The Student News Site of Taipei American School




The new kid at the Podium


[dropcap size=small]I[/dropcap]t started in second grade, when Barry C. first walked into TAS, his mom tightly holding his hand.
“The first thing she did when I went walked into the classroom was ask this random kid if he wanted to be my friend, and he was, like, “sure”. So we became friends and we still are today,” laughed Barry C.
That random, second grader was Alex L., a senior who now enjoys coding in his free time.
“It’s hard to highlight a best moment in the past decade we’ve known each other,” said Barry. “Simply being friends with him is a huge plus.”
Barry C. is the Student Government President for the 2014-2015 school year. He was born in Santa Rosa, California, and lived in Fremont and Cupertino, before his family moved back to Taiwan when he was a second grader.
“I would say my childhood was very privileged. I was able to attend TAS at a very young age and got to use much of what TAS had to offer,” he said. Barry didn’t really know what he wanted to be in the future when he was a kid, but he knew he wanted a future full of service and social good.
With this goal in mind, he started to explore different clubs and activities in middle school, and he wounded up being a part of Student Council in sixth grade. “Honestly, I just wanted to try everything. So there was this video club and I joined it but I didn’t really liked it. Then I joined Student Council and I was, like, ‘hey this might be something I would like’. So I just stuck with it and it really helped.”
Barry never imagined becoming StuGov president one day. When high school finally came to his horizon, he was, like everyone else, stunned by the even more overwhelming amount of activities available. In eighth grade he didn’t even apply to be a freshmen StuGov member.
But as he tried new things such as running for class government and applying for StuGov membership in tenth grade, he discovered that student politics was his niche.
“After being a StuGov member for my entire sophomore year, I really got to know the inner-workings of StuGov because members played a huge role in what we do. I liked what we did and I felt that I could do so much more, so I made that transition.” Barry was also the Vice President for his class, the class of 2015, twice, once in his freshman year and once in his sophomore year.
He took the leap from class government to StuGov in his junior year and ran for office. He was elected as secretary and treasurer that year. “It was a challenging job, but very rewarding because the position required you to do work in all areas of StuGov. You basically became very knowledgeable about the essentials of all StuGov-related things”
By the time Barry completed his junior year, it was clear that his next move, to continue to serve the community, would be to run for president. When asked about the academic environment at TAS, he praised the competitiveness at TAS stating that it really helped motivate himself and others to learn and do well.
In terms of a future career, Barry wants to learn how to apply business tactics to serve social good. “In the future I want to work somewhere in the social entrepreneurship area,” he said. “It would be amazing to be able to apply business concepts to social applications.”
He also described the Honor Committee as “a group of dedicated members who care about the honor code and promoting it.” He did, however, conclude that the committee could do more “to communicate how the honor code really is beneficial to all the students.”
Barry believes the code is a great set of guidelines he can always refer to when making decisions, and he hope the student body can embrace these immense benefits from the code as well.
His goals for this year as StuGov president includes continuing the Nutrition and Green initiative campaigns, as well as adding healthier food to the snack bar and raising awareness of mental health. He was an advocate last year for iPads in the Legacy Commons and hopes to also see that program expand this year.  “I hope that we can provide a better and more positive environment for the students,” he said.  In terms of the Green Initiative, he believes that cutting down on paper and printer usage will be a main goal for this year.
So what does TAS lack? School spirit, according to Barry. “If we can work on that I think we can be more unified as a student body.”
Barry is someone who is always constantly thinking about how to improve. He wants to make positive changes. While he knows that isn’t going to be an easy task, he still said, “it’s going to be an exciting year.”
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