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FURTHER READING: Co-chair deposed; many students have his back


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Editor’s Note: This article contains the unedited statements that were made during the November 12, 2017, executive committee meeting of those featured in the front page article covering the removal of Ahnaf Taha as co-chair of community government in our November 15, 2017, issue. 

This page will be updated with further developments. Make sure to follow @MastersTower on Twitter.

 

Matt Ives, Head of the Upper School:

“I completely respect what happened this morning. Honestly, I would have been disappointed if you hadn’t done anything. We’ve trained you to think for yourselves.”

“You are being heard. This is not something where I’ve completely made up my mind. I’m approaching the problem with an open-mind and a willingness to change.”

“I just want to remind you all that it’s not student government, it’s community government.”

“95 percent of the time, I do honor the community council decision.”

 

Max Levy, Sophomore:

“Ahnaf has been a huge role model for me. We should not tarnish one person’s legacy for one mistake.”

 

Cooper Kramer, Freshman:

“I don’t think it’s right that he has been working towards this position through all of high school and now it’s just taken away. I think the decision was very rash.”

 

Shirin Sabety, Senior:

“We should be putting effort into the issues students feel strongly about, instead of putting this much effort behind Ahnaf’s removal”

 

Campbell Ives, Senior:

“The two things I’ve taken away from my time at Masters are that it’s okay to fail and to assume good intent. I think Ahnaf made a mistake, but I think we need to make [shine  light on] the idea that it’s okay to fail. And on my second point, I know Ahnaf would never do anything with malicious intent.”

 

Emma Friedman, Senior:

“This consequence helps no one. It’s not helpful for the Ahnaf. It sets a bad example for the students. We create leaders who don’t trust their own gut.”

 

Heather Smith, Senior:

“His personality and who he is should be more important than punishing him. His life or what college he goes to should not be contingent on one mistake.”

 

Interview with Ciara Escobar, senior class president who, along with co-president Dan Cienava, on Tuesday, Dec. 12 were making morning meeting announcements when students turned their backs on them in protest of Ahnaf Taha’s removal.

by David Oks

Obviously you were and Dan were the two people giving the announcement when people turned their back. How did that make you feel?

I have felt a lot of things. I guess I’ll just start with when I was standing on stage and the evolution of my emotions. I was taken back a little bit. I knew something was going to happen. On Snapchat I had seen people saying, ‘Walkout! Walkout! Free Ahnaf!’ And that was the last I heard. A walkout. Apparently this whole conversation continued to brew on Facebook. And then the next morning Dan [Cienava] told me we had to run morning meeting, and I was ‘OK.’ And I looked at June [Kitahara]’s email, it was ‘hi, guys, can you run morning meeting?’ and it was very to the point. And then when I got there, Ms. K, everyone was talking about it, so she had heard, and she said ‘oh, nothing will happen.’ Because when they walked out they would just be told to get back in the Theatre. They got up. I thought they were just going to get up and stand in silence and hold up their signs, but when they turned their back, it was a ‘wow.’ When they gave me their back, that hurt a little bit. Especially because, wow, I’m their class president. But after, I realized I had to remove myself from the situation. It wasn’t really personal. It wasn’t about me. And I supported the whole thing, but the giving their back, that hurt a little bit. The turning away was like, ‘oh.’

What would you like to see the administration do at this point?

I’ve been talking to a few people and what he did was disrespectful, but it wasn’t enough for him to be kicked out. That was really far. It did go a little far, what Ahnaf did, and not a lot of people understand the full story. He does deserve to have some sort of disciplinary action required, but I think that should just be a written apology to Ms. Carnevale and a public apology. I definitely don’t think we should have his position taken away.

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FURTHER READING: Co-chair deposed; many students have his back