Student Union elections usher in new faces, ideas

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SU elections
Graph by Yash Sharma

On May 2, juniors Judy Kwon and Joshua Merai were elected to lead the 2013-2014 Student Union as President and Vice President, respectively. Chosen to lead each grade were junior Dillon Mahabir as Senior Class President, sophomore Nina Leeds as Junior Class President, and freshman Sherin Shibu as Freshman-Sophomore Class President. The other positions will be filled by junior Angel Song as Secretary, sophomore Harry Petsios as Treasurer, sophomore Yash Sharma as Public Relations, and sophomore Karen Su as Club Liaison.

Judy Kwon, currently serving as Junior Class President, is known for her active participation in Townsend Harris politics.

“Ever since I joined Grade Leaders freshman year, I had an urge to be on the Student Union.”

Judy plans on instituting a Janitor Appreciation Day, a schoolwide Peace Day, and a Battle of the Grades competition.

Joshua Merai will be serving on the SU Board for the first time.

He said, “I was the definite underdog in this election. I believe I was elected simply because I worked hard, showed dedication, and presented myself effectively.”

Dillon Mahabir said that he decided to run because of his genuine care for Harrisites.

“Seeing my fellow Harrisites everyday keeps a smile on my face!” said Dillon.

Although Harry Petsios ran unopposed, he thinks his “ability to function as an active member of the board” helped him achieve his mandatory 50% vote.

New SU President Judy Kwon. Photo by Yash Sharma

Harry plans on revamping the SU store by September.  He also plans on establishing a “Speaker of the Senate” position, a suggestion box, and a Senator voting system. This year, Harry carried out an SU Candidate Luncheon where all the candidates could relieve their stress on Voting Day at a final meal together.

In addition to implementing peer tutoring to reduce stress, Nina Leeds hopes to increase communication about upcoming events because “this will be immensely important during junior year when there are multiple dates and deadlines to remember.”

The newly elected representatives offered thoughts on their victories.

Judy credits victory to her prior involvement with the SU and her Archon presidency.

Joshua said that he and his campaign manager recruited a team of students from all grades to advertise his campaign, and also made classroom visits during lunch bands.

“The strongest part of my campaign was definitely interpersonal communication,” Dillon said. He also acknowledges that he and his opponent, Mary Choi, “knew no matter who won, the head of the Senior Council would be someone who truly wants to shape the best experience for the class of 2014.”

Nina said, “I think I was elected because I really did put all my heart into this campaign and into everything I did on the SU Board this year. I promise I will do all in my power not to let anyone down.”