Seven vie for 2013 presidency
It has been only 37 days since they arrived on campus, but already 21 freshmen have stepped up to lead the Class of 2013 through student government. The aspirants vying for the positions of president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and social chair represent 10 states, four countries and every residential college.
Seven students are running for president: Nick Adkins, Zachary Beecher, Anthony Pappenfus, Tejas Sathe, Des Smith, Stephen Stolzenberg and James Webb.
Devon Chen, Gabrielle Cole, Jonathan Hezghia, Stefan Kende, Jamie Joseph, Danielle Pingue and Raymond Wu are contending for the vice presidency.
Benjamin Chan, Xiang Ding, Aaron Lin, George Maliha, Mike Rhoades and Hanna Tian are vying for the position of treasurer. Alice Su is running uncontested for secretary, and Cameron Hough and Brit Sanders are running for the position of social chair.
Voting will begin Monday at noon and will be open until noon Wednesday. Results are not scheduled to be released until the Sunday after.
Though they are new to Princeton’s campus, the seven presidential candidates have already amassed an impressive inventory of leadership experience and extracurricular involvement. All voiced an eagerness to bring the new class together — either through community service, greater transparency or, as Pappenfus suggested, “social events like parties on a boat or even a campus-wide game of assassins.” Adkins said he has similar hopes of “subsidizing class events, such as trips to New York City and croquet tournaments.” Stolzenberg, from West Virginia, has his sights set on a class trip to Six Flags.
Beecher, a member of ROTC and crew, said he would work with the Class of 2013 to “create memories that we will never forget at class events” while simultaneously “serving the community at home and abroad.” Kende, who is running for vice president on a ticket with Beecher, did not respond to requests for comment.
Sathe stressed the importance of communication among Princeton’s newest members. “I hope to improve the transparency of the student government by focusing on communicating with the student body through e-mails, websites and social networks,” he said in an e-mail. Sathe is running on a ticket with Wu for vice president and Lin for treasurer. The three hope to work together toward planning and funding “an awesome trip” for the freshman class, Sathe added.
“I am a strong believer that you deserve a class president who will devote their whole time for you,” Smith said. “I am not and will not participate in any other activities if elected to be your president.” As prom and homecoming king at his high school in Wisconsin, Smith explained that he had the opportunity to become friends with all types of people, something he said he hopes to do at Princeton.
Webb also expressed a hope to bring a personal side to the presidency. “Sometimes the most frustrating part can be talking to or even simply knowing your president,” he said. “If I’m elected, you’ll find your president not as some distant member of your class, but as ‘James’ or ‘Webbie’ … or anything else — just keep it appropriate.”
Running with Webb for vice president is Chen, who said, “I’m fairly confident that, as freshmen, we aren’t experienced enough to make specific promises for sweeping change,” but “I know how to spice things up to make them fun.”
Cole, another vice presidential contender, said she wants to facilitate opportunities for the Class of 2013 to give back to the larger Princeton and Trenton communities.
Hezghia said he hopes to increase class unity by hosting a “fashion/trashion” show, as well as a comedy show and more study breaks for the Class of 2013.
Joseph noted that she has qualities that would make her a good class officer. “Every time I try to describe myself as a candidate, I always sound like I’m talking about a golden retriever,” Joseph said. “But I really am friendly, and I do like meeting people.” Joseph has plans to organize a campus-wide March Madness bracket tournament if elected.
Pingue urged a continued dialogue between the members of the freshman class and their officers. She said that ideas voiced by her peers “will not fall on deaf ears” if she is elected.
Su, running uncontested for the position of class secretary, said that multiple years of experience on the student government of her high school in Shanghai have equipped her with organizational skills that she can rely on this year.
Four candidates vie for the position of class treasurer this year. Some have already begun to act on promises of efficiency. “I’ve run a zero-cost campaign. I’m giving my $30 campaign money over to our class fund, where I feel it can be better used for everyone’s benefit,” Ding wrote on his Facebook group page.
Tian said she hopes to support as many classes, clubs and events as possible “even in the not-so-promising economic situation.” Tian is currently a financial analyst for Princeton’s Business Today.
“Being treasurer means managing money but also what you do with it, not just for a few people but for everyone,” Lin said.
Sanders said she was running for social chair because “the way we come together as a class this year is going to define our class unity for the next four years and beyond.”
“If elected, I will listen to and combine your ideas to make a year that is not only crazy and fun, but also a year that is about you,” she said in an e-mail.
Rhoades and Hough did not respond to requests for comment.
An earlier version of this article ommitted the name of George Maliha '13 who is running for treasurer.