Fridays’s polls for the 2014-2015 Co-Presidential election closed at 10 p.m., advancing candidate pairs Carter Page ’15 and Hanover Vale ’15 and David Gutierrez ’15 and Rebecca Somer ’15 to the final round of the election.
A record-breaking 85.6 percent of the school voted in this round of the election, in which 57.1 percent of voters voted for Somer and Gutierrez and 33.6 percent voted for Page and Vale.
The two candidate pairs will participate in a final forum at the first All-School Meeting after Spring Break on March 26. The 2014-2015 Co-Presidents will be announced later that evening, according to an email from Junius Williams ’14, School Co-President.
The first round of voting took place last Monday, with a 85 percent participation from the student body, narrowing the pool of 10 initial candidates down to six.
The six initial pairs were Uppers Arthur Doran and Antonia Leggett, Sina Golkari and Tessa Peterson, David Gutierrez and Rebecca Somer, Carter Page and Hanover Vale, Corinne Singer and Juan Pablo Villarreal, and Kinsey Yost and Andrew Zheng.
On Monday night when the results of the first round of voting were announced, current Co-Presidents Junius Williams ’14 and Clark Perkins ’14 released the voting percentages each candidate pair received in their email to the student body. Each voter was able to vote for up to six pairs.
On Monday night, Gutierrez and Somer received the most votes, as 68.3 percent of the 954 voters voted in support of the pair. 61.4 percent voted for Singer and Villarreal, and for Golkari and Peterson, 59.3 percent for Yost and Zheng, 56.8 percent for Page and Vale, and 53.8 percent for Doran and Leggett.
Below are the profiles and platforms of the remaining candidates:
David Gutierrez and Rebecca Somer
Campaign ideas aside, David Gutierrez '15 and Rebecca Somer '15 believe that the most important role of the Co-President is to represent the average Andover student.
"I haven't seen any of the other candidates talking about their flaws at all," said Somer. "Our slogan is 'Real life, real people' and that's kind of what we're going at... We are here to represent you guys and your problems."
Somer continued, "We are tired of seeing leaders come across as these perfect beings who are supposed to lead everyone because they're so great... We have tons of faults. We've posted some of our struggles on our Facebook page."
With this emphasis on representation, the duo believes it's important that they "bring diversity to the table," Gutierrez said.
He said, "Both of us come from two different friend groups, the things we are involved in. We both have very different backgrounds in all aspects. I think we really represent the campus pretty well, combined."
Gutierrez and Somer are three-year Uppers from Hightstown, NJ, and Falls Church, VA, respectively.
Top 3 Proposals:
I. Mental Health Awareness
We strongly believe this campus needs to open up the discussion on mental health. While many struggle with mental health issues themselves, most of us at least know someone dealing with them. This issue affects a large portion of our student population and has gone unaddressed for far too long. We want to host a school-wide forum or possibly make this next year's school congress topic in order to connect students with faculty on this issue. We also want to do a poster awareness campaign and create a guide that outlines how to seek help for yourself or your friends.
II. Community Spirit & Bonding
We have come up with concrete ways to improve orientation in order to make it a time for people to actually bond. While brainstorming realistic, simple ways to help day students have a place to go on campus, we thought that it was a no-brainer that they should be allowed to study with friends in dorms during study hours.
III. Bringing Your Ideas to the Table
We're all about hearing the improvements that make your days a little easier. This year, I (Rebecca) collaborated with Mrs. Kip to add the new healthier options to Fourth Meal. It's these small details that we want to bring to Student Council. While meeting many of you, we have heard many new suggestions, such as adding a plate of cheese pizza to Paresky each day. It's these realistic ideas that Student Council needs to focus on.
Carter Page and Hanover Vale
Carter Page '15 and Hanover Vale '15 began their campaign with a question: "What do you struggle with most at Andover?" The answers that students gave to these questions, Vale said, were ultimately what drove their platform.
"People would respond with these very personal things that we didn't usually think student government targeted at all," said Page. In response, Page and Vale have tried to make their campaign about the personal. Their top priority is to integrate "Out of the Blue," an anthology of student writing about race, class, gender, sexuality and ability, into Andover's curriculum, according to Vale.
They hope also to make the Co-Presidency itself more personable in smaller ways.
"At [All-School Meeting]s, instead of talking about Andover and invoking lots of the quotes of the constitutions. You know what, can we talk about how students are feeling?" said Page. "Once in a while throughout the school year, we hope to send out an email [saying], ‘Freshman fall, this is what I struggled with. The position is not the source of ideas, it's more a representation of students."
Page and Vale are three-year Uppers from Glenview, IL, and Wilmington, MA, respectively.
Top 3 Proposals:
I. Strengthening community and easing the transition to Phillips Academy via "Out of The Blue."
We intend to implement its use in Junior English classes during the Fall Term or a pseudo-"PACE" program for ninth graders and its incorporation within advisory groups for all other grades. We believe a more open community stems from discussion, and that "Out of The Blue" is the greatest form of student expression we have, as well as the perfect vehicle to base this discussion around.
II. Using Technology to Improve Education. Creating online videos specific to Phillips Academy in introductory science and math classes, similar to MITopencourseware.
We feel it is imperative to utilize the capability of our student body and having these videos as a work duty would satisfy the requirements of those who may have not been able to tutor as well as allow for students to strengthen their understanding of a certain subject.
Restricting hours of certain lights on campus in order to reduce light pollution and energy waste, encouraging the school to shy away from fossil fuels and embrace alternative energies and proposing the modification of old buildings on campus to make them more efficient.