and committees, and to improve student-caucus relations through a caucus email also sound good in theory, but have similarly been campaigned for by previous sophomore caucuses, only to scarcely be heard of again. In many ways, Lee and Naing followed the format of a traditional, classic Sophomore Caucus platform that tends to bite off more than it can chew.

Overall however, as current freshmen with brief introductions to the workings and makings of the SU, Lee and Naing have shown the best judgment even with their limited experience. By being more self-aware of the extent of their power, Lee and Naing pursued ideas that are creative, reasonable, and beneficial for the entire student community. And The Spectator has faith that the duo can execute the less demanding tasks in their platform.

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