SGA Elections Candidate Profiles

MiJin Cho, Business Manager

On April 28th, candidates for the Student Government Association for the 2017-18 school year are officially announced along with their speeches. The following week marks the voting time, in which students may vote for who they think the best candidate for the position would be. Each candidate advocates for various causes and reforms in the school environment.

Presidential Candidates

Nick Begotka

Experience: “I have served as 2018 Class President my freshman, sophomore, and junior years. In addition, I have attended numerous Human Relations, Dining with Doc, and SGA meetings throughout my years as class president. I am also a student representative on the principal selection advisory panel.”

Issue Affecting Students: “At times, TJ’s community can be more competitive than supportive. This problem can be addressed through one course of action: strengthening TJ’s sense of community. If elected SGA President, I would work to create a more close, supportive, and grounded community at TJ.”

Main Goal: “To build a closer, stronger, and happier TJ community.”

Jahnavi Prabhala 

Experience: “Having served as your SGA this year, and  SGA ExComm member last year, I’ve experienced 2 years of the complexities behind TJ policies, culture, and activities. Not only as a leader, but as a TJ student, I’ve dedicated every last ounce of my efforts to plan events like Homecoming, Arts Gala, and J-day, and to confront dense topics such as mental health, student advocacy, and our TJ culture…”

Issue Affecting Students: “An issue affecting the TJ student body is our school culture. TJ is a school that is supposed to be rigorous. In many cases people’s perception of the student government is to make this school an easier place. However, I feel that SGA should focus more attention on building a tighter and more supportive community rather than an easier community. I plan to resolve this issue by continuing key events like Homecoming, J-Day, Sports competitions, Arts Gala, and I-nite, and implementing more activities that are catered toward bringing students together with their interests…”

Main Goal: “The black and white TJ car magnet- more than just a symbol of our academic feats, it is a symbol of our culture and community.”

Sherry Xie

Experience: “Having served in both SGA and class council capacities, I have the extensive experience needed to lead some of the largest events at TJ, like Homecoming, JDAY, Winter Arts Gala + Free Duck Donuts, and February Frenzy Volleyball. Understanding the demands and preparations needed for such events means I’ll begin planning for next year even before this year ends – all to make our 2017-2018 the best it can be for every student at TJ.”

Issue Affecting Students: “Academic stresses often detract from student involvement in events at TJ, resulting in a loss of the vibrant sense of TJ community we’ve seen during Homecoming spirit week that makes the rest of the year more bearable. We’ve also witnessed the loss of certain traditions that were still alive just last year, like the posting of a joke every Friday, free lollipops/small candies every Thursday, and painted walls and parking spaces. In addition to bringing back some of these smaller traditions, I plan to take advantage of the changing environment and administration at TJ…”

Main Goal: “Let’s set a precedent for positive change: improving academic policies and promoting school-wide events to create a less stressful culture and the best TJ experience possible!”

Treasurer Candidates

Sitara Uppalapati

Experience: “I have been a member of SGA’s executive committee as an activities coordinator this year. I’ve had the opportunity to help organize homecoming, the volleyball tournament, Middle School Leadership Conference and now J-Day…”

Issue Affecting Students: “As an SGA officer I would work to address mental health because I believe that is a prevalent issue affecting our community…”

Main Goal: “I want to represent your ideas and wants while working towards the best school year yet and improving upon events that play a large role in the TJ experience!”

 Liana Keesing

Experience: In my past two years at TJ, I’ve worked alongside and with TJ SGA. Freshman year, I served as a member of Froshcomm, the temporary freshman student government that works to organize homecoming events for their class. Since then, I’ve continued to be involved with SGA on my own–this year, I’ve generally attended one or two meetings (at least) every week. I’ve helped with SGA events, like the MSLC, which have also helped me understand how TJ SGA operatess…”

Issue Affecting Students: “One of the topics I talk about a lot with my fellow students is academic integrity, because I’m on the Honor Council, and it continues to be major issue at TJ, despite administrative efforts to solve the problem. While I understand that there are a lot of varying opinions on this topic and the best way to address it, I continue to stand with students who do honest work and do their best to succeed at a very difficult school.”

Main Goal: “I’m passionate about changing this school for the better, and I can’t wait to work alongside all of you to make that happen!”

Secretary Candidate

Shreya Chappidi is the only candidate running for the position of secretary. She will serve as SGA’s Secretary for the upcoming term.

Experience: “I’ve dedicated the last three years of my high school career towards contributing to TJ, and I’d like to continue my time on student government and leave a lasting impression as SGA Secretary. My vast experience on student government, both Class Council and SGA, has allowed me to understand how to run the school efficiency, as well as where the school could use improvements. I’ve completed almost every facet there is to being an SGA member, from planning events like Homecoming and February Frenzy, to the policy side of things where I’ve advised the Retakes Focus Group and attended weekly Dining with Doc meetings.”

Issue Affecting Students: “I think a serious issue affecting TJ is the overwhelming amount of pressure and (mis)information upon students, especially underclassmen. TJ can be extremely difficult to navigate, whether it comes to picking which courses to take for the upcoming year, trying to get involved in different 8th period activities, or wanting to learn more about a specific program or policy…”

Main Goal: “Start off the next year on the (write!) foot with Shreya as your voice, representative, and SGA Secretary!”

In order to vote for these candidates, students may log into Ion and use the online poll.