2021-2022 Student Body President Candidate Statements

The Dig Editors

Aaron Chang ’23

When I was a Freshman I wondered how I was going to make an impact on the community that has given me so much. It was when they announced that freshmen could run for Student government that I knew I had run for Policy Board. Luckily for me I was elected for my freshman year and re-elected for my sophomore and current junior year. Now with 12 years of being a part of the OES community, as well as 3 years of experience on the Policy board, I feel as if I am one of the most experienced and qualified students to run for SBP. Not only has my experience at this school given me a better understanding and relationship with our student body, my 3 years serving on the policy board has given me the experience and understanding to act on projects both efficiently and effectively. Some of the many projects I have worked on this year include bringing back senior voting and the vending machines, as well as creating and responding to the student input form. As SBP I will continue to work on projects that the student body truly cares about and build a stronger community. I feel as if this year, the entire upper school community is the most disconnected it has ever been due to isolation. This said, I know I have the abilities to rebuild the strong community that we all love and I will make it happen when I am elected.

Alexander Chin ’25

Leadership is an action, not a position. People too often seek to fill the mantle of leadership without realizing that leading isn’t about the role; it’s about the goal. 

I’m Alexander Chin, and my goal is to make change happen. You might know me: the founder of jazz band, member of aerospace, the exuberant freshman you spot wandering the halls on weekdays. OES is my lifeblood, my community, my home. I’m running, not for the sake of becoming president, but to bring attention, and ultimately, to change the problems I see within OES. Here are the actions I intend to make as student body president:

1. Creating a yearly grant to bring funding to school clubs and activities that OES currently refuses to fund (even given our enormously high tuition rates).

2. Honestly and completely representing the student body by reinvigorating much-needed conversation between student government and the rest of the school. 

3. Creating a system of thoughtful, but anonymous feedback for teachers where students can directly and honestly provide feedback to school faculty. 

As a freshman, I know my chances of becoming student body president are slim – no freshman has ever been elected before. But I’m giving it a shot because I want to spark honest conversation about the changes that need to happen here at OES. I embody the purest form of responsibility: I care about change because, unlike the juniors, I will be here for another three years – long enough to live through the changes I make. I want to grow up at OES knowing that we, the student body, have made our school the best it can possibly be. 

You may or may not decide to vote for me, but remember this:

Leadership is an action, not a position. My name is Alexander Chin, and I intend to act.

Hafsa Erfan ’23

Hello everyone, my name is Hafsa Erfan and I’m running for Student Body President. Why am I running? A long time ago I made a promise to myself that I would, and other than for the obvious reason (I’m scared of my Asian tiger mom), I want to run because I truly believe that we can change the Upper School to achieve the high school experience that you want. I’ve participated in all sorts of events around OES, networking with students, faculty, alumni, and OES families in an effort to get to know everyone. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know other students through my work as a peer mentor and my involvement in several other clubs, and want to get to know more people individually. I believe I have the leadership and initiative to create change, which I have developed with the help of my friends and teammates in academics and sports. I would do my best to fulfill the tasks and responsibilities of president and ensure that you, through me, are an advocate for change yourself. I am willing to step up and take the responsibility of representing your desires so that you don’t have to, and hope I can receive the honor of being your Student Body President next year. If you’ve made it this far through this paragraph, thanks for making my mom somewhat proud of me (I hope). Hafsa 2023!

Hollis Hale ’23

Honestly, I want to represent you and know you. As a president, it’s important to me that everyone is treated with equal compassion and equal opportunities. I will bring life to your voices and make sure that you are heard. As the basketball captain, I have learned what it means to be a leader and collaborator. At first we struggled, but then we were surprised by how optimistic and strong we were together and we eventually made it to the State Tournament. Although I wasn’t voted captain for my “all-star basketball skills,” I was chosen because I pushed our team in ways where we felt comfortable to make mistakes. I will bring the same energy from team captain to president, where I inspire everyone around me in an accepting atmosphere. We will feel empowered to challenge rules, ask questions, find common ground and collaborate with the administration and with one another. This small community and the threads that bond us together are why I came to OES and chose to stay in High School, I like knowing everybody and being a part of your lives. Sadly, we struggled during the pandemic because these threads were cut. I am running to be your Student Body President because I want to remind us how strong we are together and I truly want to help continue the journey of weaving us back together again.

Zaira Henry ’23

I believe that a student body president is someone who should be understanding and willing to accept others’ ideas and interests without forgetting their values. They should lead with grace and confidence but should also not get in their head about the position they hold. This school needs a voice, one that represents the students and looks out for them and I believe that I can be that voice. I want to be your student body president because everyone deserves to be heard and have their own voice so that everyone can play a vivid role in school life. In order to make that possible we have to work more like a school and not as separate groups. This school needs diversity and I can bring that. We need someone who can represent every single student in the school one way or another, not only by experience but by having a connection and the ability to talk to every student in the school. I think of myself as a very social person not afraid to go up to someone who needs help. I may not have many qualifications like my competitors like being president of every club or being captain of a team however, that’s what makes me perfect for this role. As a preliminary new student at this school, I come to you with new visions and perspectives that will help us grow together. I am not afraid of failing because I believe that failure is the only way to get better. I want to provide inclusion for those who do not feel included and a safe ground for anyone who needs it. 

Everett Roe ’23

This candidacy is the question of value…the sciences prove our nothingness. We must conquer our pride and action with the evidence of our senselessness.

Our affliction is a virulent desire to solve – under each bid for candidacy lies an end. This is the election’s funeral. Infatuated by a ceaseless trudge towards a flickering light, we have loathed the heavy silence of absurdity. Indeed, we are lightened and purified of everything. That which brought our simulation reality has removed its intensity, its raison d’être…

Progress under order is saturated with claims of the good, to know the good, to work towards the good. In their pursuit of this abstract goodness, they sabotage themselves, doing evil to enact the good, failing in their pursuit of chocolate milk… The abundance of solutions is equaled only by their futility. Delirium, my law, and I, celebrating, revel in my nothingness.

Only my disaffection has no taste for evil, only I am no scoundrel…they, disturbers of the march of time, must harass every moment, control a universe which is totally indifferent – what irony!

This candidacy is in opposition to ennui. Reality is a creation of our excesses, our fantasies and our negativities…I step to this presidency and release it from action. This is life-affirmation in its purest form…the truth is if we had real sense of our position in the universe, the revelation of our infinitesimal presence would crush us…what more than the absurdity of lethargy could rejuvenate our dreams?

My promise is nothing.

Cioran, E. M., and Richard Howard. A Short History of Decay. E-book ed., London,

     Penguin, 2010.

Arun Sharma ’23

Hello everyone,

My name is Arun Sharma, and I want to work with you to implement things we want and need to make OES the best place it can be.

I’ve been at OES for twelve years, and it has shaped me into who I am today. Over the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of working with wonderful people to implement community initiatives: Music Mondays with Mimi Poulos, a Lower School Support Camp with Eliška Jelinek, the South Asian Affinity Group with Sonia Shenoy, and the Student Input Form and roundtables with YooJin Lim, Tiago Moreno, Nanati Safawo and Aaron Chang- to name just a few. 

You may see a pattern here- creating an environment where we can build on each others’ ideas and learn from each other is crucial to me, and that’s what you can expect from me as Student Body President. During my presidency, we’ll work as a team to build bridges, keep promises, and make our school the best place it can be. I will listen to your ideas, bring some of my own ideas on sustainability, and with my three years of experience on StuCo, we’ll make it happen together.

Thanks so much for reading my statement, and I’d be honored to have your vote for Student Body President. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please reach out – I’d love to talk, and I look forward to sharing more soon!

–Arun Sharma