In preparation for tomorrow’s Student Council Student Body President and Vice President Elections, The Roundup sat down with the candidates to see what they have in mind for Jesuit and why they believe they should be elected.
Below is an interview with presidential candidate Matthew Mancillas ’19 and vice presidential candidate Nelson Brown ’19. Students will choose between them and fellow juniors Marco Marrero and Reagan Ernst when they vote tomorrow. The questions were based on their original candidate statements, which can be found here.
Question: “Why are you both running, and why are you a good fit [for Jesuit]?”
Nelson Brown: “I mean, I’m running because I think that we can really help out Jesuit and engage the community more because we’ve seen a sort of separation between classes—just that gap. I didn’t know any of the freshmen or sophomores before we started this campaign and it’s really helped me to see that we really need to engage with all the other classes.”
Matthew Mancillas: “In addition, over the course of the four years, Nelson and I feel that there has been a decreasing school morale that’s been happening, almost like students care less about Jesuit. There isn’t that school-student connection, that bond that generations before us have been experiencing. And Nelson and I help with an outside view, because we haven’t been in Student Council before, but with an outside view we can come in, bring some new life into Student Council, have some new ideas as well as take from Student Council’s traditions and improve upon Jesuit next year.”
Q: “And how do you think that—that decrease in morale you speak of—how has that happened, and what are you going to do to solve it?”
Mancillas: “Over the course of at least my time here, I feel like it’s happened because of just…tension. Like you come to school every day, day-in-day-out, and we only have—it’s the same thing over and over again—and we only have one day where it’s truly a free day, like Ranger Day. That’s the only day where you can get excited about Jesuit, and it’s one time in the year, that’s it.”
Brown: “And that’s at the very beginning of the school year.”
Mancillas: And then you have the [sports] games, but that’s with the Jesuit athletic program, not the school itself. So we feel like we should integrate more school-based ideas and events so that way students can participate fully within Jesuit.
Q: What sort of specific [events] do you have planned?
Mancillas: “Well we don’t have a name for it yet, but we’re just calling it school events. But one thing is we hope to take a page out of Ursuline’s book and bring in food trucks perhaps a couple times per year so that way students can go out there; buy food; have a fun, unique lunch period instead of just going in the cafeteria, having the same lunch over again… We want to bring back the prestige of the Lone Rangers, which I believe people before us have tried to do, but we really hope to revive the program itself. And that can be done by lifting some of the restrictions that they have because I know back in the 60s and 70s you had the core seniors that everyone knew, everyone loved, and at every game, they would take off their shirts and they would be just party animals, getting everyone excited. But nowadays you don’t really see that—they’re kind of just the who run the flags—and we hope to bring that renowned sense of the program back to the school because they’re truly the spirit of the student body and they are what gets everyone, for lack of a better word, hyped, or excited about being at a Jesuit event.”
Q: “In an ideal Jesuit, how would all the classes interact with each other?”
Brown: “At least everybody would be able to know each other, not just be random acquaintances in the hall who just see each other every day. Like, everybody knows each other’s names, interacts with each other on a regular basis and is able to get over the ‘you’re a freshman, I’m a senior, let’s not talk to each’ other sort of thing.”
Mancillas: “And even so if you don’t know everyone, at least you have that Jesuit bond connecting you all together—”
Brown: “Just that school spirit type of thing that we get every Ranger Day. Other schools do this with pep rallies. We can just get everyone hyped up about Jesuit in other ways.”
Mancillas: “And that will create unity between the classes as a whole, together, as well as with each other within the classes as well.”
Q: “And Nelson in your statement you mentioned the ongoing issues of race, have you all thought about how you would address it, if you do want to address it?”
Brown: “We’ve had diversity days and everything, but they weren’t as engaging as the diversity club has been wanting them to be. So I think that just having more of those possibly and I think like school-wide events where everyone can actually engage rather than having a one-sided discussion or a lecture type thing. We could just have more community involvement in that.”
Q: “And how do you think you could motivate the rest of the school community around these things, to participate more in the school and build more unity?”
Brown: “I mean, obviously with the Jesuit events…thing…”
Mancillas: “We need a better name for it!”
Brown: “We need a better name for it. But, we can get more people to just, for lack of a better word, be forced to like start participating more in Jesuit and be able to engage and see how fun that is because I know freshman year the games were such a big thing, everybody would go to every game. But now it’s just slowed down—you’ll go to the first game, and that’s it.”
Mancillas: “In addition, I don’t want to seem pessimistic, but the amount of change that we could do for everyone here at Jesuit now is very limited. However, with the new incoming freshmen, it’s the senior class that sets the tone for the overarching freshman class as they go through their four years. Nelson and I hope that with next year, with us as Student Council President and Vice President, we can show that freshman class and invigorate them with school spirit that they will carry on throughout their time at Jesuit, and, as a reult, carry it on to Jesuit classes after them.”
Q: “And, finally, what makes you ticket unique for the voters?”
Mancillas: “We do want to change the downstairs A hallway bathroom into a student one because that’s two faculty bathrooms right on top of each other. That way you don’t have to walk a mile to go pee. In addition, Nelson and I just offer that outside perspective to Student Council as well as we have a very wide range of opinions and viewpoints because he does crew and I do rugby. And that’s—what—over 100 kids over all four classes who we can get opinions from and ideas from as well. And we’re both very charismatic people, and we can go out and get individual viewpoints from students as well.”