What is motivating you to run for President or Vice President? What are some major aspirations in your life?
Miriam: I think that generally, Marianopolis is mostly known for encouraging academic excellence, and I truly think that’s great. But what about outside of the classroom? I believe that Marianopolis should strive to have the feeling of community and pride shared amongst its students. When students feel a sense of pride, students begin to feel a sense of belonging to a school where they are a part of the process and not merely observers. That’s why I’m running for President: to make every student, a proud Marianopolis student.
From a young age, I have always had an inclination to speak up for people who could not find their voice. In fact, in high school, I was known for being able to recite any passage from the Student Handbook to ensure that the students’ rights were protected and not taken advantage of. In the future, I aim to do the same, speaking up and advocating for people’s rights to not only be their voice but to help them find their voice. How I will achieve this goal is still undetermined, but “when there’s a will, there’s a way.”
What sets you apart from the other candidates? In which ways are your experience and perspective unique?
M: First and foremost, I think that all candidates that are running this year have proven to be great leaders, and this will definitely be a fierce competition. I think I would be a good change for Marianopolis because of my approach. The issues I want to see addressed are not random issues that I picked out of a hat. I spent the past week reaching out to over 100 students to find out what issues they want to see addressed and to find out what matters to every single one of them. I don’t only wait for problems to come my way, I reach out to you.
A few years ago, I suffered from a concussion that completely changed my perspective on life (as cheesy as it sounds). I was not able to go to school for a month, during which I had to stay home by myself, in isolation. I couldn’t use my phone or watch any screens, and it was truly one of the worst experiences I have ever gone through. During this difficult part of my life, I needed my school’s support more than ever and luckily, I got it. Communication channels were opened between me, the administration and my teachers. If I could not come to school, there was no problem. If I could not study for a test, there was no problem. Throughout this experience, I felt supported by my school, and I was and still am proud to say that I went to Herzliah. This allowed me to realize how essential communication is to allow students to feel comfortable and cherished. My ability to recognize that communication is key is what will allow our school to become a more community-like environment.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of the position and what will you do to overcome this issue?
M: I think the most challenging part about being President is the title and status that comes with it. Personally, when I started my first semester, Congress was intimidating. I was not yet comfortable to find the courage to approach them. That being said, the more I became I reached out to the Congress and understood their position in the school, the more I felt comfortable trusting them to be our voice. Many students do not feel comfortable contacting the Congress due to their status that can sometimes feel “superior” even though at the end of the day, they are students just like us. However, by reaching out to you and finding our what matters to you, I will be able to form a strong relationship with everyone and make your voice heard instead of allowing a gap to be created.
By what metric would you measure your success as a President or Vice President?
M: To measure my success, I would determine my impact on the students. How? By observing how many students can say they are proud students of Marianopolis. If you can say you are a proud student, that implies that you feel like you are kept in the loop and that your voice carries weight. If you can say you are proud, that implies that you feel comfortable approaching your Congress and raising any issues. Lastly, if you can say you are proud, that implies that you feel you are being given the best opportunity to succeed and excel in a comfortable environment. If I can achieve those three goals, I would consider that a huge success.
Do you have what it takes to stand up for student interests against the administration and ensure our voice is heard?
M: I think I definitely have what it takes to stand up for student interests. However, I would not use the word against as that would imply that we are on different sides of the situation. Rather, I would say I have what it takes to stand up for student issues with the administration to ensure your voice is heard. The administration is not some enemy behind closed doors that we must fear. They do care about us and our rights, but yes, they can always improve, and these improvements will stem from me addressing your concerns. To illustrate my point, last year, I was involved in a fundraiser for my school graduation. The administration, unfortunately, was very disorganized, and as a result, it made it very hard to organize the event in a timely manner to raise the most money. My friends and I made a case to the administration to explain to them that we would be able to have a much more successful event if we postponed the date to have more time to advertise and plan the event. After a lot of negotiating, we were finally able to convince the administration to push back the date, even though at first we were told that it was not a possibility. My determination and perseverance are what allows me to make beneficial changes.
Being President of the MSU requires decisiveness. Share some examples of your ability and willingness to be decisive.
M: When it came time to choose which CEGEP I wanted to attend, I faced a classic decision: Dawson or Marianopolis? Before making my decision, I reached out to dozens of people to fully understand the benefits of both schools to find out which one would be a better fit for me. My approach was to reach out to people, listen and then make a decision accordingly. I wanted to find the place where I would be the most stimulated and challenged, and I chose Marianopolis, which ended up being a great fit. In the end, I made the right decision as Marianopolis strives for academic excellence and pushes their students to give it their all.
If a student asked you for advice on how to have a positive impact on the Marianopolis community, what would you tell them?
M: My advice would be to find a cause they are passionate about and get involved. It could be action for our environment, mental health awareness or even speaking out about student rights. Make a difference by getting involved in the school community and meet new people who are just as passionate as you are! If you want changes to be made in the school, find your people, get in the arena and shake the game up!
In your opinion, what value should Congress respect the most when it comes to representing its students?
M: I think being as transparent as possible is key to ensuring all students believe in you to be their voice. At the end of the day, Congress is only a megaphone to intensify the voices of the students! By being as transparent as possible, you are letting the students trust that you are doing all you can to address their issues. It is important that students have a Congress that does not leave them in the dark and keeps the students updated on the changes they are making.
What is your vision of the perfect Marianopolis community?
M: I think the ideal community is when each student can say, with their head held high, that they are proud Marianopolis students. Where there are communication and the sense of feeling heard and valued, there is community