Cluster Council elections, the initial foray into competitive politics for our young first years, finished this past week. Races were hotly contested throughout, especially in the coliseum of Cluster 2. We now have a new set of Cluster Presidents, the first ever class of Cluster Vice Presidents, and a set of four Cluster Councils that have the chance to materially improve the lives of their classmates.
Secretly, I’m a little jealous. When Annie, Sid, Bre and I stepped into these roles last year we had no idea what we were doing. The new group has a head start we never had (i.e., a basic understanding of the role), and as a result can spend their time on dynamic programming as opposed to minutiae.
Cluster 1 President: Abdulaziz AlMulla (Mulla)
Cluster 1 Vice Presidents: John Withers, Julia Kozitsyna
Cluster 1 horoscope: This year you will find yourself uncommonly attracted to the friendship of your cluster mates. This may result in a series of unexplainable, often childish bonding activities and the regular confused looks of other clusters, who can’t fathom the closeness of your group. Embrace your lack of athleticism and beat them with cunning.
Cluster 2 President: Jackie Wong
Cluster 2 Vice Presidents: Christina Ward, Murat Kalkan
Cluster 2 horoscope: At some point this year, you will realize that winning isn’t everything. The good news is you have 10 presidential candidates to lead you. People will say that the fragmentation will be your greatest challenge—they are wrong. Your greatest challenge will come from carrying home all the trophies you win with your massive tug of war team.
Cluster 3 President: Alana Rush
Cluster 3 Vice Presidents: Ted Sands, Hunt Kushner
Cluster 3 horoscope: This year will be a year of redemption. Last year’s late momentum will lead into this year if you can find a way to channel the passion your group has shown for bumblebees to something meaningful. Buzzzzzz sounds are a good start. Add in stingers and you have a chance to be great.
Cluster 4 President: Bob Reish
Cluster 4 Vice Presidents: Akshay Kanna, Gena Brown
Cluster 4 horoscope: Your cluster’s penchant for electing people whose names start with “B” gives hope to Bernards and Beatrices everywhere. Both C4 and tigers are powerful weapons; use them against other clusters carefully. Eric, slightly more dangerous than a tiger and capable of crushing other ADs, is also a weapon. Use him wisely.
New leadership: make it selfless. In your new roles, you will have the chance to build your personal brand, but the real opportunity is to serve. There are people in your clusters who feel out of place and disconnected. Literally and metaphorically, find them. Actually track them down and invite them to something. The group will be stronger with their contributions and you have the responsibility to inspire. Also, don’t feel like you have to do everything. You have the support of the administration and the WGA. We are excited to see what you can do.
To the other members of the clusters: support your cluster councils and plan your own activities. This place becomes dynamic when everyone feels empowered to both take part in and organize activities. Events don’t have to be parties or happy hours, they could be as simple as inviting someone you haven’t met to dinner. My only request is that you act.