Have a question for David? 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
Bryn Mawr Relations
I think that any real idealistic differences between two groups of people will always cause conflict. I assure you, I know we have all grown upset, frustrated, or even downright furious with Bryn Mawr in the past. The main reason for these feelings comes from the feeling of being attacked, and this feeling is felt on both sides of the bridge. Both of our schools need to stop attacking one another with the sole intention of causing conflict. Instead of posting venomous messages, having shouting matches, or simply ignoring Bryn Mawr girls (I know this option can be very tempting), we need to build personal friendships with girls at both of our sister schools, not just Bryn Mawr. Once we build real friendships and have real connections, hopefully the first reaction after an incident isn’t to attack one another, but to have a civil discussion among friends in order to deal with the issue.
I believe that Gilman Culture is defined by the loyalty and persistence of Gilman guys. We all know what brotherhood means and we are all willing to stick up for each other, even though not all of us are close friends. Similarly, we all are very persistent in standing up for what we believe in. The student body does not accept illogical decisions or unreasonableness in general. Despite what we are often told, I truly do not believe that this type of culture on its own is toxic. One of my proudest moments as a Gilman student came sophomore year, when the Gilman News voiced the feelings of the student body about Long Lunch being taken away in an intellectual editorial. These types of avenues are the way in which we should channel our anger at irrationality, instead of gaining a kind of mob mentality and becoming disrespectful. Both the administration and others are more apt to listen to us, and thus we have a better chance of getting what we want, when we voice our thoughts and opinions through positive means in a respectful manner.
The basis of unity at any schools is formed once freshmen can build relationships with seniors, juniors can build relationships with sophomores, and so on. These friendships can be built if we have more school wide events. Obviously, I want to put a huge focus on attending sporting events. Even for students who do not consider themselves sports fans, being at Gilman games can be among the most memorable moments of anyone’s Gilman career. Likewise, instead of a House Cup approach that usually fails, I want to have randomly dated contests that are spread throughout the year that bring the school together during fifth periods, but also more enticing blocks of times so upperclassmen actually come. I have enjoyed the burrito-eating contests and fun relays in the past, but I also want to add more events, like official rap battles, game tournaments, and countless other possibilities. One in particular that I think would be particularly cool is a school wide ping pong tournament. This idea comes from Friends, where they have the tournament and at the conclusion the championship match is held at assembly on the stage where everyone can watch and cheer for a thoroughly enjoyable experience all around.
My freshman year, the student body became thoroughly enraged after the administration took away the pep rally in favor of a “Thank You Sotirs” event which became a source of ridicule for years to come. Obviously, the situation did not turn out great, but I really think it could have been handled better by the student body. If the student council of that time had had real discussions with the administrations, and put forth different ideas in order to fit in a pep rally at a different time, I think both sides could have been happy with a compromise. With this in mind, I hope to fight with administration when they make decisions like this, but make sure I present rational alternatives that will actually be accepted by the administration.