Introducing Co-Presidents Graham and Mosab!

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Graham S. (’19) (left) and Mosab H. (’19) (right)

Julian Ansorge, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Graham S. (‘19) and Mosab H. (‘19) are your 2018-2019 student body co-presidents! The Blotter interviewed Graham and Mosab to learn why they wanted to run and to hear about their vision for this upcoming year.

 

Blotter: What is your favorite class at Berkeley Carroll?

 

Mosab: I am a heavy stan of Speech & Debate! Well, that’s what the course is called, but–contrary to popular belief–Speech & Debate are two completely different things. I do Speech, which is separated into “event”s that are pretty much either acting or speaking “events”. I love Speech because it combines all of my other loves: I love to perform and Speech class is basically a master class in performance (with TLT, our school’s resident broadway icon); I love healthy competition and Speech has an extracurricular requirement to attend tournaments and compete with the pieces we prepare and work on in class; I am an activist and many speech events are based around issues in our society and finding literature through which to convey the gravity of those issues, so it’s basically activism; and most of all I love to tell stories, and speech is all about learning the many ways in which I can do that effectively and impactfully.

 

Graham: Right now, it’s my independent study with Mr. Rubin, the Physics of Music. Music is definitely one of my greatest passions and I’ve always been a fan of science/math, so this is a really great and interesting opportunity to blend the two. As far as a non-independent study class, I loved Will’s World with Dr. Hughes in 10th grade.

 

B: What does Berkeley Carroll mean to you?

 

Mosab: Berkeley Carroll, to me, is about new beginnings. I came to BC from Prep for Prep, a program dedicated to giving underprivileged children of color a way into the selective (and often White) private school system. The school I went to before BC was not very good to me, to say the least, so when I came through the black gates of 181 Lincoln Place, a sister was definitely ready to start over! BC gave me that chance with open arms. If it weren’t for BC making me feel so welcome and comfortable here, I most definitely would not be the person I am today because so much of who I am came from the risks that I took, the fears that I faced, and the challenges that I overcame. Everything I’ve done at BC has been new territory for me, and it’s helped me to grow.

 

Graham: I have to agree with Moe: who knows who I’d be if it weren’t for the leaps of faith I took here at BC? But also, to me, Berkeley Carroll is home, both literally and figuratively—I mean, I think I almost spend more time at school than at home! In all seriousness, I feel inexplicably comfortable and safe at BC and I’m forever grateful for the opportunities its given me, namely traveling abroad and pursuing my passions of science, math, and music.

 

B: Why did you two decide to run together?

 

Mosab: Well, first and foremost, Graham and I are good friends, so we knew that our working relationship would be just as good and productive. Secondly, we thought that we’d be the only people running for President, and we figured that since we’d both be on the council anyway, sharing the work, that we might as well share the title, too! Thirdly, we knew that we both represented different demographics of the BC community, and we hoped (and still hope) that our co-presidency would make more people feel comfortable sharing their experiences with us than if just one of us had taken on the role. Lastly, Graham and I are both pretty busy people, and we knew that if we took on the presidency together, we’d be able to more effectively take on the work associated with it, so that it wasn’t too much for either of us in our senior year, and–most importantly–so that we could actually get some amazing things done for BC!

 

Graham: Speechless. I have nothing to add.

 

B: More generally, what made you want to run for executive council president? what does this role mean to you?

 

Mosab: I wanted to run for president for my college apps. No, I’m just kidding! The real reason I wanted to run because I care about BC! Like I said, BC has been integral to my personal (and, of course, academic) growth in these past couple years. That being said, my experience at BC has not been perfect. I wanted to run to help make the school a better place for all students, emphasis on ALL. I know that it’s my senior year, and I likely will not reap the benefits of the great work Graham, Luca, and I intend to do, but I wanted to leave behind a legacy of ensuring that BC is a place where everyone can grow as much as I have, and where everyone’s voice can be heard. That being said, I was especially determined to make my co-presidency about representation at BC. Since I’ve run or Executive Council every year of high school, I’ve seen it evolve over time. And not only has the council been majority white and male, it’s been shrinking. I want to change that, I want to embolden more people to get engaged in their community and have their voices heard, because that’s the only way we can make any change. And as well-intentioned as Graham and I are–we also know that we can’t represent everyone who doesn’t have a seat at the table. So we want to encourage more people to take the many extra seats that are available to them. So what does this presidency mean to me? Progress.

 

Graham: Again, I agree that a lot of my reasoning for running and fulfilling this position was based on me giving back to a community that I’m so thankful for and have gotten to know so well. However, more of it lies in the fact that nothing’s perfect, and so a big part of our job is to continue working towards a more perfect BC. As someone who participates in many diverse activities and interacts with loads of different people, I think one of my strong suits as co-president is drawing from these different experiences and hearing opinions from all walks of BC life. So, to me, being co-president is sticking true to hearing everyone out and committing myself to improve the future of Berkeley Carroll.

 

B: What are some of the first things you want to achieve that students can look forward to this year?

Mosab: We are working on the Student Government website! I can’t take much of the credit though, this endeavor was expertly spearheaded by my partner, Graham. But, I am very excited to see how people use the site to really let us know what they want out of their time at BC and how we can make that happen.

 

Graham: Yep! We’re also working on changing up the school store…stay tuned!

 

B: What are some more long-term goals?

 

Mosab: I sort of spoke on this earlier, but I know I want to create a more concrete and long-lasting way to make sure people are heard. I hope that way will be the website, but who knows, maybe it won’t work out and we’ll have to readjust and go back to the drawing board. But, especially as the council shrinks, I think it’s getting more and more important that we ensure the future of student representation at Berkeley Carroll.

 

Graham: For me, an important long-term goal is increasing school spirit and participation in/attendance at school events, such as concerts, theater performances, sports games, etc. Will a changed school store help this? Maybe. Will the website? Probably not. We’re working on it, though.

 

B: In the past, executive council presidents have sometimes been unable to make good on their promises. How exactly will you two work to ensure that you fulfill your goals as presidents?

 

Mosab: Well, we’ve already gotten to work! I think that’s one big step in the right direction that I’ve observed hadn’t always been taken in the past. We’ve already started to change things around BC in a very real and concrete way. I think that will give us more time to troubleshoot when needed, and eventually get to a place where we can leave knowing we kept our promises.

 

Graham: As Moe said before, one of the major benefits of us working together is that we can balance the work and hold each other accountable, so we’re gonna do that!

 

B: Is it okay if we check back in halfway through the year to see what progress you are making?

 

Mosab: Definitely! Hold us accountable! Keep us in check! We are here for y’all, so if anyone wants to come to us and ask how things are going, you should feel free to go on ahead and do so.

 

Graham: Please do!

 

B: Last year we asked Matthew, “What advice would you have for next year’s student body president?” He said: “Some advice that I have for next year’s president is to try to be approachable as possible, and not only be open to suggestions, but to whomever that president may be: make an effort to get as many suggestions and as much input as possible from many different people who make up our diverse community .” How exactly will students be able to express their concerns to you this year?

 

Mosab: The website! Also, in the hallways if you don’t feel like using the website once it’s up and running. So many people have already come up to me in the hallways, making suggestions and asking questions, all of which I’ve then taken to meetings and brought up with the rest of the council. We don’t have all the answers, so a large part of our presidency is creating a network for the people who do to let us know!

 

Graham: *snaps* Feel free to come up to me too! I don’t usually bite…

 

Stay tuned for more on Graham and Mosab!