A Q&A with our 2018 student government officer candidates

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Today, ten candidates gave their speeches at the student government election for officer candidates. Blue & Gold writer Catherine Lin (’19) interviewed these students about some facts that they did not share in their speeches.

David Wang (‘19)

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?
I have a bad habit of glaring unhappily at no one in particular when I walk around school. I’m certainly not a doctor, but I believe the scientific terminology for this is “RBF.” Despite this, I am actually quite friendly and like to be helpful, even if you can’t tell from my appearances. So please, don’t be afraid to approach me for help however much I appear to be angry with you.
Describe yourself in five words or less.
I want to know why.
If you could pick a superpower, what would you choose?
The ability to learn new superpowers, for obvious reasons.
Student Government is a lot of work. What is your motivation for running for office?
I have been a ClassGov officer for 3 years and have decided to make the transition to StuGov this year because I don’t want to restrict my impact to my grade alone.
List some issues you would like to address and how you would go about solving these issues OR activities that you would be interested in creating and/or continuing during the 2018-2019 school year.
School can be very stressful, which is why one of my top priorities as an officer would be organizing fun, stress-relieving, wholesome activities and finding new ways to promote wellness within the Upper School.
Your message to the student body:
I have always loved the “it’s just a game” slogans. They’re cute in an “aww, I appreciate that” way. Such sentiments help to provide a sense of perspective, alleviating any stress students may feel during the week. I hope that hope that as a StuGov officer I can be the one providing the student body that much-needed sense of perspective.
 

Rem Yang (‘19)

If you could choose anyone to have dinner with for an hour, who would you choose?
It would be an immense privilege if I could eat with the Wright Brothers, as I am a huge aviation lover. I would like to ask about their initial inspiration and thought process in conceiving the three primary axes by which we control our modern aircrafts: roll, pitch, and yaw. It’s not every day that I would get the opportunity to talk to inventors of this kind. (Thus, I would compensate them by buying their dinner, if possible.)
What do you love about Taipei American School?
I value and love the culture of our community, a culture that encourages diversity and differences. As a result, we have a student body with many different interests, strengths, points of view, and personalities. The manner in which we complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses is what makes Taipei American School such a unique and valuable community.
Do you have a motto or favorite quote?
“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere,” by Dr. Seuss. The quote not only rhymes, but is also fun to saywhat’s not to love about it? Humor is an integral part of my character that shapes my interactions with others. This is because I believe that between all the academic challenges we face, it is important to not lose touch with these funny things, which give us that little boost of joy when we most need it.
Student Government is a lot of work. What is your motivation for running for office?
As a ClassGov officer who has been working with StuGov for the third year, there are persisting StuGov-related issues that have not been addressed. My main motivation is thus to address these issues, so that we have a better, fairer, and more inclusive environment among our community.
List some issues you would like to address and how you would go about solving these issues OR activities that you would be interested in creating and/or continuing during the 2018-2019 school year.
I strongly believe that the student body has too little representation in our current system. To solve this, I would extend representation on StuGov-organized school activities to the whole student body. For example, you will have direct say in choosing Spirit Week games, instead of just ClassGov members. Furthermore, I will also actively take part in solving student issues, which I think is an integral part of StuGov’s responsibilities. We will also continue fun activities like Zumba, and perhaps add even more based on your interests via direct voting.
Your message to the student body:
We have lots of opportunities and activities that should be in our handsthe hands of the student body. When voting, you’re voting for what a candidate stands forand I stand for your voice and opinions, and fairness among us all.
 

Cindy Li (‘20)

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?
I do martial arts. I joined the school team in second grade back in my previous school, and now I am continuing this sport individually with my coach.
What do you love about Taipei American School?
Food! Food at TAS is so much better than food served at my previous school. Even though I also love the friendly environment and the professional space of TAS, food is definitely the highlight.
Do you have a motto or favorite quote?
There is no key to happiness, the door is always open. 🙂
Student Government is a lot of work. What is your motivation for running for office?
My motivation to run for StuGov is that I believe I can help make our school a better place for you all! Even though StuGov may take up a lot of time & effort, I think that this is worth it. <3
List some issues you would like to address and how you would go about solving these issues OR activities that you would be interested in creating and/or continuing during the 2018-2019 school year.
Throughout my past year in high school, I have noticed how advisory and class meetings are not usually what people look forward to each week. One of the factors I contribute this to is that it’s during the middle of the week, when people are usually the busiest/most tired. Thus I propose to move this to Mondays instead of Wednesdays. From the stats that I recorded out of 103 people, 51 favour Mondays, 30 favour Wednesdays, and 22 are fine with both.
Your message to the student body:
For people who are reading this (thanks!), though I’ve only had limited opportunities to demonstrate my leadership skills in the past, please vote for me 🙂 to give me a chance to show show you how I can be a great StuGov officer!
 

Kenrick Brown (‘20)

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?
I’ve lived in four continents because my father is a diplomat.
What do you love about Taipei American School?
I love the welcoming social environment. I remember coming here in seventh grade, and everyone treated me very kindly. It’s been the same great community since those early middle school days.
If you could pick a superpower, what would you choose?
Super-intelligence. You could engineer technology and get a lot of other powers.
Student Government is a lot of work. What is your motivation for running for office?
I think the TAS community is built on its leaders and I want to serve and perpetuate the kindness I’ve received here since 7th grade.
List some issues you would like to address and how you would go about solving these issues OR activities that you would be interested in creating and/or continuing during the 2018-2019 school year.
I would like to address the recently higher costs of Frolic tickets by subsidizing them with funds from milk tea sales and by revisiting past venues.
Your message to the student body:
Dear fellow students,
Life is nothing without struggle. What good are the times we spend victorios if we do not first give ourselves wholly to the task.
 

Katrina Hsu (‘20)

If you could choose anyone to have dinner with for an hour, who would you choose?
Rene Descartes, the father of philosophy. Philosophy is one of my favourite subjects. I’ve studied a lot of philosophy outside of school.  It’s so different from anything else I’ve been taught, and it does really make you question EVERYTHING. Since reading Descartes’s “Meditations on First Philosophy,” I’ve been fascinated by the subject, and talking to him would easily broaden my perspective on the subject and the world.
Do you have a motto or favorite quote?
“Wear your vulnerability like a crown, whether it is made of thorns or wildflowers is up to you,” by the Poetry Bandit (Jon Lupin). This quote reminds me that it’s okay to struggle and need help, and it’s such a human thing. Lots of people feel the need to put on a hardened face and pretend to be okay. It is okay not to be okay, in fact, be proud of it, it’s one of the many things that make you human.
If you could pick a superpower, what would you choose?
The power to stop time or create more time. If I ever feel as if I couldn’t finish an assignment I could postpone the time it was due, or if there was a natural disaster, stopping time would allow people to think of ways to prevent it. In theory, all bad things that happen can be prevented if there was just more time.
Student Government is a lot of work. What is your motivation for running for office?
I’ve been a member for 2 years, and I’d like to get even more involved with StuGov!
List some issues you would like to address and how you would go about solving these issues OR activities that you would be interested in creating and/or continuing during the 2018-2019 school year.
Create:
Nap spaces!
Another “fitness cafe”
Solve:
More food options
Homework schedule (no more than 3 quizzes a day scheduled)
Your message to the student body:
High school is stressful+tough, but I hope to make it the best and most fun it can be!!
 

Gretal Tang (‘20)

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?
I talk a lot, so I don’t think there’s anything that people don’t know about me. But an interesting thing would be I was born on New Year’s Eve.
If you could choose anyone to have dinner with for an hour, who would you choose?
I would choose Phineas and Ferb from the Disney series “Phineas and Ferb.” They are known for inventing fun activities for their town and friends, entertaining them on boring summer days. Phineas and Ferb create the most original and loved activities, and that is what I aim to be. I strive to originate new events just like Phineas and Ferb, and bring the fun to everyone else around me. (I also wanna know how they feel when the stuff they build disappear at the end of the day. Oh, and also where they get their money from to build those things because how are 10-year-old kids so rich?)
Do you have a motto or favorite quote?
“Love what you do and do what you love.” This is my favorite quote because I feel like it can apply to anyone and anywhere. It could apply to a student, who is deciding which courses to take and what clubs to be involved in. It could apply to an adult, who is deciding on which job to take. It honestly could apply to every person in every situation. I love it because it is a great compass to direct me to what I want to do. Life is too short to do what you don’t enjoy.
Student Government is a lot of work. What is your motivation for running for office?
My motivation for running for office will be seeing events I was part of planning be successful, but more importantly, seeing people enjoy themselves during the activity and taking a break from school.
List some issues you would like to address and how you would go about solving these issues OR activities that you would be interested in creating and/or continuing during the 2018-2019 school year.
In addition to the original events like Frolic, Spirit Week, and Field Day, I would like to introduce an event or an aspect of Spirit Week for the video gamers of each grade. Like this, even though not one single activity will appeal to the whole student body, at least everyone can find a StuGov event that includes something that they enjoy. Furthermore, people who are not involved in airband, class video, or cheer can also impact the final results of Spirit Week besides dress-up.
Your message to the student body:
As a StuGov member, I loved being part of all the StuGov hosted events. Even though there was only so much I could do, I really enjoyed my tiny contribution to each activity. I want to bring new activities to Upper School so everyone can find something that they really enjoy. Even though I can’t promise that the events I have in mind will be introduced, I can promise that I will try my best to make them happen, and make StuGov my #1 priority before homework and other clubs.
 

Tingjen Hsieh (‘20)

What do you like to do in your free time?
Eating ice cream and douhua  is my passion.
If you could choose anyone to have dinner with for an hour, who would you choose?
TIFFANY DAY. She’s a teenage YouTuber/singer who’s music is pretty cool. She’s authentic, and her original work is SOOO good. Go search her up! <3 <3 <3
Describe yourself in five words or less.
Friendly, artsy, organized.
Student Government is a lot of work. What is your motivation for running for office?
Having been a 2-year ClassGov officer+StuGov member, I understand the heavy workload and work ethic that goes into planning each StuGov event. What motivates me is my wish to better the school environment, and help create memorable HS experiences for students.
List some issues you would like to address and how you would go about solving these issues OR activities that you would be interested in creating and/or continuing during the 2018-2019 school year.
Continue:
-Movie nights
-Spirit Week
-Field Day
-Zumba parties
New ideas:
-Karaoke nights/flexes
-Ice cream parties
-Student-led workshops
Your message to the student body:
We’re all trying to sketch roadmaps for our future, but it’s important to enjoy the little moments of laughter we have with our peers on this journey. Vote for me, and I will listen to your suggestions to not only create fond memories for all, but to make every school day something to look forward to.
 

Maddie Stanley-Rainbow (’21)

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?
I’ve met five famous people: Forrest Wheeler, Sabrina Carpenter, Peyton Meyer, and Raini and Rico Rodriguez.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like freaking people out with my double-jointedness. It’s fun to watch them squirm. 🙂
If you could choose anyone to have dinner with for an hour, who would you choose?
My friends, because they are so much fun and I love hanging out with them.
Student Government is a lot of work. What is your motivation for running for office?
I really enjoy working in leadership positions and helping events run smoothly. In Middle School, I was a Student council executive officer for two years and I loved leading and organizing activities such as Spirit Week and student dances.
List some issues you would like to address and how you would go about solving these issues OR activities that you would be interested in creating and/or continuing during the 2018-2019 school year.
I would look forward to leading games and assemblies during Spirit Week. I love the fun activities we do during Flex like limbo, Kahoot and Zumba, and I would like to add even more variety of activities. I really think these bring us together as a school community.
Your message to the student body:
I love to be involved in student activities and I love working with other people to make our school both a fun and great place. For example, in Middle School, I helped organized a fundraiser with friends for school kids in Nepal and, as a Student Council officer, I loved running Spirit Week assemblies. As a part of StuGov I hope to create new fun activities promoting wellness and work with others to run activities that help students feel more connected.
 

Do Kyong Ryoo (’21)

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?
I’ve been at TAS since Tiger Tots!
What is something you like to do in your free time, and why?
Send “funny” memes to friends because…why not 🙂
If you could choose anyone to have dinner with for an hour, who would you choose?
Probably the creator of Snapchat, to talk about the new update!
Student Government is a lot of work. What is your motivation for running for office?
My motivation to run for office would be the suggestions from classmates on specific events and details. I think there are/can be multiple ways to improve any event. Therefore, to ensure that people understand the changes that have been proposed or made.
List some issues you would like to address and how you would go about solving these issues OR activities that you would be interested in creating and/or continuing during the 2018-2019 school year.
An improvement I want to make for Spirit Week: Announce the dress up day’s winners at the end of the day, because some students think checking the StuGov page is work/they don’t have Facebook. This would also be able to raise motivation for the week.
Frolic: Short reminders/announcements made to people outside the room so they won’t miss an act/show.
Your message to the student body:
I would like to become a StuGov officer because of the changes I have in mind. I want to help increase the communication between StuGov and Upper School for the planned events, and I also want to make suggestions from everyone happen. 🙂
 

Ian Ho (’21)

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?
I like listening to a wide variety of music, including classical, jazz, Japanese, Mandarin, and pop. Most people think I only listen to classical.
If you could choose anyone to have dinner with for an hour, who would you choose?
Someone I’d like to have dinner with would be Sun Yat-sen, who was my research topic for History of Asia. I believe he is one of the earlier ones to participate in the exchange of modern political concepts (democracy, socialism etc.) between the East and the West, so he would be very interesting to talk to over dinner.
Do you have a motto or favorite quote?
“Less is more,” by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. An influence from my parents who are both minimalist architects, I also like Socrates’s “the unexamined life is not worth living.”
Student Government is a lot of work. What is your motivation for running for office?
Having been a class government officer, I am motivated to run for the student government to make existing school activities continue and to improve upon them where possible.
List some issues you would like to address and how you would go about solving these issues OR activities that you would be interested in creating and/or continuing during the 2018-2019 school year.
I would generally like to fine tune and perfect the events that happen throughout the school year. For example, the lack of photo booths for Frolic, more variety of free food for Field Day, and to further utilize class governments to allow the student body to further voice anything they want changing.
Your message to the student body:
A job of the student government is to organize the events throughout the school year. If you want things to happen, StuGov is the way.