Digital illustration by Francesca Cappella
Senior Francesca Cappello is Archer’s new student body president. With three years of grade-level representative experience and new ideas for the school year, Cappello said she is ready to take on all this year’s challenges. The Oracle conducted a phone interview with Capello to acquire her perspective on her new position.
Looking back at last year, how was the election process affected by COVID-19?
Francesca Cappello [FC]: You definitely had to get a lot more creative, but I think it made the election more interesting. Usually, each of [the candidates] hangs posters around the school and you don’t get the same type of exposure or interest from the student body. We each got to send out three emails this year to the entire school which I think was really beneficial for getting our platforms out and making sure people actually knew who they were voting for rather than if you recognize the name on the ballot or not. It made it more interesting, I had even taken to TikTok, @vote4fran, which was something I definitely did not expect myself to do.
What have you been doing over the summer to prepare for your role as president?
FC: We have had a lot of different texts in the Executive Board group chat every day trying to bring whatever ideas we have to make this next year as normal as it can be, and also as best it can be under the circumstances. It’s been a lot of brainstorming and miscellaneous strategic meetings. Thank goodness we have such an adaptive and welcoming student body and willing teacher force to help us through the whole thing.
What are some challenges you think the year will hold?
FC: I think that it is going to be hard, specifically for new students, to get the same Archer vibe and the positive and cheerful vibe that we normally have. Without spirit events, for however long we’re still virtual and those bonding moments that we normally have, it’s going to be an interesting year. Another challenge I think is going to be staying motivated. Quite frankly it is going to be hard to be motivated when all of your classes are online. For some people, it’s hard to learn that way, so it’s going to take a village and we’re all going to need each other to get through the school year.
What are some of your goals for the year?
FC: My top goal is to get everyone through the year without too many tears along the way and to maintain and build on our sense of unity. Also, with the extremely important conversations being had around race and Black Lives Matter, I think finally these topics are getting the attention they deserve. I really want to try to see how those get implemented into this school year and the years to follow.
How will your leadership style adapt during a pandemic and a movement for racial justice?
FC: More COVID-related, it’s going to be a challenge. We’ll use more social media type things and try to reach out to as many new students as we can and that kind of thing. In the realm of Black Lives Matter, I think it’s really important for people, like me specifically, to listen to other’s stories and absorb information without just speaking. Listening to others’ stories first and foremost and then setting up these conversations where you can hear other people then think about how you can proceed forward is a goal. We want a place where everyone feels like they have a proper seat at the table and [feel] like the school is on their side.