Frank Spotorno Rents Ice Cream Truck

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Students who were part of the Frank Spotorno campaign in the election simulation brought an ice cream truck after school, handing out free ice cream to the student body as part of the simulation’s famous efforts to win votes from underclassmen.

The event took place on October 13, outside the front entrance of the school.

Senior Jagjot Singh, who plays Frank Spotorno, remarked, “Handing out ice cream to my classmates was really fun and I got to meet people who I didn’t know went to this school. It was a bit overwhelming at times because of the number of people yelling out their ice cream choices, but it was still really fun nonetheless.”

Senior Lianna Weitzman, Spotorno’s campaign manager, recalled the “stressful” story of how she was able to book the ice cream truck. “My dad thought of the idea, and it was also very convenient that we knew someone who drove a truck. We booked him, but the day before, he let us know that he doesn’t have any jurisdiction in the Flushing area so he couldn’t [come to the event]. So now, my family and I are flipping out trying to figure out something to do. My dad suggested buying a whole bunch of ice cream sandwiches, but my candidate handing those out would be the same as him handing out lollipops; there is no difference in the voter’s mind. [Then] my mom took to Facebook and posted in every group she [was] in, [and] someone said that they could help us, so we finally booked [the truck]. My family ended up paying for it [and] said it would be fine.”

Regarding the cost, Lianna said, “I mean, it’s a lot, that’s all I can say.”

Concerning the cost, senior Tiffany Weng also shared her feelings: “ I liked the ice cream truck idea because it was really good promotion of Sportorno’s campaign. However, I do think it was unfair for the campaigns since doing this kind of event does cost a lot of money and the other campaigns might not have enough resources to keep up.”

Senior Marie Kessel, also part of Spotorno’s campaign, added, “I feel really proud to be part of the Frank Spotorno campaign because for us, the whole election simulation process has been more about connecting with the different students in our school rather than how many simbucks we can get.”

Senior Erela Datuowei, yet another person playing a role in the campaign, said, “It was amazing. It was insane and chaotic, but it was amazing. I use that word because it was the most surreal and excessive thing that has ever happened during election simulation. I was annoyed at some points because of overcrowding and lack of manners (it’s still just ice cream, people) but then I remembered that something this big had never happened before and it was worth it.”

Sophomore Arbid Yusuf remarked on the effect the ice cream truck had on the student body. He said, “Giving out free ice cream from an ice cream truck was very appealing to the the students and it will probably lead to the candidate in charge of the event gaining many votes.”

Freshman Tina Chen noticed that the crowd grew “uncontrollably large,” but that “it was really sweet of him [Jagjot] to continue to give out free ice cream.”

Freshman Savannah Sclafani remarked, “What the Frank Spotorno campaign did was incredible! The campaign really went outside of their box, coming up with a great way to spread the heart of their campaign, while also highlighting that they aren’t just in it for simbucks. Spotorno also created a great opportunity to connect with us students of Townsend Harris and showed that he really cares. I’ve never experienced anything like that at school before.”

Junior Jenny Gao, who was there during the event, commented, “It was a great way to get his [Jagjot’s] candidate out there.”

Senior Nicholas Das-Hom, who plays Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, stated, “Well, I think it was a great move and really creative. His opponents might say that it’s unfair because they don’t have the same connections, but that’s how real life is. You have to use the cards you dealt and he played his perfectly.”

“I thought it was so cool,” added senior Raya Kazdan, who plays Green Party candidate Jill Stein. “Honestly I’m grateful he did something so exciting and fun and I really enjoyed my ice cream personally.”

However, not all students agreed with Spotorno’s move. Junior Zayyan Alamgir commented that it “gave Frank Spotorno an unfair advantage because it is not something others can reproduce because of how much money it costs to do something like that.”

Junior David Betancur agreed, saying that “it’s similar to a marketing system and moves away from honest politics in that whoever spends the most money and brings the most food gets the most simbucks to use towards commercials and get the most publicity.”

Junior Tafhim Islam proposed a more fair system, stating that “there should be a set limit of how much money a student can spend so there aren’t unfair advantages. Candidates should spend the same amount for a campaign.”

Spanish teacher Beatriz Ezquerra, who also participated in the event, remarked, “It was more fun than anything else. It was memorable, since everyone likes ice cream. However, everyone cannot be moved by only ice cream. Eventually, people forget about ice cream and remember other things such as how Jagjot portrayed the politician. I enjoyed it but there needs to be more.”

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