Pallab Saha and Abie Rohrig

Abie and Pallab
Photo by Ting Ting Chen

Sophomores Pallab Saha and Abie Rohrig’s extensive platform and suit-and-tie appearance bore the mark of two years of close collaboration with Student Union (SU) President Matthew So and Vice President Tahseen Chowdhury. Like So and Chowdhury, Saha and Rohrig’s multi-page platform and equally well thought out answers to The Spectator Managing Board’s interview questions not only promised change, but affirmed it with their plans for initiative, earning The Spectator’s endorsement.

What sets Saha and Rohrig apart from their competitors is not only their understanding of the Junior Caucus’s role and their plans to fulfill it, but their thorough explanations of exactly how they plan to execute each one of their plans. With almost every idea they presented, the duo indicated that they had obtained an administrator’s support and discussed with them the steps needed to implement it.

Having already met with Director of College Counseling Jeffrey Makris to confirm the feasibility of holding two overnight college trips next year, Saha and Rohrig demonstrating a crucial understanding of the administration’s role in planning these trips. However, The Spectator is concerned that they may end up travelling down the same road this year’s Junior Caucus did when it attempted to secure more overnight college trips, and was denied.

Perhaps Saha and Rohrig realized this too; they came prepared with a number of supplemental “college-readiness” ideas so that college trips aren’t the SU’s only contribution to aiding juniors’ college search. These included inviting speakers involved in the college process (Rohrig, as co-chair of the Speaker Committee for the Pre-Medical Society, already has experience doing this), as well as an online database of college alumni for students to reach out to. Saha and Rohrig have already spoken to the Alumni Association about this program.

The junior appeal doesn’t stop there. Saha and Rohrig have begun reaching out to Columbia and New York University’s book stores for negotiating wholesale discounts for Advanced Placement preparation books, and have gotten a positive response from both. They plan to sell these books in the school store, something that is both convenient for students and for the SU’s budget.

While Saha and Rohrig place their primary focus on academics and college readiness—which is, after all, what juniors want to see from their Caucus—they have also developed plans for fighting apathy and planning events. Saha and Rohrig plan to host pep rallies and increase communication to ensure students attend them. However, their ideas for communication did not seem very innovative outside of their idea for a mid-year update video, which, while helpful, would not be a frequent method of communication.

In terms of planning events, Saha’s terms as Freshman and Sophomore Caucus Vice President of his class have been successful ones; along with Chowdhury, he planned the first freshmen-only and sophomore-only dances, have improved Soph-frosh semiformal each year, and planned the first Stuylloween Carnival along with the Junior Caucus. Needless to say, The Spectator is confident Saha and Rohrig will be able to plan a successful Junior Prom.

While Saha and Rohrig state that they plan to subsidize Junior Prom through fundraising, they failed to identify any specific fundraisers that they will execute, instead relying on the financial success of previous events to speak for their financial capability. This in itself, however, is quite impressive; Saha stated in the interview that every event they planned returned a profit, reassuring The Spectator that they will able to maintain a stable budget. Additionally, Rohrig is a Budget Director for the SU, and has a thorough understanding of how the current budget functions.

Saha and Rohrig had a realistic, yet still impressive, vision for the Class of 2018’s junior year, and The Spectator is confident they will be able to accomplish their goals.

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