Jack Cahn and Remi Moon
The Editorial Board has decided to endorse Jack Cahn and his vice presidential candidate Remi Moon in the upcoming Student Union (SU) election. While Cahn has a strong platform, it is his plans and approach to implement it that truly stand out. With an impressive record, concrete campaign promises, and specific plans to make the SU a more effective organization, Cahn is easily the best hope to restore legitimacy and effectiveness to the SU.
Cahn’s platform focuses largely on financial issues, pointing to funding as the root of the SU and change. He insists that the SU is underfunded, which deprives it of the power to institute real changes in the school, and that he will actively strive to change this should he be elected. As the current Chief Financial Officer of the SU, he has raised $10,000 for the SU and The Spectator’s Business Department through the school’s first-ever corporate sponsorship. With sufficient funding, the SU will have the ability to actively assist members of the Stuyvesant community. For instance, one of Cahn’s biggest complaints about the current state of Stuyvesant is the lack of toilet paper and paper towels in the school bathrooms. He stated that he will use SU funds to buy these items directly for the student body if his bargaining with the administration does not work.
But there is strong reason to believe that his negotiations with the administration will be successful. Besides the fact that he is a highly successful debater, Cahn claims to have strong relationships with Principal Jie Zhang, Assistant Principal of Organization Randi Damasek, and other members of the school cabinet. And Cahn is prepared for the administration to say no. When asked what he would do if a legitimate proposal or demand is consistently shot down by the administration, Cahn said that he would go directly to major New York newspapers. The Daily News is the administration’s kryptonite, and Cahn promises to exploit this in order to increase the power of the student body. In a school where the student voice is often silenced, literally and figuratively, by the administration, Cahn’s hard-nosed proposal is boldly admirable.
Cahn’s platform doesn’t stop there. He also stresses the “fun” of the student body, including strengthening school spirit. He wants to expand “Senior Days” to juniors and underclassmen, intends to have professional speakers visit Stuyvesant with increased frequency, and plans to hold intra-school athletic competitions and debates. Moreover, Cahn plans to departmentalize the SU to increase its efficiency.
While Cahn’s candidacy is overall very strong, there are some concerns about his choice of Vice President. Remi Moon has no SU experience, leading some to question Cahn’s motivation in selecting her. At times, Moon and Cahn seemed to be out of sync, suggesting disunity and perhaps a less-than-stellar working relationship. It is clear that Moon balances Cahn’s ticket and helps him appeal to a wider spectrum of voters. However, whether this is a valid reason to pick a running mate remains up for debate.
Cahn has the ability to raise the money needed to make the SU functional, he knows how to get what he wants, and he promises to increase student liberties and activities. Perhaps most importantly, he brings a fire and determination to the SU that has been sorely lacking in the past few years. Cahn is not the type of person to passively sit back and let his job and responsibilities slowly deteriorate. He is passionate about this election, but he will be just as passionate about cementing his legacy as one of the most effective SU Presidents in recent memory. He is the man for the job.
Edward Zilberbrand and Keiran Carpen
Edward Zilberbrand and Keiran Carpen are running in this year’s Student Union (SU) election on a platform of approachability and awareness. Zilberbrand’s resume ranges from SU Director of Communications to being on the Roller Hockey Club. In his time as Director of Communications, Zilberbrand advertised for various clubs and pubs in Stuyvesant and helped plan events such as the Soph-Frosh Semiformal and Junior Prom. Zilberbrand describes himself as “passionate about the SU and hard-working.” At times, he stayed at school until 11 p.m. to finish his work at SU functions. Carpen’s activities, while less immersed, show a strong involvement in the Stuyvesant community as a member of the Varsity Ultimate Frisbee team and ARISTA. He describes himself as “kind-hearted and reliable,” and also believes he can communicate well with the student body.
Zilberbrand is no stranger to elections. Last year, he won Sophomore Caucus and ran in the SU presidential election as Calvin Ng’s Vice Presidential candidate, when he lost by a slim margin. Carpen also has election experience from working as Zilberbrand’s campaign manager during that SU election.
In their platform, Zilberbrand and Carpen emphasize communication with the student body. Their primary goal is to improve communication between major groups such as the SU, Big Sibs, ARISTA, and Red Cross such that events held at Stuyvesant can be run more fluidly. They describe themselves as approachable and want students to feel comfortable addressing problems they have.
To increase student awareness regarding meetings and events, they plan to create a schoolwide calendar available to everyone on the second floor that will list dates for interest meetings, volunteer events, and other important reminders. Zilberbrand and Carpen also plan to work with Principal Jie Zhang to allow all students go outside during free periods, address programming ambiguities, re-allow students on the fifth floor, and address student concerns regarding the limited time allotted for SING!.
To mend the reputation of the Student Union, Zilberbrand and Carpen intend to create a much bigger organization such that the institution does not suffer at the hands of a few. Part of this reorganization involves moving sophomore caucus elections to the end of the year such that they have a greater capability to enact change. Contrary to Cahn, however, Zilberbrand takes a softer approach in communicating with the administration, assuming there will always be some means of negotiation.
Zilberbrand comes in with two years of experience of working with the administration through his SU tenure. During a presentation to the Editorial Board, he admitted he could have accomplished more in the SU. As Sophomore Vice President his sole accomplishment was the creation of a Sophomore Advisory Council. Furthermore, this year Zilberbrand was shut down several times by members of the administration when hanging banners and discussing changes for the student body. He did not meet with the administration again about these issues, settling for their explanations. Because of this deference, we cannot be sure how Zilberbrand will represent the student body next year if elected.
The Editorial Board has chosen not to endorse Zilberbrand and Carpen despite their approachability and responsiveness. Their platform addresses key issues that apply greatly to the student body, but while Zilberbrand walks down a path reminiscent of past SU administrations, we have already turned in search of even greater change.