Non-CGIers may not know that during period 2 on the third floor, a CGI student body of around 200 debate domestic and foreign issues, plan community events through various departments, and operate under their own government and constitution. After today’s brief presidential debates, CGI students still have many questions about the candidates running for President and Vice President. To help inform you, The Bull has given each presidential candidate an equal opportunity to answer questions about themselves and their candidacy.
Our first presidential candidate is Elena Tsemberis, class of 2014.
Tell The Bull a little bit about yourself. I am very hard working. I am a camp counselor at Surf and Turf Adventure Camp, a lifeguard, and a soccer referee. I do community service once a week helping children from Newark in first and second grades with their homework. I love challenging myself, and I like to have a good time.
Why are you running for CGI President? I would incorporate my love of learning and my passion for making change into CGI. I am running to serve the people, not because I am simply looking for power. I will help CGI students get as excited about CGI as I can. With my Open Door Policy, Emma and I will be aware of the grievances that students have, and we will always be willing to help in whatever way we can.
What one word would you say best describes CGI? Family
What was your favorite CGI moment? When I volunteered at the in-house We The People competition and I saw the seniors working so hard and demonstrating impressive skills.
What do you think of the new Congress format? I have no complaints about the way Congress has been run. I am the chair of Senate, so I haven’t been there this marking period, but I know that students are upset with the position paper assignment, and we would definitely negotiate with teachers to abolish that.
Do you think CGI is politically balanced? No, I definitely think that CGI is a predominantly liberal body, but I respect every opinion. There is a small number of strong-minded conservatives, and that makes for good debate!
Considering the changes made to 2nd period by teachers this year, how do you as a student propose to make substantive change next year? Students have told me that they want to choose topics to write bills on, like the way it was last year, during which students were free to write resolutions on topics important to them. I hope to bring Congress back to the way it was last year.
If you had the power to change one thing about CGI today, what would it be? I want to change the way people view CGI. Some people in it think of it as an immense workload, and some people think of it as elitist. I don’t think either of these ideas are true. I can’t control other people’s opinions, but I want to do everything I can do change that.
Are you in support of the changes made to CGI this year and the “new CGI”? Position papers are extra work. Students have been equally informed when we didn’t have as much work. I hope we can get rid of position papers and find other ways for students to stay informed, such as having a research day in department where we take notes on sources and talk about them, rather than writing a paper on them.
What is your opinion on the amount of homework that is assigned in CGI classes? The amount of homework assigned in CGI classes is very manageable. When I was a sophomore, I had less homework than my friends who weren’t in CGI. I encourage students to challenge themselves and I think having work prepares us for upcoming experiences.
What clubs or sports are you active in? I am in math league, chemistry olympics, spanish club, cross country and softball.
What do you do in your free time? I go for runs or to the gym with my friends in my spare time.
What is your favorite book, movie and food? My favorite book is A Thousand Splendid Suns, my favorite movie is Silver Linings Playbook and chicken wings are my favorite food.
What is your #1 pet peeve? When people chew with their mouth open!! Even though I do it too.