Class of 2021 Senior Class Election Interviews

by Domenic Hoxholli, Class of 2022

Hello Class of 2021, it is that time again. Student Council Elections are the cornerstone of our Matignon Experience. These elections allow us to vote for our Officers who will voice our ideas to the Council and Administration. Heading into Senior year, the officers you choose to elect will not only represent your class, but be the leaders of the Council. It is only fitting that, on the campaign trail, they answer your questions. 

Unlike last year, this article will feature all candidates, regardless of whether or not they are running unopposed. The two contested races this year are the Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections. The Elections for the Offices of Treasurer, Secretary, and Intermediary are all unopposed. 

With all of that out of the way, let us begin with the race all Matignon students are looking at, the Senior Presidential Race. There are three vying for the seat. They are incumbent President Dylan Griffith, running for a fourth term, Representative William Carroll, and Representative Sydney Rosa. President Griffith and Representative Rosa took the opportunity to answer questions.

We will start with President Griffith:

Matignon Mirror: Though the Senior Class President is the leader of the Student Council, they still need to work with Junior and underclassman officers in order to execute school wide events. What will be your first school-wide project and how will you work with Council to get it done?  

Dylan Griffith: First off, I hope everyone is well and safe. I’d like to thank the Matignon Mirror for covering yet another Student Council election and thank everyone on the team for continuing their work especially given the circumstances we find ourselves in. I think it would be naive of me not to acknowledge that next year the Student Council will also face a new normal. It is especially important that as a Senior Class we elect someone who is flexible and able to adapt their leadership skills and abilities to the situation that we will find ourselves in. For the past three years I have proven myself to be that leader. I have prioritized the concerns of our class in meetings and made real tangible change. I could not have done this with others in the Council which is why I think this is such a great question. How will I continue to work with everyone in the council? Look at my history. For the past year, I have worked first with Jackie and now Shania on a major project: Updating our Uniform Code. We have held numerous meetings with the Administration on focussing how to make our uniform policy more inclusive and adaptive to our students’ needs. Next year we will roll out our Updated Uniform Code and answer the concerns of our classmates with a bold new code. This will be the first, but definitely not last project that we work on and implement. I hope that with your support, we may continue the work of Progressing Matignon for Our Sakes.  

MM: Mr. President, you have two challengers vying for your seat, why do you deserve a fourth term as Class President?  

DG: The competition that my classmates have opposed me with has been instrumental in pushing me to do better, to be better. Their opposition has pushed me to envision and act on bold ideas to help our school move forward. As your Class President, I have never let up in keeping everyone informed whether that be through weekly announcements or other means. I have always pushed to make our class more engaged in school events such as Pep Rallies and next year I plan to work with fellow Councilors to make sure we affect real change to our Pep Rallies by ensuring that we see a real boost in school spirit. One of my challengers for the past three years, Shania Rimpel, has been persistent in her running against me. Nevertheless, we have worked together on projects such as virtual class events, updating our uniform code, and behind the scenes work to make events more enjoyable for our class. This year, she is running for Vice President and I am overwhelmingly proud to endorse her candidacy. I know she will be a vital part in effecting real tangible change as part of my administration. A value that I truly believe in is that together, we are stronger. With our combined leadership, we will be a powerhouse in representing our Senior Class and pushing for us to be able have the best Senior year possible. Together, we can do this.

MM: What is the Matignon Student Council’s top issue and how will your administration address it?  

DG: Going into this pivotal year at Matignon, we will inevitably face challenges not seen before. We will embrace three new hockey teams, a new normal, and positive changes to our school. But, how we experience this is our choice. The top issue that the Student Council will face next year is: School Spirit. I am not blind to the fact that many people are unhappy with events and how they are run at our school. But, I am optimistic. This is not an opportunity to join in negative banter, but an opportunity to capitalize on the possibilities of bettering our school. Pep Rallies are going to be fundamentally rethought as to how we can make them rallies around our school. Homecoming is going to be an exciting event that bonds our school community together. We will work together to see that new events are implemented to keep things fresh. Class of 2021, we can do this. Together. Join me in continuing the work we began as Freshman and Vote dyl griff 4 Prez! 

Next, the interview with Representative Carroll:

Matignon Mirror: Though the Senior Class President is the leader of the Student Council, they still need to work with Junior and underclassman officers in order to execute school wide events. What will be your first school-wide project and how will you work with Council to get it done? 

William Carroll: Hello reader of the Matignon Mirror, thank you for taking time out of your day to read this, it means a lot! I would like to thank Jackie and Domenic for arranging these election questions, Ms. Zhang and Mr. MacDonald for being great administrators for the newspaper and student council respectively, and of course all the student body. Now onto the questions!  I’m glad you asked this question because I am very passionate about my answer. I have worked the last 3 years with the council, interacting with members of all grades. During my sophomore year, I helped relay information to the class of 22 before they had a council of their own. If elected, my plan for a school wide event involves a complete overhaul of homecoming. This coming school year, we are returning from a break far longer and more significant then just summer break. Homecoming is traditionally a celebration of the return to campus, and a welcoming back of alumni. Seeing as the class of 2020 was robbed of their senior spring, I would want to turn the week of homecoming into a “Summer Sendoff Showcase” a way to celebrate our return to school. In quarantine, many of us have found ourselves with more time on our hands. This time has been used to make art, learn new skills, recipes, or instruments. I want to revitalize the spirit of Matignon by having a week where anyone can show off what they’ve learned in quarantine! Possibly an early Music and Arts night to replace the one cancelled in spring, or bake sales featuring everyone’s favorite quarantine recipes (Lots of banana bread) where the proceeds could go to medical research to prevent a pandemic like this in the future. The best part of all, I want the class of 2020 to be our guests of honor, one week to celebrate them doesn’t make up for what they’ve lost, but it can help. The week would culminate in the homecoming dance, and ideally every day would be a tag day. As ambitious as it sounds, I believe it is the morale boosting event that we all need and deserve when quarantine ends, but I could only achieve it with the leadership power of the Senior Class President. 

MM: Not only are you challenging President Griffith for his seat, you also have two other opponents. What sets you apart from the President and the other candidates?  

WC: What sets me apart from the other candidates? I would have to say my transparency. I want to be 100% honest with the student body, because one major issue I have found in the student council’s relationship with the student body is how often they come to me and other members asking about events which we don’t run. I am embarrassed that our council has such limited communication with the other students that people don’t even know what events we run and what events we don’t! A William Carroll presidency would be one where a student won’t have to go to whatever student council member they know to ask about events, because the available information will already be made easily accessible. Quarantine has proven we can spread information through social media, so why should we limit ourselves once we’re back in school? Another thing I bring to the table is real change. What better way to change then to bring in someone new!  

MM: What is the Matignon Student Councils top issue and how will your administration address it?  

WC: I believe in the past our council has not done enough to branch out and go beyond what is expected of us. We should serve the Matignon community to make it a safer, more inclusive, and more fun environment. We have to constantly listen to feedback from our classmates and reach for higher goals.My grade is lucky to be the first class at Matignon in the last decade to always have a homecoming dance, something that wouldn’t have been possible if Student Council didn’t step out of their comfort zone and take on new and exciting challenges. As president my mission would be to tackle these challenges as well as be more active in speaking with administration about what the students want out of their high school experience. 

Finally, Representative Sydney Rosa: 

Matignon Mirror: Though the Senior Class President is the leader of the Student Council, they still need to work with Junior and underclassman officers in order to execute school wide events. What will be your first school-wide project and how will you work with Council to get it done?  

Sydney Rosa: My first school wide event would be Homecoming because I feel like it is an important school event for everyone. I will work with the Student Council by hearing everyone’s ideas and by making sure Homecoming has a fun theme.

MM: Not only are you challenging President Griffith for his seat, you also have another opponent. What sets you apart from the President and the other candidates?  

SR:  I feel like my motivation and determination set me apart from the other candidates. At the end of the day, everyone has different work ethics. 

MM: What is the Matignon Student Council’s top issue and how will your administration address it? 

SR:  The Matignon Student Councils top issue is uniform changes. My administration will address it by having students vote on what they would like to change and then bringing it to administration.  

That concludes the interviews with the Presidential Candidates. 

Next on the agenda is the Senior Vice President Race. The incumbent Vice President Sean Coughlin, who is running for a fourth term, is being challenged by Representative Shania Rimpel.  

We will start with Vice President Coughlin: 

Matignon Mirror: The primary responsibilities of a Class Vice President are to represent their class in front of the Council and serve as the primary deputy to the Class President. With that being said, how will you work with the next President to make your Senior Year the best it can be? 

Sean Coughlin: I absolutely agree that the Vice President primary responsibility is to be a representative of their class on the Council. It is also very important that the Vice President cooperates with and assists their President. I have gotten to know all of the Presidential candidates for three years now and have the utmost respect for all of them. I am confident that regardless of who the next President is, I will continue to fulfill the needs of my class as Vice President. To make this the best senior year possible, I plan to expand the dialogue between my classmates and their representatives. Under my Vice Presidency, I want everyone’s ideas and opinions to be heard and acknowledged. With the current state of the world and the uncertainties we have about the upcoming school year, it’s hard to make campaign promises. However, I can guarantee that I will work diligently with my class officers to give our classmates what they want. It is my hope that the Class of 2021 is able to come together and have an incredible senior year! I believe that we can accomplish that under my leadership as Vice President. 

MM: Mr. Vice President, you are being challenged by Rep. Rimpel. What can you bring to the table that you believe your challenger cannot? 

SC: First and foremost, I want to commend Shania for doing an excellent job as a Student Council Representative. She’s hard working and determined and I wish her the best of luck! However, I believe my three years of experience as Vice President and openness towards new ideas make me the most qualified and deserving candidate. Despite all that we have had to struggle through these last few months, I am proud of myself for maintaining a positive attitude. This is the mindset I plan to have while moving forward with the Student Council and I would be so grateful if my classmates give me this opportunity! 

Next, the interview with Representative Rimpel.

Matignon Mirror: The primary responsibilities of a Class Vice President is to represent their class in front of the Council, and serve as the primary deputy to the Class President. With that being said, how will you work with the next President to make your Senior Year the best it can be? 

Shania Rimpel: First, I hope everyone is staying safe and pushing through for these next few weeks! In regards to me working with the next Class President, I already work with the current President as just a representative. I would serve as a place to bounce ideas off of and to help plans get off the ground. As Vice President, I would not only be working side-by-side with the President but would be open to anything other council members would have to offer. 

MM: What can you bring to the table that you believe your opponent cannot? 

SR: Frankly, I bring experience. Now I know what you’re thinking, “you’ve only been a representative!”. My experience is from being Vice President of SOCA, as well as Co-President of it this year. I have brought many of my ideas to life and followed through with things I have promised. I feel that I am extremely hard working and will put my all into contributing to a great year despite the circumstances.  

The following interviews are from candidates in the three uncontested races. They are the Senior Treasurer Election, incumbent Abigail Boyle running unopposed for a fourth term, the Senior Secretary Election, incumbent Amanda Curran running unopposed for a fourth term, and the Senior Intermediary Election, incumbent Haley Zubrzycki for a second term.  

Out of these candidates, Secretary Curran and Intermediary Zubrzycki took the opportunity to be interviewed. 

We will start with Secretary Curran’s interview: 

Matignon Mirror: The Secretary of the Senior Class is delegated the responsibility of taking notes at meetings and drafting project proposals to send to the Administration, but they are also representatives of their class. What is the first project you will work on? 

Amanda Curren: I believe that a main focus of the Student Council will be the Homecoming Dance. It is  extremely important to begin our school year by gathering together and expressing our Warrior spirit. Having our school year been cut short, it will be a priority of mine to make up for the lost time in the fall.  

MM: What have you done, outside of Matignon High School, that will help you serve as Senior Secretary?   

AC: Outside of Matignon High School, I teach religious education to third graders. I have been doing so since my freshman year. I learned to keep myself organized and create lesson plans. These skills will continue to help me keep our Student Council in order and allow all of our ideas to be effectively proposed to the School Administration. 

Finally, the interview with Intermediary Haley Zubrzycki:  

Matignon Mirror: The Class Intermediary position was created to act as the bridge between the Student Council and the classmates they represent. What will you do to connect everyone in your Class?  

Haley Zubrzycki: In order to bridge the gap between my class’ student council and our classmates, I plan to conduct surveys in order to gather their opinions and make sure that they are heard during meetings. Within these surveys could potentially be a questionnaire on the students’ opinions on what we’ve done for events and activities in the past so that we as a council can plan future events accordingly. I also hope to create more events similar to Juniors Jeopardy or movie nights to make sure that everyone in my class stays connected with one another. I want to make sure that everyone feels as though they are a part of the Matignon community and are being included, so in order to do so I wish to work with the Intermediaries of other classes to plan our activities and events ranging between interests of the students. Specifically for the Class of 2021, it will be our Senior year, and I really want to do my absolute best to make sure that my classmates’ thoughts and ideas are heard and possibly brought to life, in order to ensure that every member of the Class of 2021 has an amazing final year at Matignon. 

MM: How will you work with other Class Intermediaries to coordinate public relations efforts and keep Matignon informed about what their Council is doing? 

HZ: Keeping the student and faculty population in the loop on what the Student Council is doing is extremely important because it’s their school and community as well, and as the intermediary’s job it’s crucial that we ask their opinions and make sure that they are heard and seen in what we do in the council. Social media is a great way to keep everyone informed because the overall majority of us use it in some form whether it be Instagram, Twitter, etc. Another great tool to make sure everyone is aware of what the council is doing would be Google Classroom announcements, or when we hopefully go back to school, possibly putting posters or signs up around school. I also think that having one or two specific bulletin boards around school for clubs to put up announcements, fundraisers, etc, would be a great tool because all of the information that a student would want would be in one place.  

Ballots open Monday, May 18th and, along with each candidate’s speech, we at the Matignon Mirror hope that these interviews will help you cast your ballot! 

Earlier this week, students in the Class of 2021 received a Google Form asking if they had any questions for Student Council Office Candidates. Using their questions, and some from the Matignon Mirror Election Department, we reached out to every candidate with the opportunity to be interviewed. Each candidate was given a sufficient amount of time to read and respond to the interview questions. We informed candidates of the deadline to respond and that their opponents will also have the opportunity to answer similar questions. Each featured candidate was given an advance copy of this article before publishing for internal review purposes only. Some responses were slightly edited for grammar and clarity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.