A Conversation With: Ethan Chen

Will Peng, Staff Writer

Will: Hi Ethan! I’m Will, a staff writer at the Voice, and I wanted to talk to you today about your campaign? How is running for president this year different than running in the past?

Ethan: So I ran for VP last year, and I think a minor change is that there’s less information for voting this year. But I think the Q&A that took place today and the Facebook livestream tomorrow at 8 pm on Facebook, I think those are enough sufficient resources for the student body to know what the goals are of each candidate and the policies of each candidate. This year, campaigning has only been one week versus two weeks.

W: Why is it shortened down to one week this year?

E: I think ASG wanted to condense it because there was no need for two weeks. We can fit all the events in one week.

W: Define your campaign in one word.

E: Engagement. That’s my main goal.

W: Can you elaborate on that?

E: That’s my first goal, to engage people creatively through things that they are passionate about, so really reaching out to different groups of students and seeing what kinds of events and activities and things that interest them so ASG can continue to improve and serve their needs.

W: What experience do you have that qualifies you to be the president?

E: I’ve been in leadership in fifth grade, as you probably may know. I’ve been the ASB president for Warm Springs and Horner, and class officer freshman and sophomore year. It’s not just the positions that help build me as a very strong leader, it’s also the experiences and memories I have serving in these positions. It teaches me what students really want, and how I can keep improving as a leader, both enhancing accountability inside of ASG and outside of ASG. I also have a solid track record of implementing change; freshmen to sophomore year summer, I created a clubs brochure, which was to help all students, especially freshmen, with their club searching journey, to make it more smooth, and more suited for them. As I mentioned in my speech, we also fixed all the bathrooms that were broken.

W: So you were class officer freshmen and sophomore year, this year you’re the development director. Is that a step-down or…

E: I wouldn’t really consider it a step down. I think serving as two years as a class officer, I’ve gained a lot of experiences from that position, but now I wanna narrow myself, so I explored different opportunities as a development director and part of the ASG executive council. I’ve been in the executive council before, so it’s not like I lost class officer and wanted to go to exec, my passion was actually for this position before class officer.

W: So if you became president, what’s one change that you would make?

E: I think that part of my first goal was just to engage the student. I think a lot of the time we might have a low event turnout, and I don’t think it’s… I don’t want to keep this too ASG limited but I think the reason for low event turnout is that our events either don’t engage students or it’s not the right timing, so I think through surveys, public forums, and just engaging the students, we can understand the true needs and then better serve them.

W: So you mentioned in your 1-minute read that Irvington spirit is unique. Why do you think so?

E: I think it’s because we have lots of diversity on our campus, and I think with this diversity, it’s like, a lot of students have different interests and connections are usually formed because we share a common interest, and I think we’re always there to lend a helping hand to each other, whether it’s like, you may have friends that go to other friends’ senior nights, make posters for them, cheer them on, or just studying with each other and making sure we all feel safe and welcome at the school. So that’s what I love about the Irvington spirit.

W: You also mentioned the QR code, so how’s that going to work?

E: On my flyers, we actually had quite a lot scans; I made it through a QR code generator, and it’s very easy, you just make your camera hover over the code, and then there will be a pop-up and you can just click the link to access the website, and then there you can find all the information about my campaign experiences and my goals. And there’s another QR code which I worked with my committee to put up in bathrooms, and it’s something you can also scan and report issues real-time. Because things will break in the bathroom, you’ll run out of supplies, and it’s easier to address a concern that way.

W: Are both of those going to be year-long, or…

E: That [bathroom QR code] has nothing to do with my campaign, it’s just part of a general bathroom renovation we’re working on. And the main goal for us is to focus on what matters to the student body. Bathrooms are a necessity for all humans, so improving them would improve the campus experience on campus.

W: Anything else you would like to add about your campaign?

E: It might have been a shortened election week, but I’ve been excited throughout, and I’m always open to answering any questions students have about my campaign or just any ideas people have improving our campus. It doesn’t have to wait till next year, we can implement change now.