ONLINE ONLY: SMOB candidates’ similarities, differences

It is now April, which brings with it SGA elections, class president elections, but more importantly, SMOB elections.

This year, the two SMOB candidates are juniors Ananya Tadikonda and Nimah Nayel. They both attend Richard Montgomery and both have experience in a leadership position.

Tadikonda is the current Montgomery County Regional SGA (MCR) vice president, co-president of MoCo EmpowHER, the former treasurer for the MCR and former president for MoCo Junior Councils. She is more experienced in being a leader compared to Nayel, who is currently the president of her class and vice-president of the Muslim Student Association.

When it comes to their agendas, they both focus very heavily on the opportunity gap and methods to reduce the gap. Though the opportunity gap is not as prevalent here, other schools where the student body is composed mainly of minorities, such as Watkins Mill, tend to perform worse, according to US News.

Both candidates wish to implement more school safety procedures such as reverse evacuations following the recent school shootings. Tadikonda said, “It is on us as a county to ensure that no student ever feels unsafe when they walk into the school building.”

Nayel also proposed something that students can agree on: facility renovations. The current condition of this building is run-down and funding to improve the facilities is necessary.

Tadikonda also proposed a homework-free weekend every semester. Students are constantly bombarded with homework assignments, quizzes and tests and would appreciate a break every once in a while.

Each candidate has brought agreeable proposals to the table, however the candidates have also proposed controversial ideas as well, for example, Tadikonda proposed to implement gender-neutral bathrooms.

Nayel proposed LGBTQ+ representation in the mental health curriculum. However, other curriculum changes are also needed, such as strengthening the basic math and reading curriculums, since US News data shows that they are lacking countywide.

Nayel also proposed installing panic buttons and implementing flash passes for emergency purposes.

Both candidates have compelling proposals as well as controversial ones. Vote well and may the better candidate win.

Patrick Lui

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