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President's Perch

We all have our expectations.

When I ran in April, I assumed we’d be coming into the new year with no masks, minimal distancing, and the return of our Abbey traditions as we’d come to expect them. I assumed this would make my job easier, and me a popular president, because all I’d have to do would be to introduce some of my promises to liven student life up, run some events, and done deal. Oh, was I looking forward to things— things I’d soon find to not be as simple as expected.

IHC President JP Tampe speaks at House Day 2021
IHC President JP Tampe speaks at House Day 2021

I vastly underestimated the extent of my responsibilities. As president, I’m more than just president. Not only am I the leader of student life, I’m also the leader of a cabinet, a delegator, a mediator and counselor, and most importantly, I’m just one part of a team. There are also so many things beyond my reach that I hadn’t even considered before I ran. Add to this the COVID situation we’ve had to work around, and you can imagine it’s been difficult settling in. Adapting traditions to a completely virtual setting as we did last year was one thing, but adapting traditions to that strange middle space we now occupy where we’re not yet in the clear and must conform to safety measures has been a whole new ordeal. I still don’t feel like I’ve landed on both feet with all this.

Whether it’s been scheduling eight groups for five activities on field day, difficulties organizing a pep rally, confused assembly MCing, delayed Chick-fil-A, complicated video shooting days, or missing donut orders, a challenge has presented itself in everything we’ve done this year, and never has it been expected. On the now-infamous day of Donutgate, we didn’t know anything was wrong until AJ was actually at the Krispy Kreme to pick the order up.

These aren’t gripes or excuses, but rather examples of how, especially in the times we’re in right now, it’s impossible to know what’ll happen on any given day, and we’ve all in one way or another been forced to find this out. Living right now requires patience, and patience has been difficult to come by. It’s been nineteen months since we first went into lockdown. It’s certainly easier now, but the world has yet to fully recover, long past any of our initial expectations.

This has not been a time for expectations, inevitable as they are. But is there anything we can do about it? It’s impossible to predict what’ll happen of course, but maybe there’s a way we can consider each of our circumstances a little better. It’s important to ground ourselves, as I’ve had to learn more and more with each IHC event, to keep our expectations as close to reality as we can. In these times, doing this may just make going through the hardships of future challenges a little easier, whether it be a hard class, social commitments, or lack thereof due to COVID.

It may not seem like it from what I’ve said, but I’ve truly enjoyed serving as president so far, even with all the bumps and calls for impeachment. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in these circumstances. I appreciate all the interactions I have with you guys: the suggestions, the complaints, all of it. You’ve certainly done a good job at yelling at me—which is good! It’s what I hoped for. We all contribute to the success of our student life. Like I told the seniors about the dance—it’s only as good as we make it. If you’re struggling and feel like there’s something I or we in the IHC can do to help out, please, please don’t hesitate to tell us. It’s why we’re here.

And donuts too I guess.

Vice President Jonah Rankin:

This year has certainly posed its own challenges, but I like to keep things in the perspective of recent history. I want to do my part this year to make sure every single student has the best year possible. Through absolutely no fault of the previous IHC, the 20-21 school year was difficult and strange for all of us. In all of this, I hope that students remember that JP and I are human beings; we do our best, and we do what we believe will be best for the student body; sometimes we don’t have the correct answers, and when we do, we hope that students will be comfortable enough to tell us and have ideas about what to do instead. Constructive criticism is always welcome, especially since (I know this sounds redundant, but) JP and I haven’t run a student government before. Luckily, we have some great people helping us work through all these things.