Rusat Ramgopal: The People’s President

Kris Ushe, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Columbia Secondary School had another presidential election October 2017 and this one marked the beginning of reign of Rusat Ramgopal. Rusat wanted this position so much that he threw a very competitive campaign to win it in his junior, losing a close race by two votes. However, he started his senior year determined to win the election and he did so by a landslide, campaigning as an outsider promising change that reminded many of populism.

His electoral success impressed many at Columbia Secondary because of the contradicting personal views that Rusat and the majority of the school had on outside politics. But Rusat’s campaign was so exciting that it made the school community set aside those differences and focus on what they and Rusat cared about most: change in the school’s government that had been disappointing students for far too long and beginning the necessary work to “Make CSS Proud Again”.

The first months of his administration have been as expected: fast paced and delivering. Several accomplishments have been made by the student government, but the most significant  ones include: the launch of student government email, the town hall meeting, the CSS dance, and much more.

“We had a beautiful town hall meeting where a lot of people had the chance to show up and express concerns related to the school community and administration” explained Ramgopal. “Increased communication between the student government and the students has been a hallmark of my presidency as I believe that I can only represent the students best if I first hear and am aware of their concerns. I am also very proud to say that we had the biggest CSS dance ever held in school. Lots of people showed up and all had a great time bonding with each-other. In addition, dress down days were made free, which I know the students liked a lot.”

However, there have also been several controversies surrounding the new CSS President as well, most of which are about rumors that have circulated about undeserved credit given to him. Some claim that he was not responsible for the ongoing positive changes in the student government. An CSS student who preferred to stay anonymous stated:

“I do not think he is a good person. I think he tries to make a big deal out of the things that he does and says when there are other people to credit for these accomplishments that he brags about too. He does not give me a good vibe and that’s that.”

Rusat was quick to address the voices:

“All those rumors are false” stated Ramgopal. “If I didn’t deserve the credit then explain this to me, how come the people who made these rumors are those who were in the student government or were friends of those in the student government for years that hadn’t accomplished anything significant. All these changes that the students are so happy about happened after I became president. Put two and two together and realize that I have done more in three months that they did in three years. Give me a break, these people sadly have nothing better to do than translate their annoyance at my presidential success, the fact we are finally successfully making the changes that will CSS proud again, into false rumors. Remember, I had an electoral landslide, winning more than double the votes of any opponent so these people are just haters in the minority. But at the end of the day, anyone can say whatever they want, in support of me or against me, and I will always do my best to represent them as their President, working with the wonderful people in the student government, Principal Nightingale, and all of the students who felt let down by previous student governments and want change. I had a lot of support from a lot of students during my campaign. My supporters are very dedicated and caring people who want to see change in the school and I love my supporters, I really do, and I want to achieve the goals that they believed I was capable of achieving and I want to continue to have their support.”

The President indicated that he is more focused on getting more done than wasting time with rumors from those who he claims to have let the school down for years. His high pace is not anywhere to slowing down. When asked about near future plans he added:

“I am working very hard to address the most common issues that have been concerning the CSS community. My next goal is to address the overwhelming traffic that is formed by the high number of people that have lunch at the same time. The way I plan on fixing that is by having seniors eat lunch in the 6th floor. 6th floor is completely empty and it is valuable space that can be used to have lunch flow more peacefully.”

Rusat also mentioned another upcoming town hall, Valentine’s Day Candy Grams, more dances, and more dress-down days scheduled in the upcoming weeks.

“Another aspect that I am very excited for the state of the school address. I will give the first state of the school address, like a lot of things I have done as student president, such as the student government email and town hall, it has never been done before and I hope a lot of people follow it and continue to like the job I am doing as their president.”

Finally, when asked about his biggest disappointment as Columbia Secondary School President, Rusat Ramgopal said:

“I thought that as CSS President, I would also get a First Lady. I guess it turns out that I may have been wrong about that but we’ll see.”

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