The Tree Huggers slate of Ali Cohen ’23, Grant Sheen ’23, Isa Terrazas ’23, and John Bailey ’23 became 2020-21 sophomore class presidents on Friday.
Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Election Commissioner Christian Giadolor ’21 announced the results of the race, which was between TreeHuggers, To InfiniTREE and Beyond, Your Sophomore Class Presidents, and Soph-More.
The winning slate was overwhelmed with joy when it heard the results.
“It was a similar response as to when I got into Stanford: a brief acknowledgment, disbelief, followed by a joyous primal scream,” Bailey wrote.
Sheen’s first reaction was “LETS GOOOOO.” Both Terrazas and Cohen were in CS section. Cohen tried to focus on learning nested dictionaries, but it was hard not to get distracted by the race.
“The second section was over, I turned my phone back on and got a flood of texts from friends and the team,” Cohen wrote. “I truly couldn’t believe it. I didn’t stop shaking for like 10 minutes.”
The journey to becoming the presidents started with conversations in dorm lounges, dining halls, PWR classes about student activism, impact at Stanford and involvement in the future of the class of 2023.
All slate members cited the 24-hour Zoom town hall as the highlight of the campaign, where students got to build emotional connections despite physical distance.
“I woke up at 5:30 a.m. for my shift, and I came on to see Grant and Ali and some others having a blast despite running off of almost no sleep,” Bailey wrote.
“Going in I knew I would be on the call for a minimum of 15 hours and I would be taking the grueling 12 pm – 3 am shift,” Cohen wrote. “We met new people, made tons of inside jokes, caught up with friends, watched some incredible reality tv shows, rehashed Stanford stories, and more. It was such a great experience that we ended up going 25 and a half hours.”
The team managed to overcome the challenges of leading an online campaign, trying to reach all the students in the frosh class, and establishing a real connection with the voters in spite of the campaigning barrier.
The team is grateful for the support from the frosh class and is eager to face the challenges of the new academic year with input from the broader community.
“I could write a book to the class of 2023, but I’ll keep it short: thank you. We won’t let you down,” Bailey wrote.
“This year is one that is unprecedented and will come with unique challenges that we are eager to face,” Sheen wrote. “The Stanford community holds immense importance in our lives and we want to create an environment that supports and uplifts every person in the Class of 2023.”
A representative of Your Sophomore Class Presidents, Jessica Okpara ’23, is also grateful to the class of 2023 for the opportunity to run.
“Thank you all for giving us the opportunity to represent you and thank you for a great year as your Frosh Council reps!” Okpara wrote.
For her, the most challenging part of the campaign was establishing a connection with the frosh class amid the intense campaign period.
“We collaborated with some of the ASSU candidates and some of our friends,” Okpara wrote. “Our thought process was that people were more likely to vote if their friends recommended a particular candidate.”
Gary Schmidt ’23, a member of the To InfiniTREE and Beyond slate, echoed the sentiment about the challenges during campaign week.
“I spend a lot of time on my phone and social media in general, but that was one of the most physically and mentally taxing experiences I’ve ever encountered,” Schmidt wrote.
Schmidt is also grateful for the support and ready to implement the ideas in the platform without the presidential mandate.
“Thank you for the privilege of putting our beliefs out there, and to every single person that supported us, you are the reason I ran, why I love this school,” Schmidt wrote. “The ideas we proposed and fought for don’t stop just because we aren’t in office, the real work begins now, and I am more than excited.”
He expressed support for the newly-elected presidents, assuring that “the class of 2023 is in great hands with Tree Huggers.”
The Soph-More slate has not responded to The Daily’s request to comment.
The Stanford LorAXE won the 2020-21 junior class presidency, and 21 for Everyone won the 2020-21 senior class presidency. Both slates ran uncontested.
Contact Anastasia Malenko at malenk0 ‘at’ stanford.edu.