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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

Newly elected student leaders propose SU improvements through stronger communication and a new Club Credit System

During+the+SU+Debate+the+Vice+President+and+President+shared+their+goals+and+aspirations.
Samira Li
During the SU Debate the Vice President and President shared their goals and aspirations.
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For weeks, colorful flyers, eye-catching slogans and creative promotions lined the staircases and hallways. Student social media feeds were denominated by visually appealing campaign posts asking for votes, along with lists of qualifications and entertaining Instagram Reels. But all of that is now over, as the 2024 Student Union (SU) elections ended last week. After students voted, Coordinator of Student Activities Jaime Baranoff announced the results. 

With candidates for SU President and Vice President now running on a single ticket, Juniors Alex Yauri and Anastasia Gonidelis were elected SU President and Vice President respectively, defeating opposing candidates Rajvi Sharma and Ana Montan. 

Alex spoke with The Classic about his plans for next school year. He said there are “several ways” he thinks the SU can be improved but that his two primary goals are to focus on communication and clubs.  “We are working on providing a platform for our students to confirm their club credit and aim to have a system set up by the beginning of the school year,” he said. In addition, he said that one of his main goals is to “to foster better communication with the SU and the student body.” 

Anastasia said that while she and Alex “love the SU as it is, there are definitely things we want to add.” She elaborated on their plans for working with clubs and proposed more collaboration between the Student Union and events run by clubs.  “We want to implement more events that are collaborative between the SU and clubs so that the events can gain more attention and garner interest for the club.” 

Newly elected members in other positions also shared their plans for the future. Aki Benjamin, who won his race for Co-Freshmen Sophomore Class President, said “I feel like the leadership this past year didn’t focus on the underclassmen enough. I want to make sure that they feel as if they have both in-school and out-of-school representation, and I will work with the SU to fight for them however I can.”

The new senior SLT representative Aurelia Liu said that communication is also a priority for her.  “I ran for Senior SLT to improve the communication between the student body, SU, and staff,” she said. “I will do this by sending out more emails regarding new opportunities and having a designated place for students to address their concerns about the school.”

Evelene Chao, the new junior SLT representative, also discussed communication. mentions internal improvements she would like to improve as JSLT. Evelene Chai said, “Some changes that I would want to make is sending out monthly emails to catch up with students…This way it would be easier to grasp the common concerns of the grade. I would also want to have monthly newsletters listing the events that occurred that month or any new schedules/policies etc.”

Beside sharing plans for the future, candidates also spoke about the campaign itself. 

“Of course there have been ups and down throughout our campaign, …but I thoroughly enjoyed making content for Townsend and letting them hear our goals,” said Ana Montan. “People recognizing us and supporting us made us feel motivated to keep going.”

Andrew Gurcharan, winner for Senior Class Vice President said, “The election process has been an incredibly enriching experience for me thus far. From the initial decision to run, through campaigning, to engaging with my peers in debates and discussions, every step has been an opportunity for personal growth and connection. I’ve had the privilege of hearing diverse perspectives, concerns, and aspirations from students across grade levels.”

“Everyone has been so supportive and kind,” said Evelene about the election season.

“We’re glad you all enjoyed our campaign season,” said Alex. “We also enjoyed our journey, seeing this as a memorable moment. Thank you to all of our supporters and good friends.”

 

Below is the list of this year’s winners.

2024-2025 Student Union Executive Board:

Alex Yauri – SU President

Anastasia Gonidelis – SU Vice President

Cristian Marroquin – Treasurer

Krish Wadia – Secretary

Elvis Chan – Club Liason

Natalie Tamma – Senate Chair

Tabassum Ahmed – Public Relations

Aurelia Liu – Senior SLT

Evelene Chao – Junior SLY

Ethan Ben-David – Senior Class President

Andrew Gurcharan – Senior Class Vice President

Jenna Abdelhamid – Junior Class President 

Aki Benjamin & Jordana Lo – Co-Freshman Sophomore President

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About the Contributor
Samira Li
Samira Li, Photography Editor
Samira is a junior at Townsend Harris High School. She enjoys photography and art, especially digital art, and she loves playing sports, such as table tennis, tennis, handball, etc. She’s also been on the robotics team her entire time in high school and is incredibly passionate for it.
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