Simren John Presidential Candidate Q&A

Can you explain to students what specifically SCA does beyond spirit days?

SCA is the glue of the school, we prepare for dances and pep rallies and find a way to [encourage] students to interact in the school. SCA takes input from the students and we find out what students like to participate in. [We] also plan events and outreach.

What is one actionable change you want to make and detail how you will make that change happen?

I want to incorporate mental health awareness into the school. Many people struggle with mental health and I want to create a safe environment in the school where kids can get support from other peers and not just adults. Having SCA [greet] students in the mornings or having a plate of candy and mints can cheer up those who [have had] a rough morning. Being nicer to one another is so vital and that can start by doing random acts of kindness or random compliments to people. Writing positive stuff on sticky notes and sticking them in the bathroom can just uplift one another. My main goal is to help others and teaming up with counselors and teachers to create a space where students feel like they can ask for help is the main goal.

You both mention giving each student a voice. How specifically are you going to make this happen?

I would send out a survey to the students asking them what are some things [they] would like to change at Dominion, or how can [they] see Dominion become better. I think the students should express their own concerns anonymously so we can make Dominion a better environment. After collecting the responses SCA would come up with solutions to these problems and try [to] help kids with whatever they have issues with at our school. The first step is acknowledging their voice and making sure they know they are being heard- I plan to do that by asking for their feedback and taking measures to ensure they are being heard.

Your slide reads, “Kids should love coming to school and I truly think I can make that happen.” This sounds like a very vague campaign generalization. How are you going to actually make every student love coming to school?

A lot of kids don’t like coming to school because of the environment. Some view school as a stressful, toxic, unhappy place. I want to make students enjoy learning and [be] happy to see their friends. One step I would take to help out students who are stressed when they come to school is having a room in the school where they can come and take a break and rest there for 5 minutes. I think having coloring books, little fidgeting things for anxiety, and even some snacks and beanbags could be really cool. Creating a safe and calm environment when students get too overwhelmed or stressed could really help them settle down. By helping students with their stress levels I think that could make school more enjoyable for them.

What will you do to ensure that students in marginalized communities will feel included in school activities? How can you help all students feel included and accounted for?

I think having link crew leaders and teachers in advisory talk to those who feel left out can help. In your advisory group it is much smaller and you can get close with everyone, so I think talking to those you wouldn’t normally talk to can help. As an SCA team seeing those around the halls who are alone just going up and talking to them or inviting them to football games, or if you see someone sitting alone at lunch and going to talk to them.

You are running for more than one position. Which position do you hope to win and why? 

I hope to win president because I think I can incorporate my ideas the most with that position. I also love to lead and I can do that by being president.

As we return to in-person school next year, how will SCA under your leadership impact students? Give specific examples.

Transitioning back into 5 days a week fully in person will definitely be challenging at first, but I know we will get into the flow of things quickly. I want to help with the transition by giving surveys or putting up polls on social media and just gathering information from the students on how we can make the transition easier. Incorporating a social aspect into different things would be very beneficial since not a lot of people saw each other during COVID. Incorporating break rooms (like mentioned before) since many people’s mental health worsened during the pandemic can be a helpful idea.

Do you think students should be able to be a part of SCA if they do not take the project management class? Why or why not? 

I think students who are really interested in being [a part] of SCA but don’t have space for this class should be able to join. The more ideas the better! If someone has a desire to implement new ideas for the school I think it would be great to have them on the team.

Give one idea for a new spirit week day that has not been done at Dominion and why should we do it?

Heritage Day- wear something or bring something that represents your heritage or family. Dominion is very diverse and has a lot of different cultures. It would be awesome to see where everyone came from and what they love about their heritage. This would be a way for students to represent where they came from and give them something to be proud about and also recognize the diversity of others.

Do you think it is realistic that students will go through the slide deck and read all of the slides and watch the videos? If yes, why do you think so based on low advisory participation? If no, why should the elections occur this way?

I think some students may go through all the slide decks and some may not. I would hope students take the time to look and choose who to vote for- but yet again not everyone takes the time to do this. I think this was the smartest way to host elections considering everything is virtual.