Photo by Esther Kim
During the week of June 2, aspiring underclassmen vied for leadership positions for the upcoming school year through Class Council and Honor Council elections.
Prior to election week, candidates went through an extensive application process. This consisted of attending mandatory interest meetings, writing an essay containing the student’s qualifications and interests, preparing a speech, creating posters and receiving approval from teachers and fellow students.
Election week kicked off with a mandatory eighth period session on June 2, during which Class Council and Honor Council candidates delivered one-minute speeches before their entire class. Intranet polls opened immediate after at 4:00 p.m. and remained open throughout the week. Polls closed on Friday, June 6 at 12:30 p.m.
The newly elected officers accepted their new positions with humility and respect when they received news of their success during Jefferson Day (J-Day).
“I am both grateful and humbled to have been elected over other candidates who supersede me in experience and capacity to lead,” Class of 2015 president Danial Hussain said. “I am nervous because I realize the expectations are high, but I feel ready to take on the challenges with the aid of my fellow class officers and amazing sponsors.”
The officers also have ambitious goals as they look forward to another fruitful year. A common theme shared by many is more cooperation within the class as well as across different grade levels.
“As president, I hope that I can encourage our class to be just like the upperclassmen were to us: motivational and helpful to the freshmen,” Class of 2017 president Laura Chu said. “I also want to help us all join together in pep rallies, MEX and Homecoming activities to help us grow as a family. The beginning of freshman year was rough, but we’ve all grown close and we can achieve great things if we work together.”
However, the class representatives also acknowledge that there will be obstacles in the way of their success, particularly due to Jefferson’s ever-changing construction landscape.
“Getting reelected to class council is always an honor and I’m excited to be able to work with a great group of students to lead our class,” Class of 2016 treasurer Spencer Weiss said. “Our junior year will have the largest changes to the building. I think that this will pose our greatest challenge, as well as the sheer volume of events that we will have to organize.”
This year, a new addition to election week included positions on Jefferson’s Honor Council, a body of students dedicated to upholding academic integrity in the school through restorative justice. Three juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen joined the newly formed Honor Council, which currently includes junior Anant Das, sophomore Sophia Moses and freshman Kristin Myers.
The new Honor Council members look forward to affecting change within the community.
“In a school as challenging as TJ, we see a lot of compromise when it comes to academic integrity,” Class of 2016 Honor Council representative Sahana Ramani said. “However, I strongly believe that integrity is a crucial part of success. By placing a greater emphasis on honor and working side by side with my peers in the school, I am confident that we will be able to create a positive change in the school, creating ethical and brilliant future leaders.”
The Student Government Association (SGA) will select a group of rising freshmen to be a part of Freshman Committee (FroshComm), the temporary freshman governing body. FroshComm will lead the Class of 2018 during Homecoming and other beginning-of-the-year activities. Class Council and Honor Council elections for the Class of 2018 will be held in the fall.
For a full list of students elected to Class Council and Honor Council, see below.
Class of 2015 (rising seniors)
President: Danial Hussain
Vice President: Puneeth Uttla
Secretary: Nan Baker
Treasurer: Nihar Gudiseva
Co-Historians: Arthur He, Helen Zhang
Senator: Jenny Kim
Honor Council: Anant Das (returning), Muhamad Ihssan, Ellen Kan, Rhea Sharma
Class of 2016 (rising juniors)
President: Kunal Naik
Vice President: James Park
Secretary: Sophia Moses
Treasurer: Spencer Weiss
Co-Historians: Will Ryu, Christina Wei
Senator: Kaila Stein
Honor Council: Peter Andringa, Milan Bharadwaj, Sophia Moses (returning), Sahana Ramani
Class of 2017 (rising sophomores)
President: Laura Chu
Vice President: Devan Kowdley
Secretary: Justin Lee
Treasurer: Subul Malik
Co-Historians: Abhishek Mogili, Caroline Nguyen
Senator: Giancarlo Valdetaro
Honor Council: Numan Khan, Kristin Myers (returning), Mina Nowroozi