Have a question for Connor? Ask it below!

In order to create a more substantive election, The Gilman News’s editorial staff consulted a range of students to discover what the voters would like to hear the candidates talk about. Candidates were asked to elaborate on the three following subjects:

1. Tri-School relations: After a turbulent year, articulate your thoughts on how we could improve our relationships with the girls schools?

2. Gilman Culture: What defines Gilman culture? What specific aspects of Gilman culture would you like to maintain, add, or remove?

3. School Unity: What specific actions would you take to create a more unified student body?

4. Any issue that has fractured or angered the student body in the past couple of years

 

Hi, my name is Connor Mitchell, and I would like to be your school president. First I think we should discuss tri-school relations, as we have had a turbulent year between the schools. Since we’re located across the street, we might as well make the best of it, and improve our relationship. One of my ideas is to meet with the other two presidents of the other schools, allowing for an open dialogue between the three of us. With biweekly meetings we can work on opportunities to improve our relationship as well as be prepared for any situations that require the immediate attention of the schools. If we ever have a situation similar to some of those that happened this year, we will be able to handle the situation internally rather than having it blow up. In addition, we can discuss opportunities for coordinated co-ed events with the other schools. But I also believe before we do any of these events with the girls, we need more events that encapsulate Gilman culture. We are all brothers, and I want to continue this mindset throughout the next year. One way I want to strengthen our brotherhood is with the revival of the House Cup. For those of you who do not know, the House Cup was a week long event that had “houses” working together to complete athletic, academic, and other sorts of challenges in order to rank up points. My idea is to bring back the House Cup, and during spirit week we have a few events each day. There will be giveaways and contests with prizes, and the winning House will receive something special. All throughout spirit shirts will be distributed, along with headbands, rally towels, etc. To pay for all this, I also want to bring back another tradition, the Gilman Fair. Similar to Family Day, this would be a type of fair in which we would have each Upper School class, also contacting alumni and local businesses, in order to raise money for an Upper School fund that would pay for the prizes, shirts, and other all school things. I think our pep rally is a great sign of our brotherly bonds, but it needs to be revamped, along with Spirit Week. When I was in Middle and Lower school, we had skydivers and other crazy stunts for our pep rally. Now it’s a bit dull. I think we need to bring back the crazy pep rallies that we all looked forward to when we were younger. With regards to Spirit Week, I think we need to hold House Cup events in the afternoon, and give away free spirit shirts using money from the Upper School Fund. Maintaining events like Storm the Pool and such are vital to continuing our brotherly mindset, but I think we need more events for these important sports games. Creating this sense of Unity, One Gilman, will strengthen our relationships even more. Working alongside Tommy Finney, I want to make cookouts with the barbecue club happen much more often, drawing even more people to our sports games. Since I don’t participate in any interscholastic obligations, I will be able to dedicate my time towards these games and making sure they’re memorable. Another way I want to draw students to sports games and other unifying activities, is to get underclassmen out of study hall on Fridays and before important rivalry games. This would allow for so many more people to come support our athletes, and we could even have Friday cookouts from time to time, getting the underclassmen out of their study hall obligation. I want to work with all of you to make this the best school year, but there will always be little bumps in the road that we all have to deal with together. If we maintain this sense of unity and brotherhood, then we will work through it without any problems. My number one job is to keep the students happy, but we also need to respect some of the guidelines put in place by the administration. But that does not mean that we can not negotiate to have those lines moved. For example, many juniors have been breaking the rules and leaving campus before 3:35. But we do not need to break the rules, instead, with my guidance, we could discuss a possible solution with the administration. I firmly believe that all issues are able to be negotiated, but we have to hold up our end of the bargain. In terms of larger issues, I think it is a necessity that we do not let situations blow up on social media, and if this is a problem with one of the girl schools, the relationship that I would form with the other presidents would allow for us to discuss and defuse the situation before it’s blown out of proportion. I believe that we have the ability to control these types of situations, and I will work my hardest to ensure that we don’t find ourselves in these types of situations. With my guidance, I think we can make the 2017-2018 school year one of the best in Gilman history, reviving and revitalizing traditions. I want to work with all of you to make this year amazing. So, thank you very much for your time, and if you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to talk to me.