Freshmen, sophomores, juniors elect class council and SAB representatives

Sporting+a+yellow+class+shirt%2C+junior+Richard+Zhang+delivers+a+response+to+a+question+asked+by+junior+class+dean+Karl+Kuehn.+Prior+to+the+question+and+answer+session%2C+the+junior+class+could+view+candidates+responses+to+a+set+of+five+questions.

Jessica Tang

Sporting a yellow class shirt, junior Richard Zhang delivers a response to a question asked by junior class dean Karl Kuehn. Prior to the question and answer session, the junior class could view candidates responses to a set of five questions.

by Ananya Sriram, Isha Moorjani, Katerina Matta, and Jessica Wang

Freshmen, sophomores and juniors elected class council and Student Activities Board (SAB) representatives after watching candidate videos during advisory on Thursday and attending Q&A panels on Tuesday. 

Tuesday’s Q&A panels, held in the auxiliary gym, the Athletic Center (AC) and Nichols auditorium for freshmen, sophomores and juniors, respectively, offered students the opportunity to hear directly from their candidates as they responded to questions from the class dean. 

“It was really interesting to hear all the people’s unique responses to such a wide variety of questions,” Sasha Masson (10) said. “It was inspiring to see [the candidates’] overall dedication to Harker since a lot of them mentioned they would prioritize [class council, SAB and Honor Council].”

The Class of 2025 elected Rushil Jaiswal, Sam Parupudi, Jason Shim and Aaron Bao to the class council and JiaJia Jiang, Gabe Li and Alicia Ran as their SAB representatives. The Class of 2024 elected Ella Lan, Daniel Lin, Anaya Mandal and Gordy Sun for class council; Harshini Chaturvedula, Alice Tao and Meishin Yen for SAB; Neo Alpha, Margaret Cartee and Varun Fuloria for Honor Council. The Class of 2023 elected John Cracraft, Alexander Lan, Sydney Adler and Jacob Huang for class council and Sara Wan, BB Ajlouny and Ashley Ma for SAB.

Freshman class council candidates Aaron, Anwen Hao, Rushil, Andrew Liang, Sam, Kashish Priyam, Jason, Aishani Singh, Varun Thvar, Sahngwie Yim and Eric Zhang answered student-submitted questions in a Q&A moderated by class dean and upper school theater teacher Jeffrey Draper. Due to the DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC), Draper published absent candidate Valerie Li’s (9) responses on Schoology and classmate Bhavya Srinivasan (9) read aloud Bahar Sodeifi’s (9) responses. During the panel, candidates discussed initiatives including pushing back school hours, improving communication and transparency and reforming the election process to make it more rigorous. Some suggestions included eliminating the ranked choice voting system and continuing to emphasize authenticity over popularity throughout campaign season.

“I built my campaign heavily around the idea of challenge,” Jason said. “A challenge means a different thing for everyone, and as student leaders, we’re here to make sure that people feel safe to take the challenges, to take those risks.” 

Freshman SAB candidates Menaka Aron, JiaJia, Hannah Levanon, Gabe, Alicia, Khanhlinh Tran and Alex Zhong also responded to two impromptu questions. The candidates were not aware of the questions beforehand.  

“I sat at the back of the line so that I would have more time to think of my answer,” Alicia said. “It turns out I forgot my answers by the time it was my turn because I was so nervous. I think my campaign was successful anyways, though, because my friends supported me along the way.”

Sophomore class council candidates Shareen Chahal, Ella, Daniel, Anaya, Kabir Ramzan, Gordy and Cynthia Wang answered questions from sophomore class dean Carol Green on topics including why they believed they were qualified for the position and how they would make members of the class feel seen. Cynthia, who was away on the DECA ICDC trip, recorded her Q&A over a Zoom meeting with Green, which was then played on a projector in the Athletic Center. Candidates were not aware of the questions prior to the meeting, according to Green. 

“It was a really supportive environment because the other candidates were really sweet, and after the Q&A session, it was just all of us supporting each other,” Anaya said. “I really hope that everyone who can come out votes because it’s really important to get proper representation of our whole class.”

Following the Q&A, Green projected videos created by sophomore SAB candidates Harshini, Shreeya Merchia, Alice and Meishin. Videos included comical skits, parodies of songs and speeches regarding candidate ideas. 

The meeting closed with speeches from Neo, Margaret and Varun regarding the importance of the Honor Council and their beliefs. All candidates automatically became part of the council, as the council has three representatives per grade.

Junior candidates for class council included Sydney, Rupert Chen, John, Jacob, Alex, Lakshmi Mulgund and Richard Zhang. Junior class dean Karl Kuehn posed questions to the candidates on a variety of topics ranging from their qualifications to their goals and ideas for next year. 

Junior SAB candidates included BB, Arissa Huda, Ashley and Sara. Following the class council Q&A panel, Arissa, Ashley and Sara answered Kuehn’s questions regarding their qualifications and ideas for SAB. 

“[The Q&A panel] was really fun,” Sara, who was elected for SAB, said. “It was actually the first time we did that. It was a good way for the audience to see our live reactions rather than a recorded speech to get our genuine responses.”