Another Year, Another Milestone
On March 15th, seven juniors waited patiently on the Chapel stage, some in suits, others dressed casually, but all with one goal in mind: running for executive officer positions. The results of this year have marked the end of an era for the three previous officers, Liney Kindler (‘18), Rhea Lieber (‘18), and Isabel Kulko (‘18), and have brought new hope and excitement for next year’s leaders— Archie Caride (‘19), Sacha Sloan (‘19), and Noelle Parks (‘19).
The results of the previous year’s elections made milestones in terms of representation, with three women in office for the first time in ten years. However, this year marks a different milestone. All three positions are occupied by students of color, and the entire council is the most diverse it has been in recent years.
Archie Caride: President
This year marks Archie’s second year on Student Council, and he has capped off his experience by fulfilling his long time goal of being elected president. Throughout his time on the Council, some of Archie’s achievements have included working to remodel the dress code into a set of dress norms and making tampons available in bathrooms.
Archie was brief in stating the impact he hoped to make in his presidential campaign, offering that “[His] biggest hope was to inspire people, and [his] biggest fear was to not inspire people.” However, this brevity certainly does not speak to the amount of time and effort that he put into his process of running. The goal of being elected president was in Archie’s sights long before his campaign formally began. “I [had] been writing my speech for a really long time. I think I started writing it at the beginning of last summer, just because I had ideas and I knew I wanted to run for president,” he shared. “The biggest part about writing my speech was to make it less of a resumé of what I had done and more about my passion and my plans for the future. I wanted to make it engaging, impactful, and empowering.”
“This year in particular has been one of the most formative years for the Packer community in terms of all of the conversation that’s been happening around social issues, activism, and issues within Packer, so I think that my biggest goal would be to address this even further,” Archie said when asked about his plans for next year. “I really want to meet with leaders of affinity groups like students of color or the leaders of Spectrum, and I want to hear more voices, because a lot of the time I think that we only hear one voice at Packer.”
In his free time, Archie likes to draw and paint. He also enjoys researching fashion, and even has his very own clothing brand in the works. “It’s coming soon so everyone look out for it,” he commented. “I’m gonna be releasing some super cool t-shirts. It’s gonna be the new wave— I want everyone in Packer rocking my t-shirts.”
His favorite contemporary TV show is Parks and Recreation, but he also appreciates older classics like The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Although he knows his opinion is controversial at the moment, Archie cited that his favorite musical artist is Kanye West.
Sacha Sloan: Vice President
Sacha has been on Student Council for three years now, and will serve his fourth as vice president. Sacha faced a heavy competition in his race with a total of zero competitors.
“Ever since freshman year I have been on Student Council, and the entire time I have always really enjoyed serving the Packer community and being a mouthpiece for the grade,” he said. “I thought that I would be able to do that really well as an executive officer, but especially as vice president.”
Running unopposed did take a lot of the stress out of Sacha’s campaign, but a different challenge that he faced was actually deciding which position to run for. Originally, Sacha considered running for president, but he and Archie decided on who would do the best job in their respective roles.
“Although I think I can speak in front of people, I think Archie is better as the face of the operation, and I really like to do background things with clubs. But all in all, I don’t think it matters which position is which, I just really enjoy serving the Packer community,” he reflected.
Next year, Sacha hopes to tackle head on the long time concern of the student body and Student Council relationship.
“I know this is thrown around a lot, but I want to improve communication between the student body and the Student Council. The Loop was a stepping stone for that,” he shared. “Also, making it so that all student’s voices are heard, not just the student council. Because we are all kids to the administration.”
Sacha’s favorite TV show is House, and his favorite movies are American Beauty and Mulholland Drive. In terms of music, his taste varies. “I listened to “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen like 500 times in 2016,” he said. “Right now, I really like “The Way it Goes” by Hippocampus.” Sacha also likes to write fiction, and a fun fact about him that not many people know is that he used to go to Brooklyn Friends.
Noelle Parks: Secretary
Noelle is a newcomer to the Student Council crowd, and will be serving her first year as secretary. Noelle’s approach to her campaign was heavily community based; she spent the weeks prior to election day meeting with different clubs and affinity groups.
“I know what I would like Packer to improve on, and I know things that I see that I would like to change. But Student Council is not personal— it is more about being a representative of the Upper School. In order to get the best view of what people in the Upper School want, I thought I should go talk to people and find out what their wants are, what they like and don’t like, what they need more of and what they need less of,” she said. “I thought that that kind of hands on and interactive approach to Student Council is something that I could bring to the table.” Some of the themes that she noticed included the transparency between the Student Council and the administration, as well as the quality of food in the cafeteria and how paying for this food factors into students’ tuitions.
Being new to the Council did not hinder Noelle’s excitement toward her position—in fact, one of the things that she is looking forward to most for next year is learning the ropes of the organisation and offering a new perspective from her experiences. “As soon as I found out that I was going to be the secretary next year, I reached out to the current [officers] and was like, ‘can I talk to you about the process of what Student Council goes through?’ because I had never been on Student Council before. Getting this big job without knowing what I was going into was a bit daunting,” she shared.
Within Packer, Noelle is involved in many facets of the community. She is a devoted player on the varsity girls soccer team and member and co-founder of the Women Of Color Club, among many other things. Outside of school she plays on a club soccer team and loves to bake, cook, and watch TV, some of her favorite shows being Dear White People and The Flash.