Note: This article was co-written by Nick Rutigliano and Elyse Kim
On Monday, April 22, the Upper School convened in the Seldin Center to hear candidate speeches for next year’s Student Council. After the ballots were cast at lunchtime, four rising seniors were named executive officers for the 2019-2020 Council.
The student body chose Jerry Rutigliano ‘20 as next year’s president. This will be Rutigliano’s first year as a member of the Student Council, and he promises to use his creativity and fresh perspective to improve his peers’ SLS experiences.
Next year, Rutigliano wants to increase the number of charity drives by designating days to collect items like cans, toothbrushes, and old sports equipment. He plans to encourage student participation by rewarding donors with dress down days.
“I think the charity drives are important because they show the importance of giving back to the community,” Rutigliano says. “Next year, I think we should put an even stronger focus on utilizing the resources in our community to benefit others.”
However, Rutigliano is aware that being president is no small task, especially because it will be difficult to materialize all of the projects he has in mind. However, Rutigliano plans to use his leadership position to work with his fellow council members and improve student life at SLS.
“I know both the Student Council and the faculty involved have the same goal: to make sure SLS reaches its full potential,” he shares.
“I would just like to thank the St. Luke’s students and teachers for electing me president,” Rutigliano adds. “I am honored and will make sure I get the job done.”
Emily Stute ‘20 will work closely with Rutigliano as vice president, and she will bring her experience as 11th grade class representative to next year’s Council.
“This year I served on Student Council and loved being a part of a group whose priority is to serve the students of our school. I am excited to be a part of that again next year, and I am excited to work on events for our community,” Stute comments.
During her time on the Council, Stute has noticed that it is often difficult to follow through with event planning and execution. However, she promises to use her work ethic to solve this problem.
“The campaign promise that means the most to me is my promise to see things through,” Stute shares. “There are always so many ideas passed around in Student Council that do not always come together, but I feel with my commitment to the Student Council and student body, I will help aid the completion of the projects the Student Council takes on.”
One of the projects Stute has in mind is to reinstate the dance committee with representatives from each grade in order to boost student attendance and make dances more fun. She also wants to use her role to encourage collaboration between the Council and student clubs.
Collaborating with clubs is also one of Henry Selvala’s goals. Selvala ‘20 was elected treasurer, and seeks to use the Council’s budget to help clubs with fundraising.
Selvala also made a unique campaign promise, which he is determined to accomplish.
“I want to have a big fundraiser at the end of the year to buy each senior going off to college a college [pennant],” Selvala comments. “I want them to have something that will always remind them of the St. Luke’s community.”
As treasurer, Selvala will oversee the Council’s budget. His job will be difficult, Selvala admits, because “dances are expensive and events are expensive . . . I want to make sure that next year goes as smooth as possible.”
Most importantly, Selvala wants the student body to feel comfortable approaching him with new ideas and suggestions.
“I can’t speak on behalf of the entire [school]. I want to hear from them, what they want, to help them. So any requests that someone gives to me, I will make sure to put it in the meetings,” Selvala promises.
Finally, the student body elected Ally Riley ‘20 to serve as secretary for the 2019-2020 school year. Riley sees her role as secretary as an opportunity to serve the school.
“I am most excited about stepping up as a leader, giving back to the school, and being a liaison between the students and the faculty,” Riley shares.
However, Riley knows that leadership does carry some challenges.
“I think it is going to be hard to make dramatic changes in just a year’s time and come up with ideas that every faculty member and student are content with,” Riley comments.
She hopes to increase community spirit by working with the Council to “figure out new ways to include new kids and develop relationships between seniors and freshmen.”
As excitement builds for summer, Upper School students can rest assured that these executive officers will use their leadership and creativity to make the 2019-2020 school year as fun and community-oriented as possible.