Agenda decides former candidates will run for Agenda Secretary, no date set


UPDATE: Acting Chair Alec Fields told Town Hall March 2 that the Agenda Committee had voted to 6-5 to adopt the Fairness Committee’s recommendation for choosing a new Secretary with a mid-year election. No date has been set.

The Agenda Committee has voted 6-5 to replace Agenda Secretary Lucy Fried through a mid-year election among last year’s candidates for the position, following a recommendation by the Fairness Committee as to how to solve the problem.

Senior class Agenda representative Alec Fields — acting as Chair because the Chair and Vice-Chair were in New York for the Sarachek tournament and the Secretary position is vacant – made the announcement after almost two months of deliberations by members of Agenda and Fairness.

“I don’t have all the details yet about the election, but I wanted to inform everyone for the sake of transparency that that’s what going to be happening at some point,” said Alec. “You guys can come up to us and ask representatives, ask people on Fairness, what’s going to happen because they’ll know more soon in the coming days.”

The Fairness Committee had informed Agenda of its recommendation after a vote and unanimous approval Feb. 21, according to the recommendation sent to Agenda.

Three days later, on Feb. 24, Agenda faculty advisor Mr. Jason Feld posted Fairness’s recommendation on the Agenda Schoology page with a poll. The committee voted on whether to accept or reject it.

As posted on Agenda’s Schoology page, as of Wednesday, March 1, at noon, the vote of the Agenda Committee was tied 5-5. Mr. Feld then broke the tie, voting to accept the recommendation. He explained his decision on the Schoology page.

The Agenda Committee as a whole elected to bring Fairness into this process,” wrote Mr. Feld. “Given the fact that their recommendation was carefully considered, recorded and was unanimous, their input and the standing of their committee within the larger Just Community must be factored in.

“Given our split decision, I feel it is appropriate to give some weight Fairness’ unanimous position. As such and despite my personal interest in the matter, I defer to the consideration from our sister branch within the JC and vote in favor of accepting the Fairness recommendation.”

The vacancy in the Agenda Secretary position was left by sophomore Lucy Fried who is spending this semester in Israel on Camp Ramah’s Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY) program.

Until now, different members of the Agenda Committee were filling the secretary position in a weekly rotation.

Mr. Feld said that he had “complete confidence” in the Agenda Committee to continue filling the empty spot, but that since this would set a precedent for the future, Fairness’s recommendation was preferable.

The official Fairness recommendation was also published on Agenda’s Schoology page, and outlined their reasoning.

“We see it as unfair to appoint a current member of the Agenda committee, or anyone, without an election because the student body should be electing the person that will be leading Town Hall once the Chair and Vice-Chair (both seniors) leave to Poland and Israel,” the statement says.

In addition to making this decision, Fairness voted to institute a “transparency clause.”

“This clause states that all candidates who plan to leave in the middle of the year, semester, or any time must make it publicly known that they plan to do so in advance of the election,” wrote Fairness.

The Boiling Point reached out to the previous secretary candidates – Talia Gill, Ari Sassover, Clara Sandler and Eva Suissa — to find out who plans on running in this upcoming mid-year election. All were unsure except for Ari, who plans on running.

As the vote was split amongst the Agenda Committee, there were different sides to the debate. Chair and Vice-Chair Bennett Schneier and Isaac Goor both voted for the recommendation while senior and sophomore representatives Alec Fields and Eva Suissa voted against.

Representatives Rosie Wolkind, Ilan Bouskila and Talia Gill would not disclose their vote. Ilan said this was because “it goes against the integrity of voting.”

Alec said that he voted against the recommendation because it was unfair.

“I voted against Fairness’s recommendation because I didn’t think that it was fair to prohibit Rosie or Ilan or anyone who ran for any Agenda Committee position last year from running for secretary,” said Alec.

“Part of me even thinks that anyone in the community should have the opportunity to run for secretary, but at the bare minimum anyone who ran for any position on the agenda committee should be given this chance.”

11th grade representative Rosie Wolkind, said that she would have liked to run, but ultimately defers to the Just Community.

“I respect the process,” said Rosie. “I think I have proven in the past that I do a great job as secretary and I would have loved to run, but the Just Community has chosen, and it’s my duty to respect that.”

Lucy decided that she would be leaving for Israel on short notice on January 13. Between then and Alec’s announcement, the only information about replacing her had been a Boiling Point report on January 17 that Agenda had asked Fairness for advice.