Zoe and Luis Win SFC Co-Presidency
After listening to enthralling speeches from three pairs of presidential candidates, the Riverdale community has elected Luis Perez and Zoe Schwartzman to represent its interests for the 2016-2017 school year.
Students and faculty gathered in the gymnasium to hear speeches from Perez and Schwartzman, as well as from Members-at-Large Caroline Goldberg and Max Feld and third place candidates Jack Carlos Mindich and George Harvey. Goldberg and Feld’s position as Members-at-Large means they have also secured their place on the Student Faculty Council.
Minting the slogan “Vote Schwartzman-Perez for Student Council Prez,” Luis Perez and Zoe Schwartzman vigorously ran on a platform calling for a multicultural space where students could go to talk about their various social identifiers. The dyad also advocated for a new group of SFC intermediaries, known as the “SFC Cadets”, who would help bridge the gap between the Co-Presidents and the student body.
The triumphant pair said that they are “fresh faces, who have a lot of leadership experience outside of SFC.” They also said that they “have the will and the skills necessary to both implement and propose innovative new ideas.”
Perez and Schwartzman, both leaders of their respective affinity groups, as well as leaders of various clubs and PAL, felt as though they could actively represent the student body of the Riverdale community from a multitude of perspectives.
They want to affect all aspects of life at Riverdale, rather than focus on things that “don’t matter,” citing the inclusion of toasters in the cafeteria as the extent of what SFC has accomplished in the past. As outsiders of SFC, the pair feel as though they know what the student body wants and know how to actively pursue that change.
The twosome also cited a “lack of transparency” as being one of Riverdale’s biggest issues. They strongly believed that many students do not know what the administrative process is like, and do not know why certain decisions are made.
Due to this lack of transparency, Perez and Schwartzman want to create a “decisions committee,” which would allow a mixture of students and faculty to decide how Riverdale runs. This committee would decide on things like snow days, panini presses in the cafeteria, etc.
Caroline Goldberg and Max Feld, prided themselves on having the most SFC experience between them. With a collective 5 years together, the pair has built their platform on improving “everyday student life,” by “working diligently to hear and act on the ideas from the community,” said Feld.
The pair also made it clear that they are interested in prioritizing the individual voices of students from all corners of Riverdale. To achieve this goal, Goldberg said that her and Feld’s leadership “can address the specific and sometimes disparate interests of various student groups.”
Additionally, both Goldberg and Feld have extensive extracurricular experiences, demonstrating their commitment and ability to represent the voices of all Riverdale students. Feld is a three-sport athlete, participating on varsity football, squash and lacrosse. Goldberg participates on varsity golf and tennis. The dyad also separates themselves from their competition through their charitable contributions. Feld is an active member in the GO Project organization, which helps improve the quality of life of low-income public school children. Conversely, Goldberg leads a Midnight Run module with Riverdale students, in which students personally deliver necessary items to members of the homeless community. In addition, Goldberg is also a PAL leader, junior board member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and science researcher.
Lastly, Jack Carlos Mindich and George Harvey ran a strong campaign, calling for a complete upheaval of what the SFC has power over, and instead focus on “changing the role of the SFC,” said Mindich. Rather than allocating their focus toward “insufficient, small scale reforms,” the pair wants to make the SFC have a real impact on what is accomplished at Riverdale.
The main impact the two want to have is on direct advocacy for students, meaning that the SFC would actively meet with department chairs as well as form committees in an attempt to better distribute power among the Riverdale administration.
The pair also believe that they have done the most research, indicating that other pairs have not equally prepared themselves for the position. The duo actively prepared for this role by reading Riverdale’s annual report (and other public Riverdale documents) and meeting with various faculty members in order gain a firm grasp on what Riverdale needs in leadership.
In terms of extracurriculars, Mindich and Harvey are involved in a variety of activities. Mindich is an avid baseball player, in addition to his position at the Center for Court Innovation, a non-profit organization which works to reform the justice system. Harvey, a three-sport athlete who participates in soccer, squash and tennis, is starting a new club supporting Dr. Melony Samuels and the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, an organization that helps combat hunger with nutritious, locally grown food in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.
Riverdale’s new Student Faculty Council Co-Presidents are committed to furthering the Riverdale experience and making it the best it can be for all students. As Perez has said about him and Schwartzman,“We are excited to bring about necessary changes at Riverdale, and are excited Riverdale has chosen us for this honor.”. Perez and Schwartzman have provided Riverdale with the promising vision of a bright future, and will hopefully continue on a path of righteous change.